Social Affairs

Elaine Byrne: Anti-cannabis group has its say, but minister needs to listen to the other side

Frank Feighan, the minister in charge of the National Drugs Strategy, does not envisage legalising cannabis, but a legally regulated market would control what goes into cannabis, as well as generating revenue from taxes

An employee tending marijuana plants at Canopy Growth’s Tweed factory in Ontario, Canada: the cannabis sector has generated more than $15 billion in direct and indirect tax revenue for Canada since the drug was legalised in late 2018. Picture: Getty

In the last 20 years there have been two distinctive patterns of legislative change when it comes to cannabis: legalisation for medicinal use, and decriminalisation for recreational use. A third pattern is now definitely emerging, namely the establishment of a legally regulated market for personal use.

Malta became the first EU country to legalise the cultivation and personal use of cannabis last December. The German health ministry will present plans in the coming months to ...