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is it legal to buy cannabis seeds in ireland

“Prohibition has been proven not to work,” says a spokesperson. “It is not getting us anywhere towards solving the problem, but just alienates smokers and leaves the control of supply in the hands of criminal gangs.”

Where the grass is greener

This week, Britain downgraded cannabis

This week, Britain downgraded cannabis. Where does Irish law stand on a drug used by one in five citizens, asks Shane Hegarty.

In Cannabiz, in Dublin’s Temple Bar, you can buy cannabis seeds that have been legally imported from the Netherlands. Smokers might recognise such popular varieties as Northern Lights and Skunk. The shop also does a legitimate trade in varyingly elaborate bongs. It is not against the law to sell any of these items, but it is to put them all together and grow or smoke drugs. Cannabiz has signs pinned on every counter warning customers that these are novelty items and that the shop does not, in any way, encourage people to break the law. In the twilight zone that is the attitude to cannabis in Ireland, Cannabiz and other such “head shops” scattered about Ireland sit, somewhat unsteadily, in the middle.

It is illegal to smoke cannabis, yet almost one-fifth of the population has done so. Smokers caught by gardaí might be arrested and strip-searched or, if lucky, only have their names taken. The law says that the drug is of no medicinal use and yet cannabis-based drugs are being tested here. It is illegal to grow it and yet four years ago Government-licensed hemp was grown in Co Carlow. And while some claim that the Irish law is a decade behind the UK, the Government says that the UK is catching up with us.

On Thursday, Britain downgraded cannabis to a Class C drug, meaning it will be on a par with illegal possession or trafficking of such controlled drugs as anabolic steroids or valium. Cannabis has not been legalised, but arrests for smoking cannabis are now discouraged and the maximum penalty, should the police decide to prosecute, has been reduced from five to two years.

While changing public attitudes are partly responsible for this reform, it has also been supported by the police, who had become frustrated by the resources allotted to dealing with the problem. It is estimated that, in London alone, 74,000 man-hours a year were lost to arresting dope-smokers. A trial run in Lambeth, south London, showed that reclassification meant police took just 10 minutes to deliver a formal warning rather than four hours to process an arrest.

The Irish Government, however, is not about to follow suit. For a start, the classification system is different here. As a Schedule One drug, it is considered to have little or no use in medicine or industry and is very strictly controlled. Possession for personal use is punishable by a fine for the first or second conviction, and possible imprisonment for any further convictions.

Noel Ahern, Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, insists that British law is actually catching up with ours, that there is already discretion given to both gardaí and the courts.

“We’re quite happy with how the law stands,” he says. “In the UK, even after reclassification, in theory you can still get a tougher prison sentence than here, so in many ways they are more or less coming into line with how we are.”

The Irish courts are quite lenient on recreational drugs, with the district courts giving prison sentences in only 22 out of 363 cases relating to minor summary drugs offences in 2002. Yet cannabis is the target of approximately 75 per cent of all drugs seizures here, tying up an enormous amount of Garda hours in the process.

“It is by far the most widely used drug, so there’s bound to be more police time given to it,” argues Ahern. “But the vast bulk of that is in relation to dealers rather than the small quantities for personal use. It depends on whether someone is flaunting it, puffing in your face or whatever, but it is not the end of the market that gardaí concentrate on.”

According to a Garda source, the level of discretion used when dealing with recreational smokers is subjective, depending on the eagerness of the gardaí in question to pursue a conviction. Any cannabis seized has to be sent for analysis, and this factor, coupled with the time needed to process the arrest, means that gardaí will often decide not to arrest. There are those, though, who will go the distance even on minor offences, even if they suspect that perpetrators are not involved in any other illegal activities.

According to the press office of An Garda Síochána, meanwhile, gardaí “implement the law as provided and are not involved in the proposal of new legislation”.

Cannabis Ireland Alliance (CIA) is the leading pro-legalisation group, its website leading with Daniel O’Connell’s aphorism that “nothing is politically wrong that is morally right”. It includes information (on bad cannabis currently on the market) and articles, including one that takes Bertie Ahern to task for asserting that “marijuana is the most addictive drug of all”.

CIA is calling not only for a review of the laws in light of the UK changes but for a move to the Amsterdam model of legalisation in order to take control away from criminal gangs and make the drug taxable. At the moment, it says, otherwise law-abiding people are being criminalised.

“Prohibition has been proven not to work,” says a spokesperson. “It is not getting us anywhere towards solving the problem, but just alienates smokers and leaves the control of supply in the hands of criminal gangs.”

CIA has so far got little change out of politicians, who see nothing much to gain from the issue.

“There’s a stigma attached to cannabis,” says the spokesperson. “We wouldn’t argue that most people think it should be legalised, but when you look at the big picture you see it hasn’t worked. Besides, this week you can walk around the North with a lump of hash in your pocket without being arrested. Where does it become morally wrong? Is it when you go an inch across the Border at Newry and smoke then?”

That does pose questions for Border police, although the Northern Ireland Office says that the law will be implemented in the same way there as in the rest of the UK, even though, uniquely, cannabis is the most problematic drug in the region. It adds that reclassification does not mean it will ease off on tracking major smugglers and that there is already a high-level of co-operation between the authorities North and South. This week’s record seizure of £2.75 million worth of cannabis in Hillsborough was tracked from Spain, through Dublin and across the Border. However, the change in the law may be a headache at a time when a major advertising campaign is warning of the dangers of drug-driving. A quarter of dead drivers in Northern Ireland are found with drugs in their system.

There may, though, be instances in which the Irish law will need to adapt. It says that cannabis has no use in medicine or industry, yet the Government has sanctioned the growing of cannabis for use in textiles and as a fuel resource. Between 1997 and 1999, Teagasc’s Crops Research Centre in Co Carlow grew hemp over a couple of acres, having been given a licence to do so by the Department of Justice. The crop contained little of the active ingredient, so would not have got any smoker high. Teagasc concluded that hemp could be cultivated successfully, as it was in the early 1900s, when three-quarters of the world’s paper and the majority of its twine, rope, ship sails, rigging and nets were made from hemp fibre. But the machinery needed to harvest the crop is no longer easy to find, and there have been no further trials.

Meanwhile, since 2002, the Department of Health and the Irish Medicines Board have sanctioned two trials of a cannabis-based drug for use in cancer pain relief, one at a hospice in Co Cork, the other at Waterford Regional Hospital. There is a growing acceptance of the drug’s ability to ease the effects of multiple sclerosis, AIDS, some cancers, and the side-effects of chemotherapy. At present, those using cannabis for pain relief are forced to buy it on the street. However, the Government does not believe that any change in the drug’s medical status should be tied in to wider legalisation.

“Even if we were to eventually allow cannabis to be used for medical purposes, that is a million miles away from legalising it for recreational use,” says Noel Ahern. “It is harmful to health too; there is no doubt about that. If tobacco were illegal today, no country would legalise it purely from a health point of view. That health issue is overriding.”

The Government will not entertain thoughts of going down the Dutch route. In the UK, it has been estimated the “cannabis economy” is worth £5 billion in sales alone. Add to that the associated extras of munchies, pipes, tobacco and video games, and that figure rises to £11 billion. The Irish cannabis economy might not reach that level, but with Customs and Excise intercepting €9.5 million worth of cannabis in 2003 without halting the drug’s widespread availability, a lot of money is spent on a drug that could reap a lot of revenue for the State.

The developments in Britain may at least kick-start Irish debate. Both the Green Party and Labour have called for a rethink. The Labour education and science spokesman, Joe Costello, says: “All drugs are lumped in together as if there is no difference, but we have to make the distinction between cannabis and heroin. We need to open up the debate and talk about it in a meaningful fashion, as we do with cigarettes and alcohol. We should be looking at policing, medical issues, profits gained by criminals.”

With or without debate and regardless of the law thousands of people in Ireland will this weekend light up joints, knowing they are breaking the law but convinced they’re doing nothing wrong.

Also in Ireland you will find many home growers who would like to grow a few plants. For example outdoors in the garden or in a h >Growing weed in ireland outdoors is therefore challenging.

Cannabis seeds Ireland: the law and the best for outdoors!

Also in Ireland you will find many home growers who would like to grow a few plants. For example outdoors in the garden or in a h >Growing weed in ireland outdoors is therefore challenging.

Although no marijuana species is invincible, growers should be well informed about the type of seed so that they choose a species that is suitable for the climate of Ireland. However, the climate is not the only thing that you have to take into account. Also the law is important. Are you curious about what you should pay attention to and which cannabis seeds you can choose best for growing outdoors? Then read this blog about cannabis seeds Ireland.

What should you take into account when you plant cannabis seeds (outdoors) in Ireland?

Different points of interest apply for breeding in Ireland. Do you want to prevent problems? Then check the most important points of attention below.

The law

Many of our visitors from Ireland wonder if cannabis seeds are legal. The answer is actually quite simple. Cannabis seeds are legal but cannabis itself isn’t. Both the possession and sale of cannabis seeds is therefore completely legal and doesn’t fall under the drugs law as long as they are not germinated. Germinating the seeds and growing cannabis plants is in fact prohibited unless you have a permit from the Minister for Public Health. We therefore only sell the seeds as a souvenir. Do you decide to germinate the seeds? Then this is totally on your own risk.

Germination and first phase

Most growers will germinate their seeds in April so that they are ready for spring vegetation. However, in Ireland you should not plant your seeds too early. Especially since you may still have to deal with night frost like in Northern Ireland . It’s therefore advisable to keep a close eye on the weather before you start the germination process. Moreover, because a seedling is still very susceptible to bad weather and infections it’s advisable to germinate and grow the seeds indoors the first 2 to 3 weeks before you move the plant outside. By carrying out the first phase of the plant indoors you considerably increase the chance of a successful cultivation.

To tackle it even better, we advise you to get your plant used to the outside conditions. You can do this by placing the plant outside for a few hours every day for the first 2 to 3 weeks. Build the number of hours outside slowly until your plant is fully accustomed.

Rain and mold

Although the terpenic compounds of the cannabis plant work as an anti-fungal, this is not indefinite. The climate of Ireland must be taken seriously for in order to reduce the risk of mold and top rot. We therefore advise you to grow your plants in pots with holes at the bottom. In this way the excess water can easily drain away. In addition, you can easily move the plant indoors when the weather gets really bad. Finally, you will have to check your plants regularly for signs of water stress and top rot. You can also reduce the chance of mold by growing in a greenhouse.

Which species are best for the (northern) climate of Ireland?

Due to the limited sunlight, you need a variety without too much shadowing so an indica species is an obvious choice. This species originated in cold and mountainous climates and is therefore also suitable for the climate of Ireland. The broad leaves ensure that the light is well captured and the layer formation acts as insulation.

Top 3 best cannabis seeds in Ireland

You can of course choose all types for indoor growing, but if you grow outdoors and choose an unsuitable species for the climate of Ireland, growing can become very difficult. Choosing the right species is therefore very important. Think for example of a species with a high fungal resistance and a short life cycle. So what are the best weed seeds to grow outdoors in Ireland for a successful outdoor grow? Check the best weed strains below.

1. Blue Cheese auto

Although this species has a slightly longer flowering time than an average autoflower, the Blue Cheese is very suitable for the climate of Ireland. Moreover, the plant doesn’t grow that tall so you can grow unnoticed. Blue Cheese is known for its fairly calming effect and is a wonderful weed for daily use. In addition, easy to grow and a nice outdoor harvest that can reach up to 400 grams per m2.

2. AK 47 (auto)

As mentioned earlier in this article, a short cycle is very important for a successful outdoor breeding in Ireland. Autoflowers are therefore a good choice anyway. The AK 47 autoflower has a high mold resistance, will develop a strong trunk and is ready for harvest within 3 months. If you plant the seeds at the beginning of May, you can already harvest at the end of July or the beginning of August.

3. White Widow (auto)

The White Widow is such a species that can actually be grown in almost any climate and produces a good yield even under the most miserable conditions. Therefore the White Widow should certainly not be missing in this overview. Again technically we recommend the autoflower for Ireland, but the feminized seeds are also suitable. Especially if you have some grow experience. The choice is yours!