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Minister: I keep an eye on cannabis legalisation in other countries (And yes, I've tried it)

Junior health minister Alex White says he does not think full legalisation is on the cards, but that Ireland should “maintain an open mind”.

Video / YouTube

Video: Michelle Hennessy/

JUNIOR MINISTER ALEX White has said that he does not think Ireland is in a position to fully legalise cannabis but that he keeps “a very close eye” on what’s happening internationally.

The Labour leadership contender was speaking in a wide-ranging interview with where he responded to several readers’ questions including one about his position on cannabis legalisation – an area that he has ministerial responsibility for.

White said that while he tracks developments in the US and South America, where some states and countries have legalised the drug, he does not believe that full legalisation is the way to go as those who work in psychiatric and addiction support services believe it would be “a bad idea”.

However, he said that Ireland “should maintain an open mind towards international developments”.

He also said that a lot of the cannabis that is available in Ireland is “an awful lot stronger” than what people would have used in the 70s and 80s when he was a student.

“There’s a lot of really very, very dangerous stuff out on the streets, so the notion of legalising that I would find abhorrent, to be honest with you,” he said.

We also asked the Minister if he smoked cannabis when he was in college. Watch the video above for his answer.

Later today on More from our interview with Alex White where he answers your questions on Labour’s mistakes in government and whether he has been hurt by leadership rival Joan Burton.

Originally published 8.15am

Alex White: Right now, a reasonable person could conclude that Kenny sacked Callinan

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