Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is Medical Use To Be Recognised?

Joe Costello TD

Anyone reading Monday’s (August 8th) Irish Independent or the story online would have learnt that the Irish government is to consider proposals to make cannabis based medicines available.

Here are some details about the situation along with my own opinions. Here's a link to the Irish Independent article

In response to a parliamentary question from Labour TD, Joe Costello (who’s been vocal on this issue and the Noel McCullagh case), Junior Health Minister, Roisin Shortall said she was aware of claims that cannabis could be beneficial in the treatment of some illness and was looking into the matter, with departmental documents being prepared for the Health Minister, Doctor James Reilly.

According to the article in the newspaper, the department is looking at plans to allow travellers from other EU states to legally bring cannabis products prescribed for medical use into the country with them, this is under the terms of the Schengen Agreement, which covers the movement of people carrying drugs prescribed for medical usage between two EU member states.

Mr. Costello said he “asked the same question of Mary Harney and she said she wasn’t prepared to look at it”

Both Roisin Shorthall and Dr. James Reilly seem more open to cannabis as a medicine, with the latter, our current health minister, making his own enquires to Mary Harney when she was health minister

This whole story possibly stems from the case of Noel McCullagh, an Irish man living in the Netherlands who has been using cannabis to treat his MS for a number of years but has frequently been denied the right to return to Ireland. As mentioned Joe Costello has been vocal about this and you can watch him speak about the case in the Dail, you can watch the video Here

For anyone unfamiliar with Noel's case you can Read more here

Some thoughts....

The article states cannabis based medicines, one could argue what's more cannabis based than cannabis itself but the general feeling is the it's most likely to be a synthetic version of cannabis that will be allowed. Here's some of the types

Marinol (aka Dronabinol) and Nabilone are two types of synthetic cannabis capsules taken orally.

Sativex is a mouth spray developed by GW Pharmacuticals, which was used in trial research in a Cork hospice and in Waterford Regional Hospital. [Read 2004 article mentioning trials]

In the Netherlands there is three types of medicinal cannabis available through pharmacies, Bedrocan, Bedrobinol and Bediol though these are actually herbal cannabis where composition and strength varies.

What's unclear from the article is whether this is Ireland finally being completely under the Schengen Agreement and not just parts as before, and if cannabis medicines will be available in this country or will only be allowed for people travelling here.

The article opens with "The Government is considering proposals to make cannabis-based medicines available by prescription here. The Department of Health is looking at proposals to allow medicines containing the drug to be made available in certain circumstances" which might give one the hope medical products could be available here or patients could legally supply themselves.

However just a few paragraphs later

"According to departmental briefing documents prepared for Health Minister James Reilly, officials were looking at plans to allow travellers from other EU states to legally bring cannabis products prescribed for medical use into Ireland"

So it seems if this does come into place you would have to get both a doctors recommendation here and elsewhere in the EU where medical cannabis is available before arrangements could be made.

While it's not the drastic step forward some people hope, it's defiantly a start. The process of cannabis law reform is one of gradual change.

As stated, Mary Harney was uninterested about medical cannabis but the new junior health minister and health minister seem to share a different view, with James Reilly asking Harney about Sativex last July Reilly askes Harney about Sativex

If the government does follow through on this then one thing it would certainly due is bring into question the Schedule One ruling that cannabis falls under by law. Is Ireland finally about to recognise the medicinal properties of cannabis?

Let's not forget Limerick born doctor William Brooke O'Shaughnessy helped to popularise the use of cannabis as a medicine in the western world in the 1800's


Anonymous said...

if Ireland were to change the law here to allow medicinal cannabis products be available to those who need it then the three bud products you mentioned can be imported through the under the shenghen agreement! here's my last correspondence from them on the issue last year ;

Dear Sir,

Indeed, it's only possible for pharmacies or wholesalers to import medicinal cannabis.
If you have a prescription from your doctor you can ask your pharmacy in Ireland to start with the import procedure.
I'm sorry but this is the only legal way.

Kind regards,

The Office of Medicinal Cannabis

Anonymous said...

Sativex is not synthetic. It's a cannabis extract (cannabis oil) with alcohol added so that it can be sprayed and also a little peppermint for flavor.

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Noel said...

what a total charade of an article!

Brian, in all aspects and in every respect, you are assuming that there has ever been (ever) a decision by an Irish judicial authority, with regard to Bedrocan and Bediol.

Which are only manufactured by permit of the United Nations International Narcotics Board? So that, under the Irish misuse of drugs legislation, section 20, arts. 1-3, the entire government of the Netherlands, the minister of health, welbeing & sport, my physicians, the pharmacists who dispense the said medicines, and the Chief Inspector of Health, in the Hague, would have to be arrested under a European Arrest Warrant issued by Mr Alan Shatter, minister of Justice and Equality?

That stupid (and frankly ridiculously-Irish) 'template' letters that my person has been receiving from your (shIrish) Department of Health and Children, are arriving in my letterbox here in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, even though I am not living in the same jurisdiction as they are mandated to provide healthcare?

Is not Police and Judicial Cooperation in the Union something that concerns the (as-yet) absentee minister of Justice and Equality, Mr Shatter? Doesn't the DPP fall under his department? Are the shIrish inclined to 'arrest' and 'detain' foreign tourists, and not just any tourists, bus disabled and chronically-ill European tourists. Is it any wonder H.M. kingdom wanted "NOTHING" to do with the shIrish during the Olympics 2012? You've seen it with your own lying-Irish eyes in your Slime Time programming-show. Well, havne't you Irish? Another how many "millen" down the swanny to your better-off 'researchers and programmers' and 'program-managers' and whatnot elsewhere in southern 'Dubh-Linn'. And it ain't named a dark, black pool for nothing neither.

The only information that the Irish department of health & children have, therefore, relating to my private medical care is zero.

Besides the request from the (illiterate) 'second-secretary' to the Irish ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands that the department of health and children supply him with the context (in law) as to why, precisely, 'cannabis' is illegal in the Ireland Republic.

That's all.

There was nothing else. And as for that fat f__k Joe C. talking crap in the IRish dull (nota bene to the IRish health sinister, her Lardyship Fairly Blarney) .. that has zero to do with me or any other citizen in Germany Austria Finland Italy Belgium Luxembourg Czech Republic Zwitzerland Denmark Netherlands &c. ... WHY? ...

I'll tell you why: because we are just "tourists" in the land of the Céad Fuckya. Wonder why so many folk don't want to visit you fucks anymore? Is it because you are only the most unwelcoming bastards in the entire EU/EEA?

Where, by the way, we are ALL WELCOME?

Fuck off and die Irish.

Noel (from "the Case of Noel MaGULLA")...

and fuck you too Joe.

Do yerself a favour and loose some god damn weight!
20.—(1) Any person who aids, abets, counsels or induces the commission in a place outside the State of an offence punishable under a corresponding law in force in that place shall be guilty of an offence.

[So, this is the price and the value you shIrish fucks place on the head of a head-of-state who signed into law the "offending" act:?) You nitwit A-holes!

A tidal wave upon you all.

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Anonymous said...

I don't see how this is good news. Cannabis based medicines are a far cry from actual cannabis. I moved to Vancouver and have seen no social meltdown due to the free availability of cannabis but gutless politicians make for gutless political decisions.

ryan wright said...

I used k2 or spice incense for about a 30 days and a 50 percent and now for the earlier 6 several weeks of not smoking it I can't do any challenging things to do or my heart sounds at a very infrequent tempo about 8x as hard an 2ce as fast and that's with acquiring supplements that safeguard against heart palpitations

Dan.K said...

There really needs to be a re-form on the laws regarding cannabis. A friend of mine was raided by the cops a few weeks back. They tore his apartment up and got less than a quarter of weed then the cops took great pleasure in smashing his collection of Glass Bongs one by one just to add insult to injury. I'm serious who are the real criminals here the people who like to enjoy a quiet smoke, or the thugs who force there way into your home under the pre-tense of acting in the name of law

cannabis should be legal said...

i would love to see the legalization of cannabis in ireland.
take the money from the criminals

Anonymous said...

Im sick of this nanny state telling me i cant have a recreational spliff in my own home or carry a personal amount. Do they class me as the same as the scumbag that mugs for his fix? It might put a stop to the sale of so called synthetic weed in head shops which in my opinion is silage coated in the great peter tosh sings LEGALISE IT i wait in hope that the government sees sense and let people have some recreational weed after all it might drag us into the 21 century and away from that 50s style paddy irish government put that in your piipe and SMOKE IT!!!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree! I was in hospital for a month and apon release i arrived home to find 6 thuggish drug squad officers had broke down my front door and 4 inner doors causing 1500 worth of damage to my house.they found nothing and left it in that opology no compensation.i wrote to the complaining but was rebuffed with the reply of i complained too late.what 2 wks later? I am a weed smoker and never robbed or hurt anybody yet the heavy bust was extreme.maybe if the gaurds done some proper work detecting then they might have found that the real scumfuck tablet and smack dealer lived only a few doors down.legalise weed and let the drug squad needle out parasite dealers like the one that i had to suffer a wrongful bust for! Big men destroying an innocent persons home.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

AAwwwwwww did our little dutch friend get caugjt out with some shitty stalk weed? Ive been to holland and at least us irish can pronounce our S's!"!! Dutch twat

bubblegum casting said...

interesting read!

Anonymous said...

Noel Mac is the biggest ass on the planet he does not or ever had ms the big fake & should be bet with a stick the weirdo tranny...

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Shawn Deny said...

This is under the terms of the Schengen Agreement, which covers the movement of people carrying drugs prescribed for medical usage between two EU member states.
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Jacky said...

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Seven Up said...

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