High Times; The Day Ireland Accidentally Legalised Ketamine

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On the tenth of March 2015 the Irish Government experienced a peculiar predicament in which they accidentally legalised such A-Class drugs such as Ketamine, Ecstasy, shrooms, Cathinone and various other substances for a period of forty-eight hours.

Yes, on this fateful day it was perfectly legal to possess and consume Ketamine in public. But it remained illegal to sell or supply such items. Also certain drugs such as Marijuana and Cocaine remained illegal, because they were nit part of the law that had been repealed that caused the loophole to take place.

The loophole in question came about during the attempt to repeal the conviction of a Slovenian Expat named Stanislav Bederev, who’d been living in Ireland for many years at the time. He was arrested for selling narcotics. However his lawyer argued that the drugs Stan was selling were, technically, not illegal under Irish law.

The case resulted in the evaluation and review of the 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act, which was later found to be unconstitutional by the Appeals Course. The reason being that the law did not go through the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) and therefore was not voted upon by the elected representatives, meaning that the people did not approve a law and thus rendered it unconstitutional.

So upon repealing this law, the grubby fuckers decided to set up a different law to replace it. However this law would take up to forty-eight hours to write, approve and vote upon- meaning that for a period of two days Class-A drugs were technically legal to possess and consume in the Republic of Ireland.

Now this situation is one of my favourite events in the recent history of Ireland purely because of the amount of banter and piss taking that resulted afterwards. I don’t think the craic was this high ever again afterwards- except for that one day in early 2016 in which RTE (Ireland’s state broadcaster) sent a Facebook alert to all of their followers saying that Mass (A Catholic Worshipping Ritual) was going to be televised that Sunday.

Now filming a worshipping ritual and televising it on state TV is perfectly normal in these parts of the British Isles. Hell, every day at six o’clock in the evening RTE televises a minute long clip which depicts various people hearing the Angelus bells (Daily Church Bells) and then proceeding to stop what they’re doing and look sad/self reflective in some kind of moment of prayer.

It’s a weird bizarre thing that we still do and I only became aware of how fucking stupid this little ritual was when one Twitter user pointed out how weird it will be for future Irish generations to look back and see such weird shite being televised.

So upon receiving a Facebook notification from RTE asking whether or not they will be attending Mass on Sunday, the little nation of Ireland collectively decided to take the sheer and utter piss out of it. Someone created a Facebook event simply titled; “Mass” which soon went viral. Randomers started posting jokes and memes into the group and it was glorious;

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The amount of Paedo jokes and Father Ted references was fucking hysterical.

What the page inadvertently showed us was the progression of the Irish people. Only a few decades previously did the Catholic Church have a stranglehold on the Irish Government. Such jokes would have been classified as Blasphemy in the 70’s. In the same year as the Government accidentally legalised drugs the people of Ireland decided to vote overwhelmingly in the support of equal marriage, an impressive spectacle if you consider that twenty-two years previously Homosexuality was still a criminalised. In the early eighties the Irish people had a referendum to criminalise abortion by placing an amendment in the Constitution and by this year that amendment has been repealed by an overwhelming majority.

But if you really want to see how much Ireland has changed in the last century, you only need to look so far as Literature. In the early 20th Century James Joyce went into a self induced exile as the people found his exceedingly dull short stories to be the mad ramblings of a pervert. But a century later, Blindboy from the Rubberbandits was able to publish a book of short stories that featured a scene in which Michael Collins fucked Eamon DeValera in the ass in the hopes of producing the next generation of Irish Super Soldiers.

If that’s not progress, then I don’t know what is.

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Now obviously there’s little to no recorded stories of individuals stories about this fateful day. The Irish times weren’t handing out editorials to people who got absolutely rode off on ecstasy for two days, the closest thing I could find to an actual narrative viewpoint was from this Vice article talking about how the people of Dublin celebrated the happy accident.

As for myself I, nor anyone I know, has any good stories about the fateful day. But if you do feel free to comment down below.

The whole story serves little to no purpose other than to remind yourself of better days, or at least what you perceive to be better days.

If anything it may- may– serve as an indictment on the War on Drugs and prohibition in general. Criminalising these substances does little for the public good. All it means is that addicts will pay more money for substances that are unregulated and far stronger than they ought to be. That money empowers gangs, dictators and perpetuates a cycle of chaos and destruction.

More people didn’t get high on this fateful day, it’s just that drug dealers felt a lot more comfortable than they ought to. The creepy guy in the corners of the club finally found some comfortable spotlight.

What I like about this day in general is that, through human error, anything is possible. It serves as both a joke and a cautionary tale. As for me it’s one of the fonder memories that makes me feel better in otherwise dark times. It’s kind of like how Fitzgerald put it in Gatsby; “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Nostalgia is one hell of a drug.

 

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