Over 90% of people in Ireland support further legalisation of medical cannabis according to a new survey.
Research commissioned by Irish news website The Journal.ie found widespread support for liberalising the country’s strict controls on cannabis-based treatments.
Ireland has only limited access to medical cannabis products, with decisions made on a case by case basis for a small number of conditions where it can be shown other methods have not been successful.
The trial Medical Cannabis Access Programme has some significant political support – but many voters want the government to go further and faster.
According to the survey, 93% of respondents support access to medical cannabis and just 4% of people support an outright ban.
A little over a third of respondents support recreational legalisation on top of medical.
There was a clear age divide in the responses with younger voters favouring a more liberal position – but a clear majority of over 55s still supported medical access reform.
The research was carried out between May 6-12 by marketing and polling firm Red C on behalf of the news organisation.
Responding to the survey, Nicole Lonergan of the Cork Cannabis Activist Network said: “Although this was a private survey, only open to registered Red C members, it is overwhelmingly clear that cannabis needs to be legalised in Ireland, for both adult-use and medical purposes.
“Cannabis is a wellness product first and foremost, and intent for use is down to personal responsibility of the consumer.
“It is morally wrong to deny legal access to this often life-saving natural commodity, while putting those who need it most in danger of being criminalised or consuming contaminated products obtained from an illegal market where testing and labelling isn’t required.
“This is putting approximately one fifth of the Irish population at risk each year, including children. I am calling on the Irish government to act and to legalise cannabis in Ireland.”