Suspended sentence for man who cultivated cannabis to treat pain https://t.co/VMJaPeVrqK Its slightly ironic that a number of people in the state recently have been granted a ministerial licence to import cannabis flower to treat their chronic pain.
— Gino Kenny TD (@Ginosocialist) June 19, 2020
From top: Minister for Health Simon Harris (left) and People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny; A tweet from Mr Kenny this morning
On June 26, 2019, the Minister for Health Simon Harris signed legislation to allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme on a pilot basis for five years
In the Dáil on Wednesday, People Before Profit TD and medicinal cannabis campaigner Gino Kenny questioned the Minister on the “lack of progress” of the scheme.
He claimed not one person has been prescribed cannabis under the programme.
Gino Kenny: “On countless occasions over the past four years I have raised the issue of the medical cannabis access programme. This time last year the Minister announced that the programme would be functional. That was underpinned for,
I understand, the first time in medical history by a statutory instrument which allowed people to access medical cannabis legally. The Minister said he expected people to be prescribed medical cannabis by the Autumn. Does he know how many people have been prescribed medical cannabis under the programme? The answer is not one person.”
“Not a week goes by without parents of very vulnerable children ringing me to ask how they can get access to medical cannabis because their children are in desperate situations. I have run out of things to say to these parents. I can only say so much. They return to their doctors who tell them they do not know anything about the programme. Access has been four years in the making. It is referenced in the programme for Government, which is welcome, but the Minister has to give a commitment to parents and patients on getting access to medical cannabis under the programme. Can he give a commitment on this in his last couple of weeks as Minister for Health?”
Simon Harris: “While we might not agree on everything, Deputy Kenny’s sincerity and work rate on this is something I fully respect. He did a massive amount of work on this in the last Dáil and I know he will continue that in this Dáil.
“While I might not have gone as far as he would like, the Deputy certainly helped change and influence my position by introducing me to a number of people to whom this was very important. While he is right in the context of the compassionate access programme, we do need it open and I will give him a commitment to return to him with a written update on that within a week. There were a number of different elements and a number of people were repositioned during the Covid crisis. In my final days as a member of this Government, I would like to get the Deputy a written update and try to progress that.
“I say to the parents the Deputy is referencing that the ministerial licence scheme is available. While I know it is not ideal for everyone, I am signing them regularly – I think I signed two last week. In addition to that avenue, we have also come to funding support arrangements for a number of people under that. I want to get the compassionate access programme and I will get the Deputy a detailed written update this week.”
Previously: Gino Kenny on Broadsheet
Green Party TD Ossian Smyth
Dublin TD Ossian Smyth revealed that the Greens wanted to legalise cannabis but the idea was torpedoed by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.
He told members: “In drug use, I argued for the legislation of cannabis.
“Fianna Fail and Fine Gael said no but what they did agree to was to extend the use of cannabis for palliative care because of course people who are dying should have any pain relief that they need and also to have a Citizen’s Assembly on drugs.”