LEGALISING the prescription of medicinal cannabis is an idea whose time has come, according to Clare County Council.
At Monday’s meeting, Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy put forward a motion that the council “ask the Minister for Health Simon Harris to prioritise legislation legalising the prescribing of medicinal cannabis in Ireland, where those suffering and in need, as highlighted by the recent walk of Vera Twomey across the country, will have their lives hugely improved.”
Ms Twomey had walked from Cork to Dublin in an attempt to draw attention to the issue.
Her motion was supported by Councillor Ann Norton. “For a lot of people, medication doesn’t take away the severity of the pain,” she noted.
Regarding medicinal cannabis, she said it could be “legalised and monitored like other drugs”. She added that many patients already use the drug illegally and can be fined up to €2,500 for a first offence and imprisoned for subsequent transgressions.
While she said she wouldn’t be in favour of smoking medical marijuana, she said it could be taken through other forms, as an oil or through cooking.
Councillor Norton said that her own child is in severe pain and has gone to various consultants. She stated if the drug could be given on prescription and regulated appropriately, she would fully support it being legalised for medicinal purposes.
Councillor Gerry Flynn said he was not in favour of the motion.
On Thursday, the Joint Committee on Health resumed its scrutiny of a Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill, with officials from the Department of Health.
Clare TD Michael Harty is chairman of the committee. “At our last meeting on this Bill, with sponsor Gino Kenny TD, the committee took a detailed and robust look at the cause and effect of each section of this piece of proposed legislation. Committee members will now have the opportunity to discuss the proposals within the Bill, such as the regulation of cannabis for medicinal use and proposed establishment of a Cannabis Regulation Authority, with those responsible for implementing Government policy.”
By Owen Ryan