Cannabis referendum to be expected if SSDP have their way

John Wilson, Garda Whistleblower, addresses attendees at SSDP Ireland's second annual conference.

DCU’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) are hoping to push for a referendum to be held on campus regarding DCU SU’s stance on the legalisation and regulation of cannabis in Ireland.

Speaking to The College View after successfully hosting SSDP Ireland’s second annual conference, DCU SSDP chairperson, Dan Kirby, said that they will push for signatures for the petition.

When asked if he thought NUI Galway’s recent referendum regarding their SU’s stance on cannabis could be a catalyst for other colleges, Kirby said that they hope to accomplish the same feat in DCU. “We hope to have it started as soon as possible. Our aim is to create a platform where people can talk openly and honestly about drugs without having stigma associated with it,” he said.

Just over a month ago NUIG SSDP recently gathered 500 signatures across campus in support of the cause which forced their SU to hold a referendum on the issue. 68% of students voted in favour of NUIG SU lobbying to advocate for the legalisation of the drug. 200 signatures are needed in DCU before DCU SU can put a referendum to the student body.

Ryan Morrison of NUIG SSDP told The College View that they hoped the referendum would prove to be the motivation for other universities and student unions’ across the country to follow suite.

“This is where the politicians will have to start listening. The colleges will act as the driving force for this issue,” he said.

Just under 100 people attended SSDP Ireland’s second annual conference which was held in The Helix last week. Cannabis legislation was the front running topic for the night but the event also hosted Garda Whistleblower, John Wilson, who spoke of the failure of successive governments’ drug policies.

“Throwing people in prison has solved nothing. Prohibition doesn’t work, and will not work.We need proactive leadership in relation to this issue,” he finished.

Finnian Curran
Image Credit: Norml Ireland

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