Free industrial hemp from drugs legislation #420 @DonnellyStephen

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Ireland’s Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 controls the use of industrial hemp in Ireland, and is for the benefit of the Minister for Health. We call on Stephen Donnelly, TD, Minister for Health in Ireland, to update the Misuse of Drugs Act so that industrial hemp does not fall within its scope. In aligning our policy towards industrial hemp with European Union standards, we will unleash the potential of hemp to create thousands of jobs in Ireland, and play a leading role in our race to become carbon neutral.

Ireland’s Misuse of Drugs Act puts industrial hemp in with heroin!

Section 7 of the Interpretation of the Act is mind-boggling (link below):

17.—(1) A person shall not cultivate opium poppy or any plant of the genus Cannabis except under and in accordance with a licence issued in that behalf by the Minister.

(2) Every person who cultivates opium poppy or a plant of the genus Cannabis in contravention of subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

MISUSE OF DRUGS ACT 1977
REVISED
Updated to 27 December 2021
IRELAND

Heroin/opium destroys lives and causes death. Cannabis, when used recreationally, has not caused a single death in all of human history. Cannabis has huge medical potential, and the world is relaxing recreational cannabis laws because the evidence is clear: cannabis is far less harmful to human health and society than alcohol. Germany is working towards legalising adult-use cannabis, so we hope that the rest of the EU follows.

Targeting the genus is too broad

In much the same way as all dogs have the same DNA but have been separated into different breeds by their traits, industrial hemp and recreational cannabis have the same plant DNA but have been separated into different varieties by human breeding. Industrial hemp has no narcotic effects whatsoever, and its use as an industrial fibre, biofuel, and bioplastic crop should in no way be legally controlled by the same legislation that controls heroin. Consider how we deal with dangerous dog breeds.

Our proposed amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act

17.—(1) A person shall not cultivate opium poppy or any plant of the genus Cannabis not in the European Union list of approved industrial hemp varieties, except under and in accordance with a licence issued in that behalf by the Minister.

(2) Every person who cultivates opium poppy or a plant of the genus Cannabis in contravention of subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

How we think it should read. But by all means get the lawyers in.

Ireland should follow EU law, not outdated British law

The Misuse of Drugs Act is influenced by the British Pharmacopoeia Act 1931, which may as well be from another planet. Let’s be progressive. Unleash the potential of industrial hemp for Irish farmers, entrepreneurs, and environmental activists. Let’s act, time’s running out.

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Learn more

Irish Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, with a lot of revisions to 2021

European Commission list of approved EU hemp varieties, including for CAP support

LA Times on 420 origin story

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