iReach Insights Press Release
16th October 2019
77% adults think Ireland should invest in growing medical marijuana, and half (52%) think recreational marijuana should be legalised.
3 in 4 believe growing medical marijuana in Ireland will give patients who use it cheaper and easier access
Top reasons against recreational marijuana legalisation were that marijuana is a gateway drug (68%) and addiction (60%)
Those aged 18-34 are twice as likely (59%) as those 55+ (29%) to support expunging criminal records if marijuana were legalised
Recent discussions concerning cannabis use causing health problems and discussions of legalisation of marijuana (medicinal and recreational) in Ireland have overtaken news outlets, with many speculations surrounding how current government will deal with legislation on this issue. With this in mind, iReach Insights conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,001 adults in Ireland on opinions on the legalisation of cannabis.
3 in 4 adults (77%) believe Ireland should grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. The majority of respondents (64%) believe individuals use marijuana for medicinal purposes, with other primary reasons being relaxation (59%) and social-smoking (57%). Of those who believed medical marijuana should be grown in Ireland, 3 in 4 believed it should be grown locally to give patients who use it cheaper access (75%) and easier access (75%). Of those who thought medical marijuana shouldn’t be grown, people believed it would make Ireland a hotspot for crime (51%) and would give Ireland a bad reputation (42%).
52% of adults think Ireland should legalise recreational marijuana, with men (57%) being 10% more likely than females (47%) to want recreational marijuana legalised. Of those aged over 55, only 32% think marijuana should be legalised for recreational purposes.
The top three reasons in support of legalising recreational marijuana were: 1. Regulation for consumer safety (68%), 2. Decreased crime rates (46%), and 3. Economic boost (45%). The primary reasons against recreational legalisation were: 1. Marijuana is a gateway drug (68%), 2. Addiction (60%), and 3. Brain damage from marijuana use (56%).
47% believe that those currently in prison for cannabis-related crimes should have their records expunged post-legalisation, with those aged 18-34 being twice as likely (59%) to support this decriminalisation as those 55 and above (29%). The main argument for expunging is that if it becomes legal, people in prison for it are no longer criminals (69%). The main argument for maintaining criminal records post-legalisation is that, even if it were to be made legal later, when they were arrested it was still illegal (69%).
iReach Insights provides a range of research and market intelligence services in Ireland and Europe. iReach has built a Consumer Decisions Research Panel of 40,000 members in Ireland, delivering robust research insights. The survey questions were included in the Nationally Representative iReach Consumer Decisions Omnibus run between the 20th-27th of June and has a 3% Confidence Interval and 95% Confidence Level.
Questions asked of participants:
Do you think marijuana should be legalised for recreational purposes?
Why do you think it should/shouldn’t be legalised for recreational purposes?
Why do you think people use marijuana?
If marijuana were legalised for recreational purposes, should those in prison for marijuana usage offenses in the past be released/cleared of charges?
Why do you think this?
Do you think Ireland should grow medical marijuana?
Why do you think Ireland should/shouldn’t grow medical marijuana?
iReach Insights Limited – Temple Hall, Temple Road, Blackrock, CO. Dublin, IRELAND.
iReach Managing Director: Oisin Byrne
T: 01-214 3740 or email:
T: 01-214 3740 or email: