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Is Weed Legal in Ireland?

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

SPOILER ALERT! It's not. But what are the fines, when will it be legal, and is Ireland on any true path to legalization?

Cannabis Laws in Ireland as of 2021

Cannabis Legalization in Ireland has been a widely discussed topic internationally as countries around the world scurry to legalize or decriminalize cannabis in one form or another. Just this month, Mexico passed a bill legalizing full use of the marijuana plant, making it the third (and largest!) country in the world to do so. We've now seen Canada, Uruguay, Mexico, and 15 of the United States join the surge (with cannabis profits to show for it!)

According to Irish law Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, possession of cannabis, or any controlled substance, is fully illegal and can result in a class D fine -- a fine to not exceed €1000. But as of 14, December 2020, Garda can now handle minor cannabis infringements through the Adult Cautioning Scheme. This scheme is used as an alternative to prosecution where there is evidence that the person has committed the offense and where the prosecution of such an offense is not in the public interest. These infractions are not logged into the system. Essentially, your couple-a spliffs may not be a major issue, but if you're a multiple offender, you could still be slammed with a class D fine, and if you continue to egg on the law, you could face a class C fine that comes along with some time in the clinker, though still rather unlikely.

The path to legalization seems to be shifting into second gear. With the introduction of cannabis into the Adult Cautioning Scheme, Irish law maker's seem cautiously willing to press on, or at least turn a blind eye, but what is preventing Ireland from indoctrinating full-blown legalization? I'd love to hear your views on the subject because, without open discussion, we will all be stuck smoking our spliff alone in the shed.

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