The German Government is “leading the way” with its draft laws to legalise and regulate cannabis, according to one TD.
According to draft laws from the German Government, adults could possess up to 25 grams of cannabis and cultivate three plants for their own personal use.
German journalist Thomas Sparrow told The Pat Kenny Show people would be required to join “cannabis social clubs” to grow their own.
Mr Sparrow said the Government expects the law could become official by the end of the year.
“There is a very big debate in the country and a lot of opposition to the plans,” he said.
“Opposition and several organisations say these plans are irresponsible, would drive up consumption, would create mental and physical problems.”
People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny told the show Germany is “leading the way” for other countries to also draft its own laws legalising cannabis.
“We’ve had six decades of cannabis prohibition and that essentially hasn’t worked,” he said.
“We need to do something that we haven’t done before and look at more regulations than driving it underground.
“Cannabis will be used whether it’s legal or not, but at the moment there’s no regulation and the black-market controls cannabis.
“Are we saying we should allow that to happen?”
'Exaggeration' of health benefits
Addiction specialist Dr Bobby Smith said attitudes towards drugs have softened as the “cannabis legalisation lobby” encourages people to “disrespect the law”.
“People's perception of the risk of cannabis particularly has declined,” he said.
“The messaging from the cannabis legalisation lobby is cannabis is low risk, and there’s massive exaggeration to the medical benefits of cannabis.
“This is 2023, we don’t prescribe plants.”
While a chemical in cannabis might help children with severe epilepsy, the plant itself is not a form of medicine, according to Dr Smith.
Dr Smith also said we need to accept there is always going to people who break the law rather than accommodating them.
“There's always going to be someone who drives without their seatbelt,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean we’re going to legalise it.”
Deputy Kenny said countries that have legalised cannabis report less issues with drug use.
“If you have more regulation and you have control over a substance, then you have better authority over it,” he said.
“If people want to keep criminalising others for using cannabis, put them through court, they better be able to say their system works.”
Find more information about cannabis use in Ireland here.