Sources: rte.ie , cannabisireland.net
News from before meeting:
The Labour Party will debate a call for the legalisation of cannabis tomorrow - a move backed by the party's chief whip, Emmett Stagg.
But the real action at the party conference this weekend is expected to come when members discuss the fallout from the latest general election failures.
Eamon Gilmore will deliver his first party conference speech since becoming party leader in the Autumn.
Reopening the debate about the Labour 'brand', the party is setting up a group to look at where it is going and what direction it needs to take over the coming years.
Mr Gilmore says this "Commission on 21st Century Labour" will look at Labour's place and role in modern Ireland.
The group will examine and report on all aspects of the party's organisation, campaigning and political activity and make recommendations on its role.
The debate on party affairs is expected to touch on Labour's tactics in the past general election, the electoral strategy with Fine Gael and the party's failure to win extra seats.
Among the motions up for debate include a call to support the decriminalisation, regulation and taxation of the supply of marijuana and cannabis.
The motion put down by Naas branch in Kildare North is supported by the local TD, Mr Stagg.
The former Junior Minister said the legalisation of cannabis has been his position for quite some time.
A large group of people are using the drug, he added.
He said he was not encouraging people to use cannabis, just seeking to regularise a drug that is readily available right across the country.
As long as the drug remains criminalised, it is creating a massive amount of criminality and driving young people into the hands of drug dealers, Mr Stagg said.
"I'm advocating its control, standardisation, legitimisation and taxation. I am recognising the fact it is freely available.
"Everywhere you go it is available from criminals," he said.
Rejecting the claim that cannabis is a gateway drug which leads to users taking other substances, Mr Stagg said this is never supported by experts.
NEWS FOLLOWING THE DEBATE
Labour Party Ends Cannabis Debate
A contentious vote on decriminalising cannabis was avoided at the Labour Party conference when delegates voted to refer the subject to the National Executive for further consideration.
A motion from the Naas branch called for the decriminalisation, regulation and taxation of the supply of cannabis, with delegate Chris O'Neill saying the motion was about taking money off the drug barons.
However, most speakers opposed the motion
Justice Spokesperson Pat Rabbitte said it was wrong to think Ireland could act in isolation because if cannabis were decriminalised Ireland would become a "mecca" for users
He urged delegates to refer the motion back to the National Executive for further consideration, as it was clearly going to be defeated. The suggestion was accepted by 165 votes to 141