THE legal use of cannabis in medicines is to be introduced next year.

The Irish Independent has learned that the Department of Health is bringing in legislation to legalise medicinal cannabis.

The move follows applications from drugs companies to sell cannabis-based medicines in Ireland.

However, a spokesperson for the department stressed that the change would not apply to recreational use of the drug.

Many countries allow medicinal cannabis for the treatment of illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.

Irish law rules out even medicinal cannabis, except for research, but the Government has taken a different approach from the previous administration, when former health minister Mary Harney was reluctant to loosen controls.

Recently resigned junior health minister Roisin Shortall said last year she was examining proposals to make cannabis-based medicines available.

That is now proceeding, with the Irish Medicines Board having received a request from a manufacturer looking for permission to sell medicines containing the drug.

The Department of Health spokesperson said legislation would be brought forward early next year to facilitate this.

Under the 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act, the manufacture, production, preparation, sale, supply, distribution and possession of cannabis or cannabis-based medicinal products is unlawful except for the purposes of research.

But this will change to allow some medicinal products.

It will most likely involve finding a way of describing or labelling authorised products to make them legal.

The manufacturer seeking permission wants to sell a product “for the relief of symptoms of spasticity for people with multiple sclerosis”.

Spasticity is also known as unusual tightness or stiffness of muscles, and can interfere with movement and speech.

The department spokesperson said: “Clinical trials in Ireland relating to this cannabis-based product will not be required.

“Department officials have been engaging with experts on how best to legally describe authorised cannabis-based medicinal products while maintaining existing controls on cannabis and cannabis substances to enable such authorised medicinal products to be prescribed in Ireland.

“While it is not possible to set out an exact timeframe, it is hoped to bring forward legislative proposals in early 2013.”

According to departmental briefing documents prepared for Health Minister James Reilly when he took up office last year, officials were looking at plans to allow travellers from other EU states to legally bring cannabis products prescribed for medical use into Ireland.

Under the Schengen Agreement, which covers movement between member states, people can carry narcotic or psychotropic drugs that have been prescribed for medical use.

– Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

Irish Independent


3 Responses to “Medicinal cannabis available here in the next year”

  1. Cathriona says:

    Free The Weed! And only for Medical use! Not all the Irish sit in Pub’s n Club’s! Drinking! Some of us prefer ( A J ) as in a joint! made from tacacco mixed with Weed! 3 Top Brands of Weed! that i would recommend to a friend! 1 Orange Bud! 2 Purpel Haze! 3 Lemon Haze! Orange Bud mixed with Lemon Haze works really well together! :-) Then there is #hash# which is brown in colour there is a lot of different types of #hash# some pure shit that has dog shit in it!!! But once you burn hash with a lighter there is a clam peaceful smell to it that makes you feel happy;-) less angry and at ease with ourself! You eat/sleep better! You can do your house work and live a normal life without been always depressed! Drink! on the other hand is shit! You cant eat/sleep! Or do your house work! You are DEPRESSED all the time! This is my spin on why the Government are dragging their heels in allowing us use Canabis! There is a drug in all Canabis called (THC) which makes the human brain think! now i think the Government dont want me or the likes of me to THINK, thinking is a danger to the Government! A danger that we spot the stupid mistakes they are making and we are paying for! Its my understanding that it suits this Irish Government to have the Irish going around DRUNK! not knowing what day of the week it is never mind the mess they are making of Ireland! Before i go i want to say also; Canabis does leave your body a pain free zone! It has many uses! And should not be locked away! It should be on display! If its made legal in Ireland we will see the drop in gangland crime because “#Hash# is the Number1 Choice of drug on the Street’s! In 2008 i lost my brother age 29 to Cocaine/Heroine! I know what i’m talking about!
    Cathriona Barker (Survivor)

  2. Jack says:

    the dock leaf is never far from nettles!

  3. pauline says:

    Its uses are endless. A crop of hemp feeds animals. And here there are lots of products made from it including beer jam and it grows fast. it it called names by the wine making monks and priests. its very good in medicine. Its been used in the states to help cancer patents for years now so since the market is opening up to cannabis it wouldnt be possable to arrest sick people for treating themselves.