What Politicians Said About Cannabis In 2011

Ahead of the 2011 general elections which elected the current government I contacted numerous parties and candidates about their views on regulating for the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis. Here you can find some of the replies I got back.

I intend to contact the parties and the candidates closer to the next general elections, due in under 18 months. So expect an updated version of this towards the end of next year. Perhaps even sooner if there is an early election.

I have also included the clips from the Newstalk and You Tube digital debate, which allowed the public to submit questions to be voted on, and then have 10 answered by the then political party leaders.

One question was about the legalisation of cannabis and you can see the responses below.


Fine Gael

“Fine Gael has no plans to legalise cannabis.”

Labour Party 

“Thank you for your message to the Labour Party. Just for the record as a Party we do not support the removal of the prohibition on Cannabis. We are not convinced that making legal another drug is beneficial for society.”

Socialist Party

“The answer is yes we oppose the prohibition of cannabis.”

Fís Nua

“Decriminalisation of recreational drug users, in line with the Portuguese model. Drug users would be treated sympathetically within the medical model with access to clean needles, health checkups and advice from medical personnel, access to counseling and rehabilitation programmes. Socially, this would go a long way to preventing backstreet dealership, robberies, health problems etc. We would also seek legislation in favour of the medicinal use of cannabis.”


Sean Kelly – MEP – Fianna Gael

“Thank you for getting in touch. I am not an expert on this area, and would have to listen to all sides and views before making up my mind. I am very concerned about the activities of drug barons, and the effects of drug abuse on society. As President of the GAA, I set up a programme which is operating throughout the GAA called ASAP (Alcohol & Substance Abuse Programme). Their views on this matter would be very important to me.”

Liam Aylward – MEP – Fianna Fail

“I am not in favour of this”

Feargal Quinn – Senator – Independent 

“I don’t agree!”

Charlie O’Connor TD – Fianna Fail

“We oppose the legalisation of cannabis. However, the Minister for Drugs said he would give consideration of the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use.”

Martin Ferris TD – Sinn Fein

“I am aware of various issues concerning the use of cannabis and its use for medicinal purposes. That needs to be looked at. However, I would not favour lifting the prohibition of cannabis use at the present time.”

Dan Boyle – Senator – Green Party

“I’d favour its relaxation for medicinal use.”

Bernard J. Durkan TD – Fine Gael 

“I’m sorry I do not agree with the lifting of the ban on cannabis.”

Eamon Gilmore TD – Leader of the Labour Party

“The situation is that at a previous Conference the Party agreed to look at this matter but no conclusion has been reached. At this stage therefore the Party does not have any proposal to change the law in this area.”

Maureen O’Sullivan TD – Independent 

“I am not into legalising mood altering drugs. However, I do thinkthere could be a case for it being medically prescribed for certain
illnesses where I understand it has been having some positive effects.”

Joe Higgins MEP – Socalist Party 

“The answer is yes we oppose the prohibition of cannabis.”

Dr.Bill Tormey – Councillor – Fine Gael 

“I think that all drugs should be licensed and quality controlled. If
adults are stupid enough to poison themselves, they should do this
with full knowledge and aforethought. The drugs war is lost and is
causing a huge amount of harm.”

Party leaders discuss cannabis legalisation:

As some of you may recall Newstalk asked the then party leaders a set of questions as voted on by the public. The legalisation of cannabis was one of those questions and here is what the then party leaders had to say

Enda Kenny

Eamon Gilmore

Gerry Adams

John Gormley

Michael Martin


2 thoughts on “What Politicians Said About Cannabis In 2011

  1. This is a joke… we can drink ourselves to death and alot of irish do… smoking causes cancer FACT! Ive got brain cancer so i can treat it with fegs and beer…. cannabis helps with brain cancer, boel cancer, breast cancer, epilipsy etc… i pay my taxes its my body have i not the right to life? Chemo and radio dont work for brain cancer FACT! decrimalize and allow individuals to grow their own and consume on their own property without risk of jail. I havent long so hurry up and get on with it. The usa is already on the ball as is half of europe people with cancer dont want to get high they want to getwell.


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