Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Cannabis Regulation: Motion [Private Members]
I have listened very carefully to Deputies Flanagan, Maureen O'Sullivan and others and we must listen to one another. We must have regard to what is happening internationally but we cannot exclude from the debate completely the very genuine and serious risks that exist to health, as set out in recent days, for example, by a number of psychiatrists and other professionals working in the field in the context of this debate. We should not exclude any party from the discussion or any reasoned argument. If we are to respect one another's perspective, we must listen to all arguments made on every side.
There is no reality in the suggestion that there is no down side or potential negative consequences arising from legalisation of cannabis, and it is not credible for Deputy Flanagan or anybody else to suggest it. I know he must put forward his argument with all the force he can muster but he must have regard to the case against him and the legalisation of cannabis. We should have the debate by all means, having regard to all the evidence and arguments. We should not imagine that taking the step Deputy Flanagan is advocating in his motion - I repeat there is no Bill - would not have a negative consequence, as it would do so.