Law enforcement officials in Ireland on Sunday seized hundreds of pounds in “herbal cannabis” at a Dublin port, leading to the arrest of “a man in his 40s.”
According to a press release from the Irish Tax and Customs, revenue officers in the country “seized approximately 142kgs of herbal cannabis with an estimated value of €2.84 million at Dublin Port.” (That breaks down to about 313 pounds and $3.06 million).
“The illicit drugs were discovered when Revenue officers stopped and searched a vehicle which had arrived from France. A man in his 40s was arrested by An Garda Síochána [the national police service of Ireland] and is currently detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 at a Garda Station in Dublin,” the customs and tax office said, noting that investigations remain “ongoing.”
The release said that the seizure was “part of Revenue’s ongoing joint investigations targeting organised crime groups and the importation, sale and supply of illegal drugs,” and the agency urged any “businesses, or members of the public” to come forward if they “have any information regarding drug smuggling.”
An Garda Síochána orchestrated a similar bust on Friday in south Dublin. As part of an intelligence operation, officers “seized approximately 16kgs of herbal cannabis with an estimated value of €316,000,” which was “made as a result of a joint operation involving Revenue’s Customs Service, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) and the Terenure District Drugs Unit.”
“A woman in her 30s was arrested by An Garda Síochána and is currently detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 at a Garda Station in South Dublin. Investigations are ongoing,” the tax and customs office said in a press release.
And on Thursday, revenue officers “seized approximately 54kgs of herbal cannabis with an estimated value of €1,080,000 in Dublin.”
‘“The seizure was made as a result of a joint operation conducted by Revenue’s Customs Service, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) and the DMR North Central Divisional Drug Unit,” the press release said.
Recreational cannabis is illegal in Ireland, as per An Garda Síochána’s official website: “It is an offence to cultivate, import, export, produce, supply and possess cannabis except in accordance with a Ministerial Licence. Policy to date has not permitted the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes and no licences have been issued for this activity.”
The website notes that the Irish government “has no plans to legalise cannabis.”
There are reform-minded Irish lawmakers who would like to end the prohibition, however. Last year, a bill was introduced in Irish parliament that sought to legalize cannabis for “adults of at least 18 years of age to possess up to 7 grams of cannabis or 2.5 grams of cannabis resin (hashish),” according to Forbes.
The bill did not “include the sale of cannabis products or the cultivation of cannabis plants for personal use,” according to Forbes, which means that “cannabis users will likely continue to purchase cannabis from the illegal market.”
If the bill were to pass and become law, it would change the so-called Misuse of Drug Act, the 1977 law that enshrined the prohibition on cannabis in Ireland.