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Billie Cohen / Yahoo
November 06, 2015

Ireland is already a pretty surreal place — all that green, all that history, all that myth, all that Guinness. But the Emerald Isle is about to get even more fantastical.

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Irish drugs minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is aiming to legalize the possession of small amounts of cocaine and cannabis for personal use. Granted, his effort is part of a larger aim to destigmatize addiction, complete with a plan to create safe environments for treating heroin users. As he told the Irish Times, “I am firmly of the view that there needs to be a cultural shift in how we regard substance misuse if we are to break this cycle and make a serious attempt to tackle drug and alcohol addiction." 

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This is a small step compared to the legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington state, where dispensaries can legally sell recreational bud. In Ireland, the sale and distribution of drugs would still be a crime — but the global trend toward legalization is definitely gaining momentum, and this could be a movement in that direction (Amsterdam has long been legal, various U.S. states are following suite, and Uruguay has a program now too).

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Noble goals aside, the legalization of pot could also be a huge boon for Ireland’s tourism industry. For comparison, marijuana was legalized in Colorado at the end of 2013 — and in 2014, the state saw a record number of tourists. (Tourism officials argue that weed wasn’t the only reason people were flocking to the state, but they have to say that, right?) A new industry of pot tourism has sprouted in Washington, too.

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While waiting to see if this proposal becomes a reality and where this first step might lead, Irish folks still have plenty to be happy about. Dublin was recently voted the second friendliest city in the world, and the video that VisitDublin made about the honor is nothing short of hilarious. Maybe the people behind it were smoking something?

This story originally appeared on Yahoo

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