‘Deliver The Medicine, It’s Not Rocket Science’


From top: The Transvaal Pharmacy in The Hague, Netherlands; Vera Twomey and Luke Ming Flanagan MEP

This morning, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar re-affirmed the position held recently by his Minister for  Health Simon Harris that the…

“…lack of availability of cannabis products in Ireland remains the most critical barrier to full implementation” of the [medicinal cannabis access programme] scheme”.

Mr Harris had added:

“Full establishment is dependent on the commercial operators making these products available in Ireland.”

Veteran legalise cannabis campaigner Luke ‘Ming Flanagan MEP responds:

This statement does not add up. The experience of Vera Twomey has not been that there is a problem of availability. The problem is one of importation and delivery.

As most people know Vera Twomey has acquired a license for medical cannabis for her daughter Ava. In order for Vera to get the cannabis based medicine either herself or her husband must travel six times per year to the Transvaal clinic in The Hague.

The journey involves an early morning flight from Cork to Amsterdam followed by a train journey to their destination city. The schedules mean hanging around for hours on end waiting for the return flight home.

Not the end of the world you might say. True. Far better than having no access to the medicine. Very true. Are these journey really necessary though? Definitely not. Surely the medicine can be delivered to their local pharmacy.

Well anyone who knows Vera will know that if there is a route to make this happen then she will find it.

I regularly talk to Vera on the phone. I got a phone call from her in the last fortnight. She rang me to inform me that there is already someone getting delivery to the Island of Ireland from the Transvaal clinic in The Hague.

As always with Vera she used this information to unlock a solution to her own particular situation. She established that a pharmaceutical distribution company are already bringing it here. I say here rather loosely. It is being delivered to Northern Ireland.

She has contacted the company in question and asked could they the provide the same service into the Republic of Ireland. No problem was the answer. However it would have to be agreed to by the HSE. Simple. Well so it should be.

However rather than helping her they are in fact stonewalling her. She is waiting and waiting to hear what action the HSE have taken to facilitate the medicines delivery.

Why does the state allow this to happen?

Why when there is simple solution at hand do the HSE not act upon it?

If the people involved in taking care of our health administration don’t care about the well being of those they get paid to take care of then they shouldn’t be let near the job.

I have three daughters myself. As anyone knows raising children is hard work. When one parent has to go away for the day it becomes a little bit more challenging. When one has a child with special needs that challenge is even greater. The state needs to get its act together now.

Deliver the medicine. It’s not rocket science. Minister Harris needs to stop hiding behind the “lack of availability”. It’s simple not true.’

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan

Previously: Vera Twomey on Broadsheet

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30 thoughts on “‘Deliver The Medicine, It’s Not Rocket Science’

  1. George

    This is madness. The HSE have no problem with morphine, methadone and other opiods but Cannabis is a big problem. It is farcical that their solution is to allow Vera to bring it in herself.

  2. Cian

    I’m curious here. Why the Hague? Why not London or Paris or any other city that has better connectivity to Cork?

    Is Ireland really the outlier regarding cannabis? Or is the Netherlands? Isn’t this an EU-wide issue and needs to be resolved by our MEPs?

    1. Bodger

      Transvaal in the Hague is one of the only places in Europe where you can can buy whole plant cannabis oil “of guaranteed quality”.

      1. rotide

        Does this not imply there is a problem with availability, not only in Ireland but anywhere that isn’t the Netherlands?

        1. George

          No, it does not as their is plenty of the product available; the company are prepared to ship to Ireland; and they already ship to other countries including the UK.

          The only this missing is the permission. This is all explained in the post.

          1. Cian

            The post is vague about delivery.

            Does it need to be delivery to a local pharmacy, who then dispense it to the family? Or can it be delivered directly to the family?

            What is the HSE’s role in this delivery? Do they need to issue a licence of some sort to the distributor/pharmacy/family? if the company tried to deliver it to the family, would the be in breach of any laws?

          2. dav

            well it is of course, entirely the responsibility of the parents of a sick child to clarify the delivery arrangements of a vital medicine for their child, not the health minister, who has very important things to be doing..

          3. Cian

            I would have thought that ‘Ming’ could explain clearly what the issue is and what the solution is.

            The reality is cannabis is not seen as a ‘proper’ medicine in Ireland (or indeed most of Europe). Harris has bent over backwards and went against medical advice to allow Vera get this medicine for her child.

          4. Listrade

            @Cian. Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and UK. All countries that have access to medicinal cannabis. Technically not “most” but 50% and proportion of EU wise, pretty significant.

            That’s a lot of countries that have seen it as “proper” medicine and have accepted the research that has occurred.

            Ireland is an outlier among the nations it tends to see itself as being aligned to.

          5. Cian

            So why is Vera flying to Amsterdam to get these meds considering the flight options are awful (6am flight out, 9pm fight home). Why not Paris or London?

          6. Listrade

            Depends on the supplier. Netherlands would already be set up for growing cannabis way ahead of most other counties. In addition it would have the appropriate labs to test and process. As it’s a plant, it’s quality can vary and so has to be tested. That may be where the supply is.

            Not sure what your grievance is. She has been given a licence and can’t get it delivered. Doesn’t matter if she has to get a bus to Galway, it’s meds she has been given a licence to and should be available for dispense at her local pharmacy exactly like any medication you or I could be prescribed.

          7. Cian

            I’m sorry. Either it is available in all those European countries or it isn’t. Either Ireland is an outlier or it isn’t.
            Of they have to go to Amsterdam for the medicine it seems to me that Amsterdam is the odd one out, not Ireland.

      2. GiggidyGoo

        Cian… you wrote ‘Harris has bent over backwards and went against medical advice to allow Vera get this medicine for her child.’
        Nice phrasing. Why, exactly, won’t he go the final step and allow Vera and others in the same situation ‘get the medicine’ in Ireland?
        The medicine is being shipped to this Island. For some reason, maybe you can explain fully, it’s available up the road in the North, but not in the South. I can buy alcohol in the north or the south, I can buy medicines in the north and the south – pharmacies in the north will fill a southern prescription – what is the problem here with Harris and cannabis oil? Why have Harris and Doctor, ex-health minister, Varadkar made it so difficult for Vera? Why?

        1. Cian

          I’m sorry I didn’t realise that Harris was minister for Vera. He is supposed to be looking after everyone.

          Do you really think that he is actively making thing difficult for this family? Is he sitting petting a white cat trying to make Vera’s life a little bit more awkward?

  3. Johnny

    -get me The Paddy.
    ‘Its contacts with the State are being led by plant scientist Shane Morris, a Canadian-based Dubliner who is Aurora’s senior vice-president for product development and regulatory affairs. He is known among his peers in the Canadian industry as “Peppermint Paddy”, due to his role in developing cannabis mints.‘

    -ehm they don’t manufacture,extract,distribute or sell mints,factory under construction,working on ‘edibles’ legislation.

    ‘In Canada, medicinal cannabis is prescribed by about 10,000 doctors. Although recreational users of the drug prefer to smoke it, the focus with medicinal cannabis is on ingesting it through cannabis-infused oils, primarily, or through edible powder that is mixed with yoghurt or other fatty substances‘

    There is no ‘powder’ nor are any extracts ever mixed with yogurt,that sounds gross,there are currently NO weed infused yogurts available or planned,like who even eats dairy?
    More transparency is required it’s hundreds millions at stake,grow your own industry,Germany just awarded 3 licenses that are in the 10 day consultation period,it’s a decent model to follow.

    Lost on above,is this a statement from Ming,great they found him,wasn’t he missing for past few years….


  4. Tom

    She’s being a bit negative about this. Whilst transvaal is a bit of a kip there are endless other attractions to make the trip enjoyable. Spend an afternoon at the Mauritshuis, Esher museum. A lazy afternoon at a beach bar in scheveningin. Make it a holiday and not a chore.

        1. postmanpat

          Its nothing personal, Its just simple business. If the drug was made legal overnight the “wrong” people will make a fortune. From a recreational standpoint, the shill powers that be, have a reasonability to protect the alcohol industry bottom line which would be decimated if the straights picked up a legal joint and questioned why they bothered with all those tins in front of the telly , the thousands handed over to the bar staff and the hangovers over the decades. Then there’s big pharma that needs time to get their plan together. It will be legal eventually. the cat is out of the bag ,but the delay is just so certain people , probably a drinks manufacturer & big pharma in collusion with government personnel can position themselves to quickly pop up exclusive grow house and exclusive licenses as a way to diversify their business. Vera is a nuisance in one way but also a tool in building up pressure with all the well meaning public support. The pressure is growing steadily. the scared normies are already open to alternative therapies with the weak ass overpriced and overhyped cbd products currently available in the health stores. Mark my words, the corporate pigs, right now are slowly dragging there troughs up the legal cannabis tap and pushing everyone else out of the way. And when the tap opens up. It will be disgusting corporate profits for the usual insider crooks . In five to seven years, we will be see business articles with photos of some grinning rummy nosed corporate multi millionaire “genius” directors of the latest homegrown cannabis product companies in the Irish financial newspaper sections. Normies will be paying 5 times the price that current users pay for their stuff. The fellas that used to grow the stuff in the attics and sheds up and down the country will be scratching their heads wondering where their No:1 cash crop millions are and why the police are still busting in and burning everything.

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