Ireland To Legalize Medical Cannabis!

The Dáil (Irish Government) has passed a bill to make the medical use of cannabis legal in Ireland.

Medical cannabis may soon be available for patients in Ireland after the Irish Government approved a bill, the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016 (An Bille um Rialáil Cannabais atá lena Úsáid chun críocha Íocshláinte, 2016). The bill was written by Ireland’s People Before Profit group, still has another round of approval by the government before it can become law but it appears that medical cannabis will be available in Ireland very soon!

“An Act to provide for the regulation of cannabis for medicinal use and for that purpose to establish the Cannabis Regulation Authority; to provide for the licensing of the supply of cannabis for medicinal use; and to provide for related matters.”

- Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016

The bill was presented to the Dáil Éireann, Ireland’s Lower House Parliament, by People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny. It aims to legalize the use of cannabis and cannabis products for patients with doctor recommendation. The Irish Government has said it would not oppose the legislation, which is backed by many. According to a recent poll, “92% of Irish people believe that cannabis should be legalised when recommended by a doctor.”

Minister for Health Simon Harris said he would not oppose its progression to Committee Stage but “he has concerns about some elements of the bill”. Further advice would be sought from the Health Products Regulatory before the legislation progressed further. He also said rhe bill may have to be changed “to avoid the unintended effect of making cannabis legal for recreational use.” But he “hoped it sends a signal to Irish patients that politicians want to see movement on this.” 

We spoke with, Brian Houlihan; a Director with Help Not Harm, an Irish non-profit which works to reform Irish drug laws, he stated - "It's fantastic news for the patients and activists who have worked on this issue for decades. While we are not there quite yet the finishing line is in sight. It seems that we have reached the tipping point and medical cannabis reform is just months away. What shape it takes is of great importance so there is still a lot of work to do. The next few months are key and so we must continue to lobby and educate people on the matter. But this is the beginning of the end of medical cannabis prohibition."