Ireland's Green Party is in favor of decriminalizing cannabis - proposing that criminal offenses be removed for people possessing less than five grams of the drug.
If the Green Party has its way, Ireland will follow in the footsteps of California and other US states which have legalized cannabis.
The party has called for the decriminalization of cannabis possession, stating the argument that current laws have made "criminals out of decent people”.
Leading politicians such as Oliver Moran have created a new drug strategy policy which they have shared on the party website.
"Gardaí would be instructed to tolerate Dutch-style "coffee shops" allowing the consumption and sale of cannabis for over-18s under certain conditions," the post reads.
Today, we're calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis. Our new policy would allow medicinal use, decriminalise personal use, and allow Dutch-style coffee shops to operate in Ireland. Full details: https://t.co/IlyS0X5Var pic.twitter.com/qmVSQXslYR— Green Party Ireland (@greenparty_ie) April 15, 2018
According to TheJournal.ie, the Green Party is also in favor of providing access to cannabis-based medicines, and allowing individuals to grow up to two cannabis plants in their home for personal use.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan told the outlet that while the issue is a "complex one" - ultimately he believes a coffee-shop culture like that of Amsterdam would work in Ireland.
Privileged to launch the @GreenParty_IE #cannabis policy today at the @SSDPIreland conference in @CIT_ie. Thank you for the invite! Very interested talks.— Oliver Moran (@oliver_moran) April 14, 2018
And big credit to @victorybyname for driving this policy forward. pic.twitter.com/Jv1FdIOA08
The current environment is only serving to feed "gangland culture" the politician said. A change is needed if gardaí are ever to control the issue, he added.
“Portugal and other US States seem to be able to decriminalize it without having a massive increase in use,” he said.
“I think Portugal’s approach is a sensible one. They approach it as a health issue rather than a criminal issue. It is far more beneficial to society.”
“If it is being sold illegally, in a criminal way, you can’t control it… no one knows what is happening with it as it is happening in a shady way. Legalizing it means you can control it.”
According to the news site, a Joint Oireachtas Committee recently published a report strongly recommending adopting a “harm-reducing and rehabilitative approach to the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use”.