Dáil debates

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Cannabis Regulation: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]


8:25 pm

Photo of Luke FlanaganLuke Flanagan (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Independent) | Oireachtas source

The Institute of Medicine in Washington DC issued a report on various aspects of cannabis, including the so-called gateway theory, in which it stated that there is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of cannabis are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs. The Netherlands Institute of Mental Health has stated "As for a possible switch from cannabis to hard drugs, it is clear that the pharmacological properties of cannabis are irrelevant in this respect."

It is also worth noting that in the Netherlands where one can openly purchase cannabis the lifetime usage rate for cocaine is 1.9%, whereas the figure for the United States which until two years ago had some of the most penal sanctions in the world for cannabis use is 16.2%. It seems the Dutch system makes it seven to eight times less likely that one will go on to use an exceptionally destructive drug, namely, cocaine. One would imagine that this was good news.


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