Drug policy is strange in that several opposing tendencies can operate at the same time within the same country. Today, Ireland, where a parliamentary commission recommends at least decriminalizing drugs while the Supreme Court is very strict on CBD products.
Regulation of drugs like cannabis should be looked at
On the flip side, a new report from Parliament’s Justice Committee recommends that the Irish government review the legalization of some drugs and allow the cultivation of others at a ‘not-for-profit’ level. The main objective of these measures would be to reduce the impact of the current black market in illicit substances.
Committee chairman James Lawless, of Fianna Fáil, said their thinking was based on a “three-pronged approach” to Irish drug policy, consisting of accelerating the current decriminalization process, examining a policy of drug regulation and to improve existing addiction support.
On drug regulation, James Lawless said it needed to be looked at in an “Irish context” and that a “managed market” could make the drugs that currently exist on the black market safer.
“In the regulations, there would be the concept of having a commercial product and having the product available, which can be controlled, managed, authorized, weighed, tested for compliance, safety, content in a way that is clearly not the case now,” he said.
The commission also recommended that “further research” be conducted on the pros and cons of “social clubs,” which can be used to grow personal amounts of cannabis or other substances for members.
On the face side, a Supreme Court ruling that ignores the findings of the KanaVape judgment could expose the Irish government to financial penalties and the threat of further sanctions from the European Commission.
Last month, the High Court ruled that CBD products containing THC are illegal in Ireland, in direct contradiction to the KanaVape judgment handed down in November 2020 by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The case in question concerned Andrius Bogusas, from Dundalk, whose CBD oils from Slovenia were seized by customs in October 2020, on the grounds that they were prohibited by national legislation.
The defendant argued that they could be imported under European Union (EU) law, as was established in the KanaVape case, but in his High Court judgment, Judge Alexander Owens found that they were illegal because they contained THC.
Andrius Bogusas must now appeal and more than a dozen similar cases are currently pending in the Irish courts.