The Government has issued a legal notice to cannabis campaigners, in a bid to stop them trying to challenge the legalisation of the drug in Ireland.
The Government’s action is part of a series of moves aimed at stopping legalisation in the EU, which are expected to be implemented this month.
The notice will allow cannabis campaigners to seek clarification on the legal framework for cannabis in Ireland, as well as seek legal advice on how the Government intends to proceed with its legal framework.
“The Government has taken the action of informing and consulting with the Irish Medical Association (IMA) and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and will consult with those organisations on the implementation of this notice in the light of this process,” the Government’s notice states.
It goes on to say that, as part of this consultation, the Government will consider the possible impacts on the Irish economy and its citizens.
The decision comes after a hearing in Dublin’s Supreme Court on January 18, where the Government was given time to present its case.
The Minister for Justice Michael McGrath said he believed the legal advice given by the IMA and ICCL was accurate, and he would consider the legal implications of the Government decision.
“As the Irish government, we believe that the use of cannabis should be made available to all Irish people free from any risk or impediment to the public good, and that it should be used responsibly,” he said.
“However, the decision of the High Court of Justice to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for consideration, on the basis of the guidance given to us by the Irish Government, and on the evidence that we have presented, I believe that this is the best course of action.”
I also believe that we should take this opportunity to consider the views of the Irish medical community, who have given their full support to this legislation and the medical professionals in the public sector who have provided their expertise to ensure the safety and quality of this medicine.
“The Minister also said the Government would consult with all stakeholders, including the legal community.
The case is being heard by Judge Mary Nolan, and will be heard at a hearing on March 22, in which a date has not yet been announced.
A spokeswoman for the IMC told The Irish News that it would not comment on the matter, and would not be commenting on any matters that are before the court.
However, it did say that the IMM will “not comment on any issue before the High Courts of Justice until the matter has been dealt with”.
A spokesperson for the Irish Cannabis Campaign said that they are looking forward to the hearing, but had not yet heard anything.”
We welcome the Minister’s move to consult with us and we will be seeking to have the matter heard in court,” said the spokesperson.