While marijuana is currently enjoying a new era of acceptability in the United States, the same is not true for much of Europe, where marijuana is still largely an illegal substance.
Ireland is no exception, with strict laws against possession, cultivation, distribution, and use of marijuana and any marijuana products or by-products. Despite several natural polls supporting the legalization of marijuana in Ireland — and the relative ease with which you can purchase marijuana in major cities, such as Dublin — the Emerald Isle is still woefully behind the times on legalization.
In 2006, Ireland made minor progress in removing marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 drugs, which includes extremely dangerous drugs such as heroin and cocaine, and separated out into a class by itself. While this has also resulted in less harsh punishments for possession of marijuana, it has done little to make marijuana users feel welcome in Ireland.
Irish law treats possession under a ‘three strikes’ system. The first arrest for possession generally result in either a warning or a fine of €1,270, or approximately $1,430 US. Second offense carries a fine of €2,540, or approximately $2,860 US. The third offense is treated much more seriously, with a fine to be set by the court and a prison sentence of up to three years.The penalties are much, much higher if the court suspects and can prove that the individual was in possession intended for sale or distribution.
Any travelers tempted to sample the local strains while visiting Ireland would be well advised to use extreme caution when using, possessing or attempting to purchase marijuana while visiting the country.
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