Florian, who's part of LCI Cork wrote this.
Taken from Here
According to the Central Statistics Office in the period of 2004 to 2007 there was a 24% decrease in drug importation(likely to the high prevalence of cannabis adulteration, considering that the drug was implicated in 49.6% of drug seizures in 2007 according to the NACD). This has been accompanied by a 14X increase in cultivation/manufacture offences( a shifting of supply), a 47.5% increase in sale and supply offences and a doubling of possession offences(in 2008 75% of cannabis prosecutions were for simple possession).
The European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drugs Addiction reports that the lifetime cannabis prevalence rate for Ireland is 21.9% this comes in comparison to Portugal which has a rate of 11.7%(10.3% below the European average although it favours decriminalisation policies). Concurrently, Portugal has a lower lifetime prevalence rate for cocaine, amphetamine, ecstacy and LSD(all the drugs reported on).
The difference between the two countries approaches. Portugal favours treatment for problematic users. Ireland favours criminalization of all users. Decriminalisation policies favour harm minimisation(e.g treatment, re-integration into society etc.). Criminalisation policies favour harm maximisation(prosecution, incarceration, stigmitisation etc.).
Whilst we argue the moral ambiguity of decriminalising cannabis, patients that are deriving benefit from this plant are treated as criminals, and without a regulated supply they are often victim to criminal enterprises that supply adulterated cannabis. This needs to change.