Meanwhile, Outside Leinster House

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from left: Gino Kenny,TD  Richard Boyd Barrett TD and Vera Twomey

This evening.

Molesworth Street, Dublin 2

A rally in solidarity with Vera Twomey and her seven-year-old Ava Barry who is suffering from a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.

Earlier this month, Ava’s mother Vera Twomey, walked  from Cork to the Dáil  to highlight her daughter’s need for THC-based cannabis oil to battle seizures.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health Simon Harriss this evening has asked a panel of doctors to draw up guidelines on how medicinal cannibis can be prescribed in Ireland.

Earlier: Free This Evening

Pics Niall Neligan

60 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Outside Leinster House

  1. Sheik Yahbouti

    Again – get to it Harris, and stop dumping the job onto others to cover your arse.

    1. Yep

      I strongly dislike Harris, but let’s not make it palatable for everyone else by piling on his plate alone.

      1. Rowsdower

        That’s what they do though, they spread the blame around. “Im dealing with the legacy of decisions made by previous minsters blah blah blah”

  2. Yep

    It’s hard not to fall into conspiratorial thought when this type of ruling faces so many obstacles.

    I have numerous elderly relatives who are fed some incredibly harmful substances in the name of pain relief.

    Making some ground, thankfully.

    1. bisted

      …I think if I knew anyone who was in chronic pain and suffering I wouldn’t be asking a blueshirt spoofer like Harris for permission to aleviate that suffering…

      1. anne

        I think yer mixing up joints and medical marijuana- THC oil. The THC would be in minute quantities. It’s not about getting weed yourself for a child, rather than ‘asking Harris’.

        1. Owen

          You can buy oil illegally… I’ve, eh, been told. However, yes, dosage is not very easy to monitor. My main aim with the oil is to find a dosage between smiling and being a complete vegetable. Its a large spectrum where much more personal research is needed. I’ll revert back to you on it in time….. pending success.

          1. anne

            What makes you think you’ll be smiling. Youre thinking of smoking the stuff it seems. different kettle of fish.

            ah go way.

          2. Owen

            No, same kettle of fish. I’ve actually put the oil on fish before. And other foods. But yes, In weaker times I’ve dipped a cigarette in it, let it dry, and danced with the deeper levels of my thoughts.

    2. anne

      Eh because she could be arrested. Because she wouldn’t be a professional who knows what dosage to administer. Because she wouldn’t know exactly what she’s getting online. eh because it’s illegal and she wants the law changed to be reflective of what other countries are doing – i.e. Germany. Because her daughter cant travel.

      Why do women who can get an abortion pill online fight for women to have proper access to abortion when they need it, without being criminalized?

      1. Owen

        Makes perfect sense. But if I was in the same position I would be importing the oil in a coffee bag from Amsterdam every week and administering it myself (again, I’ve, eh, been told this is possible). Yes, fight the fight, I 100% agree, but also end the childs suffering. Finding the dosage and how to administer is merely a case of a bit of research.

        1. anne

          Let’s forget about fighting any cause when you can go the illegal route shur.

          Cost may be a factor also btw.

          1. Fweed

            @Anne. Speaking on behalf of the ‘Fweed Crowd’ you mentioned in one of your replies. We support full legal regulation of Cannabis for medicinal, and individual use, and to that end we are currently working on a policy document which will include a draft bill to further that objective.

            We’re fully supportive of Vera’s campaign to gain access for medicinal cannabis for her daughter Ava. Whilst we see the current bill for the Regulation of Cannabis for Medical use as flawed (it was poorly drafted) we fully support Gino Kenny’s work in trying to navigate it through the Oireachtas with the requisite amendments. When Gino launched his Bill last July, we were actually working on our own Regulation of Cannabis (Medicinal & Scientif Use) Bill which we had hoped to initiate in April of this year. However, we parked it pending the outcome of Gino’s Bill.

            Notwithstanding, that the current bill is limited, We are mindful of the pressing need for patients with serious illnesses having access to medicinal cannabis, if Gino’s Bill achieves this and more quickly then it’s a positive step forward. However we were less than impressed with the findings of the report Simon Harris commissioned from the HPRA, it leaves a lot to be desired.

            Either way, unlike some of the caucuses and lobby groups who are ‘incrementalist’ (some only want to restrict it to medical) we have always favoured full legal regulation as our preferred destination point.

    3. Rowsdower

      I bought some weed a few weeks back that was utter rubbish, from a fairly reliable guy.

      Its not like they can just file a complaint with customer service if they get burned.

  3. Shayna

    If something as accessible as a joint eases the pain – Jesus, do the math, as they say in the States.

    1. anne

      She’s not looking for joints for her child..jesus do some research like.
      CBD oil / THC oil in minute regulated legal dosages is not joints.

          1. anne

            No need to apologise. Sorry it’s the internet. I sound harsh.

            I think there’s a bit of a misinterpretation between what Vera is looking for and what the fweed crowd are looking for, even though it’s the same thing – access to medical marijuana.

            It’s not about anyone getting high, even though some are latching onto it to fight for marijuana for recreational use.

            Most antibiotics were originally isolated by screening soil-derived actinomycetes..we don’t fight to free the soil like :)

      1. Sam

        The joint is indirectly involved. Somehow we have to get Harris to smoke one, so he can chill the funk out and do the right thing already.
        Possibly light a bale of hash upwind of his office (claim it’s a Garda impound yard going up in smoke along with records of dodgy accounts at Templemore).

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      They are. Mr Andy had chronic joint pain and became a chronic joint consumer before the issue got fixed.

  4. louislefronde

    I think the Irish Government is skirting around the issue. Having read the report from the HPRA which was published last January, I was surprised by just how narrow the grounds are for allowing access to medical cannabis. My suspicion is that the Department of Health (and its various emanations) are too close to big pharma who frankly would love to kill off the marijuana revolution. It seems the Irish Government are quite content to allow access to synthetic cannabinoid based ‘medicines’, whilst continuing with this mad policy of restricting access to the real thing which of course is more effective.

    The questions is why?

        1. ReproBertie

          You can make penicillin with mouldy bread. Of course you’ll likely also make other things which may be less beneficial to human life…

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Didn’t know that but point being anyway, dismissing mentions of “Big Pharma” as standard conspiracy talk is disingenuous. This is an industry that often literally puts mark ups of over 1000% on their products. It’s not mad to speculate they might want to quash competition from something anyone can grow in their house from seeds. Sure propaganda from industry is why it’s illegal in the first place.

      1. Cian

        the lack of supporting evidence is mostly due to the illegal nature of the drug. it’s illegal to get, and illegal to do studies with – unless you get special permission. Getting permission is difficult to do. So this leads to less research, which means less evidence.

        1. dd

          Well is it though…there have been a good few studies done, showing a clear benefit in Dravet’s syndrome, but very little efficacy otherwise.

          I can point you in the direction of the studies that have been done if you like?

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            Are you going to ignore the benefits to those with MS and chronic pain? Because its known to be effective there too.

      2. mildred st. meadowlark

        As I’ve said before, I actually don’t think it’s big pharma just on its own here. It has as much to do with our very own parish pump style of politics and out cabal of old-skool, traditional values, conservative politicians, who are scared shitless of upsetting the core voter base, who are, it must be said, politically conservative (with their votes) and afraid of voting for change. Otherwise, you’d think we’d have heard a change of record by now, rather than FF, FF, FF, FG, FF, FF etc. for years on end.

        1. dd

          hi mildred, can you send on a link to the studies proving efficacy beyond (nb) either placebo or standard treatment in MS and chronic pain please? Actually the quality of studies that I’ve seen is quite poor, but I could well be missing something. there seems to be an awful lots of experts on cannabinoids around these days…

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            Apologies, the information I’m going off, as regards MS, is from their site -would you like me to link it?- where they have studies listed. Whether the studies are poor quality or not, I can’t say. But if they are, as you say, hopefully as it becomes more socially acceptable there will be better investment into the study of marijuana as a medicine.

            As for chronic pain, I can only give my own experience with a family member, who was utterly debilitated by pain, unable to sleep or even function without huge doses of pain med, is now managing to live every day with greatly reduced pain and can actually sleep (if you know someone who doesn’t sleep, you know why this is the biggest victory).

          2. Listrade

            Hi DD, as someone with what seems like some understanding of the scientific process, you should be aware that the absence of evidence isn’t the evidence of absence.

            The main reason for lack of research isn’t inefficacy, it is governmental restrictions on purchasing cannabinoids and difficulty in getting funding for this research. See Nature article:

            http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v21/n9/full/nm.3946.html

            Several links to follow in that article, but it is interesting that for research purposes, there are more restrictions on cannabinoids than opiates. In addition, the approved cannabinoid used in trials is a weak form and it hasn’t been possible to use natural extract from the plant itself. even with decriminalisation in some states, at a national level it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Opiates are Schedule 2.

            It is a chicken and the egg scenario, little confirmed evidence (however again from the article “79 clinical trials of cannabinoids for 10 major indications (such as chronic pain, anxiety and appetite stimulation in HIV/AIDS) of sufficient scientific quality to include in a meta-analysis”) means cannabinoids are classified as potentially dependent drug with no medical benefits. You can’t assess the benefits unless you’re allowed to run trials.

            Still 79 trials do show it is effective against 10 indicators.

            But as you point out s apart from MS, chronic pain, muscle spasms, tics of Tourette syndrome, nausea, appetite and wasting due to HIV/AIDs, there is little other evidence…Other than that, what have the Romans ever done for us. But…

            As in https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4011465/

            It shows that the number of trials on other treatments have been very small, like 1 or 2 (see problems on restrictions) and in some cases the strength used too small to have any impact anyway (again see restrictions).

  5. dd

    I mean tbf…it’s really odd that the evidence for cannabis is less strong than the evidence in favour of vaccination and fluoridation of water…yet some people seem to support prescription of THC but oppose fluordiation and vaccination. Really odd.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      The tin hat brigade love the fluoridation and vaccination issues. Confusing correlation with causation.

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        Really don’t get those people, the anti-vaxxers. Do they not understand the danger they put their child in, never mind the attendant danger to others as a result.
        And as for the flouride people… Well they are a funny bunch of lads.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          They really are. Sadly, I have personal experience of fluoride zealotism. It’s relentless, inaccurate and BORING.

    2. MoyestWithExcitement

      You are trying to demean the argument for CBD by “some” of its supporters are anti vaxxers and those fluoride people even though those people barely exist outside of Oprah Winfrey’s tv studio. So you’re trying to imply the argument is for kooks rather than present an evidence based counter argument. That’s very dishonest of you.

      1. dd

        not at all

        I’m just making an observation. Not very scientific, I’d agree. but it does seem odd to me that there are so many people who seem to favour the use of cannabinoids. I dont’ see a grassroots movement in support of, say, neprilysin inibitors, or some of the newer monoclonal anitbodies that are actually proven to work. It’s just a bit odd to my mind.

        do you have any thoughts on why people are so much in favour of a drug with so little evidence of benefit compared to other therapies?

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Now you’re questioning people’s motives. Again, further evidence you don’t have an argument here. You’re just personalising everything.

          1. dd

            Well yes. I am questioning motives. It certainly isn’t science based so there must be somthing else driving it.

  6. DavidT

    I’m sure many teetotallers would love to see alcohol banned. Then we’d see how daft ‘banning’ stuff really is.

  7. dd

    Hi Moyest

    that anecdotal report you reference is rather poorly written and misses a lot of key issues, largely around delayed engraftment of transplant cells, confirmation bias etc. Essentially it’s very likely that the mother is confusing causation and correlation, and as a basis for using cannabis as medicine, is essentially worthless.

  8. MoyestWithExcitement

    “Poorly written” is usually a red flag. It’s pretty obvious you are arguing in bad faith now. You’re making a load of assumptions and knocking down a straw man (I said it was evidence that warranted further study, not proof it can be used as medicine tomorrow). You clearly gave an agenda and are totally close minded to any information that contradicts the conclusion you hsve already reached, ironically without evidence.

    1. dd

      Well that’s complete nonsense mo chara

      Presenting an anecdotal report based on clearly biased evidence as evidence that use of THC warrants further study is bizarre.

      I’d be interested to know what you think my agenda is? Do you think I am in the employ of big pharma? Have you read anything around the case which you presented (which is more than likely an unusual, but not unheard of, case of delayed engraftment of a stem cell infusion)?

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Wow, that was a very strange rant. I don’t know what your agenda is beyond hystetically shouting at anyone who shows interest in studying it for medicinal benefits. You have a clear emotional investment. Why? I neither know nor care.

        1. dd

          Rant?

          goodness no, just a reasoned rebuttal of you point. I’ve not the slightest bit of emotional investment! Obvs you shown by reliance on anecdoate and the heartbreaking story of the boy in 7 billion, that you are rather more influence by emotion and the pulling of heartstrings than I am, having had a goosey at the case with a non biased eye.

          I haven’t shouted hysterically at anyone mo chara

          I’m very keen for any and all benefits to be investigated. But it must be done with adequate protocols and controls, referencing many anecdotes is, in laymans terms, bullshit.

          Take care my friend

          1. dd

            actually just for avoidance of any confusion, I actually support legalisation of marijuana, with regulation and taxation following on.

            What i don’t support is dangerous claptrap like saying that cannabis cured a young boy of AML. Which is an example of post hoc ergo propter hoc type thinking from mr moyest. incidentally…the young lad referenced in the story in the metro, which i factually described as poorly written, also had his cure attributed to prayer so…i suppose moyest will be advocating trials of prayer too.

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