Irish Lawmakers Will Vote on Cannabis for Medical Use Next Week

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Next week, the Irish Dáil (lower house of Parliament) will vote on the legalization of medical cannabis for its nation.

The issue has been hotly debated in the European country for over a year, with a continuous ebb and flow toward approval of the medicine.

The bill was authored by TD Gino Kenny in late 2016 and allows medical marijuana to be prescribed for conditions including chronic pain, epilepsy, MS, and cancer.

Critics of the legislation claim that if the bill is successful, the move would unintentionally legalize all cannabis use in Ireland over a period of time. As well, there is concern among members of the government that allowing cannabis for medical purposes will somehow make the substance available in the illicit market.

Despite a long list of countries that have adopted cannabis into their health care sectors, some lawmakers in Ireland believe there is not enough evidence regarding the efficacy of medical marijuana.

“Bypassing the approach to regulation exposes the public to incomplete and unpredictable medical treatments,” said politician Kate O’Connell.

TD Kenny strongly disagrees with O’Connell and other critics, stating “the evidence is coming out of people’s ears.” He added that if the government votes against the bill next week, “they’ll be on the wrong side of public opinion, science, and history.”

In June, the bill was headed to Ireland’s Health Committee for consideration. Since that time, the committee recommended the legislation not be passed, which TD Kenny has described as “sabotage.”

Kenny hopes the larger political parties in Ireland will disagree with the Health Committee’s recommendation.

Despite the lack of legislation for medical cannabis in Ireland, CBD is legal in the nation and sales of the substance have skyrocketed.

Photo courtesy of Can Pac Swire

About Author

Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.

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