Health Minister Simon Harris has announced that he will not be opposing a Bill on medicinal cannabis being put forward by People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny. In a statement yesterday evening, Harris said he had met Kenny and party colleague Richard Boyd-Barrett to discuss the Bill.
The minister said that while there were elements of the proposal he did not support, he accepted the deputies’ bona fides on its main objective, which was to allow access to cannabis as a treatment option for certain medical conditions.
The Health Products Regulatory Authority is examining the issue and is due to report by the end of January.
Harris said the authority would provide him with scientific and clinical advice which would enable him to look at amending the current statutory controls on medicinal cannabis.
Tristan Forde, a two-and-a-half year old boy from Dunmanway, Co Cork, has been living in the US with his mother Yvonne Cahalane.
His mother has been using medical cannabis oil to help reduce the effects of Dravet Syndrome, a rare and extremely severe form of epilepsy, on Tristan.
The family cannot bring the medicine into Ireland because it is illegal, but they have been trying to persuade the Government to allow Tristan to return home to Cork when his US visa expires.