There is no link between the strictness of Ireland’s drug laws and teenage cannabis use, according to a new study.
The international study, which appears in the latest International Journal of Drug Policy, contradicts previous research showing that young people are less likely to use cannabis in countries with strict anti-cannabis laws like Ireland.
It suggests the criminalisation of cannabis use has little or no impact on the decision of young people to use the drug.
There is no “statistically significant association between policy ‘liberalisation’ and higher odds of adolescent cannabis use”, it states.
The research is likely to play a significant role in the ongoing debate on the decriminalisation of cannabis and other drugs in Ireland.
A working group established by the Government is currently examining whether possession of small amounts of illegal drugs should be dealt with outside the criminal justice system.
It is understood