During Leaders’ Questions, which were taken by Fine Gael Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin raised the issue of medicinal cannabis.
Mr Martin said the Health Minister Simon Harris promised two years ago to introduce a “compassionate access scheme” to medicinal cannabis for people in certain circumstances.
He said now, two years later, as there is no such scheme, this represented the “absence of compassion itself” for people who are seeking to access medicinal cannabis legally.
He said “many” are accessing it illegally which presents its own “dangers”.
Mr Martin paid tribute to Cork mum Vera Twomey (top), who had to spend time in the Netherlands, but said there are other families “under stress and strain”.
He said 12 people in Ireland now have a licence to obtain CBT THC – for which they must travel, mainly to the Netherlands.
Mr Martin said he received a letter – which he said “a bit disingenuous towards the end” – from Minister Harris yesterday.
He said the letter suggested the Government has no control over commercial operators and it has no power to compel companies to get involved.
Mr Martin said nobody ever alleged this was the case but said what’s needed is proper engagement with the companies.
He also said, contrary to what the letter said, he knows that there has been engagement with a company/companies and that it would be possible for a company to supply medicinal cannabis in the first quarter of 2019 if “intensive engagement” between the HPRA, the Department of Health and companies took place.
Economist Dan O’Brien spoke about the benefits of legalising cannabis.
“People are getting sick because they take drugs, just as people are getting sick because they drink too much or abuse alcohol.
“We tax alcohol, a lot of money is raised from alcohol. We’re not currently taxing drugs. We tax the drugs so we can pay, we’ve more resources to pay for the health outcomes…
“...I would say tax it heavily. Don’t tax it to the point where the gap between the price in a shop and the price from a dealer is such that people do go to the dealer. That needs to be considered, just as it does need to be considered with smoking and alcohol.
“But a lot of money could be raised on this.
“I think, overall, people would prefer to buy something from a pharmacy that they know is a reliable product than to buy it from some dodgy guy on a corner in a bag that they don’t even know what they’re getting.”
This documentary is directed, produced and narrated by concerned citizens Robbie Gannon, Lorraine Kennedy and Terry McMahon.
The testimonies you will see and hear are passionate pleas by our Irish people for clemency and the right to have medical cannabis to deal with their own condition.
These 10 brave souls you will see and hear are the voice of thousands of other Irish people who suffer in silence.
Vera Twomey’s daughter Ava has a rare form of epilepsy that can cause up to 20 seizures a day.
Dave Kelly has a form of motor neuron disease.
Kenny Tynan suffers with a brain tumor.
An anonymous mother talks about aggressive chemotherapy that her son went through. She heard Simon Harris (Minister of Health) talk about a license process where chemo patients could apply for such a license. She could not however get a consultant to sign the application.
Patrick Bradley suffers with chronic pain.
Gerri Sparrow suffers with emphysema and asthma.
Stefano Speranza has chronic pain in his lower back through a work related injury
Dr Garrett McGovern is a GP and Addiction Specialist who is aware of a plant that patients use. These patients find this plant more beneficial than conventional drugs.
Mark Cleary’s mother in law Geraldine Martin suffered with pneumonia and a tumor on her lung.
Caroline Conlon is Alex Baizert’s fiancée who talks about Alex’s struggle as an activist who suffered with epilepsy. Alex passed last April. Please see his testimony here
What brings these ten ordinary people together is the extraordinary power of Medical Cannabis.
It’s a crying shame that these ordinary people have to go to extraordinary measures to get a medicine that should be freely available to them by our HSE.
The question now is, why do the Irish people still have to suffer in pain while the rest of the world has access to medical cannabis?
There is absolutely no logic for the continuation of such ignorance towards our people who need medical cannabis.
Please please look at this essential 37 minute documentary and then act accordingly.
There is no doubt in my mind that if we act together now we can force OUR government to sign into law this year 2018 that Irish citizens are entitled to choose medical cannabis as a form of medicine.
Not alone that. It should be freely available in Ireland to them. With the massive demand for medical cannabis all across the country jobs can be created and Irish businesses can prosper by helping our people who need and want this medicine.
We have pharmaceutical plants all over the country. So why don’t we have green houses for medical cannabis to be produced into medical cannabis oil.
This is logical thinking and should be encouraged rather than been ignored.
If you are suffering and you want to add your video testimony for the legalisation of medical cannabis then follow the link here to Patients Of Cannabis
A midnight ‘Bud Drop’ in Toronto to celebrate the passing of laws allowing recreational cannabis use in Canada
Recreational marijuana is now legal in Canada:
– Adults will be allowed to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public
– They can cultivate up to four plants in their homes
– And they can make products such as edibles for personal usehttps://t.co/WhPJzViX7s
Canada has became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana use, beginning a national experiment that will alter the country’s social, cultural and economic fabric, and present the nation with its biggest public policy challenge in decades.
Across the country, government-run stores were preparing to greet consumers, who will be able to choose among pre-rolled joints, fresh or dried marijuana flowers and cannabis oil — all of which are permitted under the new federal law.
Medicinal cannabis activist Vera twomey (above) and Minister for Health Simon Harris (top)
An open letter to Minister for Health Simon Harris from medicinal cannabis activist Vera Twomey, whose daughter Ava, a sufferer of Dravet Syndrome, secured a licence to use the oil to control her seizures.
Hi, it’s Vera here – Ava Barry’s mum. Just a quick update. Ava’s doing great, bit of an ear infection this week, but she’s rallying again, thank God.
As you know, I’m from a small little village called Aghabullogue [northwest County Cork]- fierce Fine Geal country, actually you would get a great welcome if you ever decided to pop by.
Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that down our way ordinary people like us are doing their research and all around the area people are using medical cannabis to heal their bodies and control and cure many serious conditions.
It’s great that people are able to find research and educate themselves on medical cannabis, isn’t it?
It would be of great benefit to all of us if our consultants and doctors were offered the opportunity to learn about medicinal cannabis its benefits and the appropriate dosage, etc. and we could work together for our better health.
I was wondering are you planning on doing anything of real value for us regarding this matter?
Aghabullogue is a fantastic spot you know but it’s very small i’m just pointing that out because there are communities all over the country much bigger than ours where people are using medical cannabis to improve their lives in massive numbers.
Remember I told you on the phone that time that you could do something really great for the people. I wonder were you listening or were you just annoyed to have to talk to that cheeky mare, aka me. well. Ether way you still could. I hope you decide to do so. We would be very proud of you to do so.
I also just wanted to let you know ill be calling in to see you there in the Dail in November with a few friends of mine Hannah Deacon Callie Blackwell and Danielle Davies.
They are great women Simon and help us, if you imagined I was firey, you’re not going to know what hit Dublin when these ladies arrive with the stories of how medical cannabis has saved their children’s lives.
So we hope we will see you there that day for a frank discussion. As they say it’s good to talk.
Seems to me it would be really a great plan to move the debate on medical cannabis back into the dail chambers for us and leglislate so ordinary people can get the medical support they need.
Interesting passage from a book published in 1844 about the medical uses of cannabis "Medicines, their uses and mode of administration" by Dr John Moore Neligan. I guess in 2018, we're still playing catch up. Note the part dealing with infantile convulsions. @broadsheet_iepic.twitter.com/ahycMinbHe
With 4/20 just around the corner, its time to put cannabis regulation firmly on the political agenda.
As the movement to regulate cannabis for both adult and medicinal use spreads across North America and beyond, it is time for the Irish government to chart a clear regulatory course that will transition an illicit market worth approximately €1Billion per annum into a regulated market.
If properly done, a regulated market could generate as much as €300 million in additional revenue for the state each year and create 15,000 new jobs by 2025.
Given developments elsewhere, and the real likelihood that European states such as the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta, the Czech Republic (not to mention Germany) will most likely regulate by 2021, can Ireland really afford to miss out by relying on outdated policies born out of ignorance and social conservativeism?
The economic and business case for Regulation of Cannabis for Medical and Adult use is now sufficiently strong to end the failed policy of prohibition and allow Ireland and Irish companies to participate in The Green Rush…