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Ireland Takes First Steps to Medical Marijuana

Chris Roberts

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In America, next-to-nothing happens on marijuana without voters taking the initiative and making the moves a prohibitionist government never would.

Compare that to Ireland, where the Irish Parliament’s lower house just approved a bill to allow medical cannabis without so much as a donnybrook.

According to the BBC, a clear majority of elected representatives are behind the plan.

The brainchild of democratic socialists with strong anti-capitalism bents—yet another thing you’re less likely to see in the U.S. than a skateboarding leprechaun—the bill would allow people with chronic pain, epilepsy, cancer, MS, and fibrmyalgia to access medical cannabis products with a doctor’s recommendation.

As for when that would happen? Therein lies the rub. There’s more debate yet to be had about the bill, which needs further approval before becoming law.

But for now, there doesn’t appear to be much opposition. Ireland’s controlling government says it has no qualms with the bill, and even the national health minister says he’s open to the idea.

However, there’s going to have to be buy-in from Irish doctors. Health Minister Simon Harris says he’ll rely on advice from the country’s Health Products Regulatory Authority to decide whether or not to determine marijuana to be a legitimate palliative. Even if there is, there’s no clear picture of how many doctors would write recommendations or how easy it would be to secure one. And the sticky debate over how and where Ireland’s legal marijuana would be grown is still in the future.

In the meantime, one thing is clear: there’s absolutely no government support for recreational marijuana. In fact, Harris says he wants changes made to the current plan so as to guarantee anyone who isn’t extremely ill can’t get their hands on cannabis, he said.

Good luck with that one, boyo.

 

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