By Roland Sebestyén
The debate around recreational cannabis use has been hotting up in Ireland for a while now, and after leaving a cannabis plant at the Taoiseach’s doorstep, one campaigner had something to say.
The Irish Mirror reports that Martin Condon, a 31-year-old cannabis reform advocate and campaigner left a cannabis plant at the Taoiseach’s office in Cork to raise awareness and send a clear message.
He has vowed that he won’t stop with his campaign until cannabis is legalised in Ireland.
Mr Condon, who has completed a degree in herbal sciences, states that he uses cannabis every day. He was arrested for the possession of a small amount of cannabis when he was 17 and has revealed that he is willing to be locked up for his beliefs.
While Mr Condon is aware of the potential advantages of the drug, and he is strongly against the idea that cannabis could be a gateway drug, he also won’t deny the danger that comes with drug abuse.
He said: “There is also the potential for abuse. Educating the consumers about the uses of it as well as the dangers and harms can allow people to then make their own decisions, similar to with alcohol and tobacco and coffee.
“These are already drugs which are regulated and allowed and can be just as abused as cannabis.”
He has been campaigning for a regulated cannabis market in Ireland for more than a decade.
As part of Mr Condon’s recent campaign, he left a few cannabis plants here and there, including at the constituency office of the country’s leader Micheál Martin.
He added: “For me, it all began when I got caught with a bit of hash when I was 17. When I went home that evening I started to look up the law and the origins and history around it and I felt rather violated.
“I felt it was an injustice I had suffered. I have been campaigning for over 14 years now with like-minded friends for cannabis legalisation.
“If it was legalised it would do away with a lot of these gangs for sure if we can implement the right policies.
“If they legitimise it, if they set up and pay their taxes and pay their employees then there is no longer a criminal gang but a legitimate business.”
According to Irish law, recreational use is strictly forbidden while medical access is due to case-by-case approval by the Minister of Health.