The Irish government just took a big step toward legalizing medical marijuana. The government agreed to not block the initial reading of a medical marijuana bill that all parties within the republic support. Ireland is a mainly conservative country, so the relaxing of marijuana laws is surprising.
The Health Minister, Simon Harris, stated that amendments would be made later upon further review of scientific and clinical information received, according to Fox News. The government is not big enough to block legislative processes. The Health Minister has accepted the main objectives included in the language of the bill.
Harris said, “While there are elements I do not and will not support, I don’t wish to divide the Dail (parliament). I share the concerns of patients who believe that cannabis should be a treatment option for certain medical conditions and I recognize the urgency and the worry they feel.”
Portions of the bill as written include language that may allow recreational use, which is not supported by the Health Minister.
Irishman Gino Kenny, said, “It’s been overwhelming, not only in the Dail, but to see the people who have contacted us and who are trying to access medical cannabis for themselves or their children. I even got emails this morning saying that ‘if this goes through it will change my life’. If this can do something small for somebody, it’s a very, very positive thing that’s happened.”