Green Party calls for introduction of Amsterdam-style cannabis coffee shops

The Green Party says current cannabis legislation makes criminals out of ordinary people.

The party has launched a campaign calling for the decriminalisation of the drug.

The party is proposing that people should be allowed possess a small amount of the drug, as well as the introduction of Amsterdam-style coffee shops.

According to the Green's proposals, a Government licence would be required to commercially cultivate cannabis plants - while personal cultivation would be restricted to "two plants per private residence".

Party spokesman Oliver Moran explained: "Ordinary people would be allowed to have up to five grams of cannabis in their possession or to use. People who would want to use cannabis for medical purposes would have access to it through their doctors.

"We're also calling for the introduction of coffee shops in Ireland, for Irish residents over the age of 18."

He added: “Our policy comes from an aspiration for harm reduction. The Dutch model, with regulated cultivation, is safer than what we have now.

"Many of the potential objections - such as addiction, teenage access, clarity on its medical impact and so on - are not addressed at all by the current system."

Last year, the Oireachtas Health Committee threw out a bill proposing to legalise cannabis for medicinal use.

Health Minister Simon Harris has announced plans to establishes a "compassionate access programme" for cannabis, where the drug would be made available to patients with specific conditions such as multiple sclerosis or severe epilepsy.

However, Deputy Gino Kenny has labelled the proposed scheme “hugely restrictive and totally unworkable.”

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