Centro de Documentação da PJ
Analítico de Periódico

CD 338
RÁLAIGHT, Chris Ó., e outro
We don’t have any answers within the current framework [Recurso eletrónico] : tensions within cannabis policy change in Ireland / Chis Ó. Rálaight, Sarah Morton
Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 22, n.1 (2022), p. 47-57
Ficheiro de 135 KB em formato PDF.


Purpose – International policy approaches to cannabis production and use are changing rapidly, and within the Irish context, alternatives to prohibition are being considered. This study aims to explore policymaker’s attitudes towards the decriminalisation and legal regulation of cannabis for recreational use in the midst of an unfolding policy process, examining the degree which a ‘‘policy window’’ might be open for the implementation of cannabis policy change. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews were held with eightkey informants within the policy field in Dublin, Ireland. Kingdon’s (2014) Multiple Streams framework was used to consider whether the problems, policy and political streams were aligning to support progressive policy change. Findings – Irish policymakers indicated broad support for the decriminalisation of cannabis. The legal regulation of cannabis received more qualified support. Existing policy was heavily criticised with criminalisation identified as a clear failure. Of particular interest was the willingness of policymakers to offer opinions which contrasted with the policy positions of their organisations. While a policy window did open – and close – subsequent governmental commitments to examine the issue of drugs policy in a more deliberative process in the near future highlight the incremental nature of policy change. Originality/value – This study provides unique insight into the opinions of policymakers in the midst of a prolonged period of policy evolution. A latent aspiration for historical policy change was situated within the realpolitik of more traditional approaches to policy development, demonstrating that the alignment of Kingdon’s (2014) problem, policy and political streams are essential for change in cannabis policy.