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To: Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD

Legalise Medicinal Cannabis Now

Legalise Medicinal Cannabis Now

Legalise Medicinal Cannabis in Ireland.

Why is this important?

Dear Minister
We are the parents and children enduring the horrors of cancer and its treatments in Ireland. We are the 500,000 people who suffer with chronic pain.
We are the multiple sclerosis community.
We are the parents of children who suffer daily epileptic seizures.
We are the terminally ill. And we desperately need your help.

We are calling on you as Minister for Health to urgently:
(a) Legalise Medicinal Cannabis in Ireland in support of our right to grow sufficient numbers of Cannabis plants to meet our medical needs.

(b) Encourage the Minister for Justice to direct An Garda Siochána to cease, with immediate effect, the confiscation of cannabis plants grown in private homes for medicinal purposes.

Access to the most effective and safe medicine to ease our suffering (natural cannabis in our case) is our human right and no government has the right to deny it to us.

We urgently need the freedom to grow medicinal cannabis at home just as others have the right to brew beer and wine.
Cannabis brings life-changing health benefits to us and we want to be able to access it now without fear of criminal sanction.

Important Points:

1. Current laws and the system of granting Ministerial Licences only for pharmaceutical products like Marinol (fake cannabis) benefits only the pharmaceutical industry and does very little for patients.

Whole-plant cannabis which benefits from the “entourage effect” (the synergistic effect of 144 cannabinoids) is superior to pharmaceutical cannabis products and does not carry the same expense or side-effects.

For example, a report, entitled ’Marinol Versus Natural Cannabis: Pros, Cons and Options for Patients’,[1] is a comparative analysis of the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis and the pharmaceutical drug.

Citing more than 50 published studies and clinical trials, the report found Marinol lacks several of the therapeutic cannabinoids available in cannabis. Also, vaporization offers big advantages over Marinol and patients ultimately prefer natural cannabis to Marinol.

2. Claims that Cannabis has no medicinal value are lies. There are now thousands of studies showing a wide range of health benefits.

For example, according to a 12-month observational study published in the journal Pain Medicine [2], the daily use of whole-plant cannabis by patients with chronic pain conditions is associated with prolonged improvements in pain management and subjects’ overall quality of life, as well as sustained reductions in the use of opioids.

3. Medical experts around the world endorse medicinal cannabis. Consultant neurologist Professor Mike Barnes, author of the authoritative report ‘Cannabis – The Evidence for Medical Use’[3] for the UK Parliament has said “There is a huge amount of observational data and real-world data which is useful and gives much information about the plant’s efficacy and side effects.”

4. Calls for more research into the dangers of Cannabis before allowing ill people to access to it are both ludicrous and irresponsible.

Professor Barnes has said and we quote “We know enough about cannabis to prescribe and learn as we go along. After all we know its safety profile after 5000 years of use!”

5. Claims that cannabis is a gateway drug are also untrue. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says “The majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, ‘harder’ substances.” [4]

6. The fact that some people may abuse cannabis is not a valid reason to deprive those that need it for medicinal purposes – countless people abuse alcohol and tobacco every day, but these are legal nonetheless.

Note: The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) should not be given a veto on the introduction of legalisation that would facilitate the cultivation of medicinal cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Its 2017 report ‘Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review’ [5] rejected the expert advice of Professor Barnes and others and decided to endorse the use of pharmaceutical products to address a few medical needs but completely rejected the use of whole plant medicinal cannabis under any circumstances. This decision is highly questionable given that this body is funded mainly by the pharmaceutic industry. Additionally, as noted in its 2018 Annual Report, [6] the HPRA received 10,398 reports of new adverse reactions associated with the use of medicines the HPRA itself approved. Of these, 252 patients died while on treatment.

Yet, this body opposes whole-plant medicinal cannabis, which has not been implicated in a single recorded death in Ireland.

Minister, please do what is right. Legalise Medicinal Cannabis Now.

References:
[1] Marinol Versus Natural Cannabis: Pros, Cons and Options for Patients: https://norml.org/marijuana/library/marinol-vs-natural-cannabis/

[2] 12-month observational study published in Pain Medicine:
https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/pm/pnaa163/5859722?redirectedFrom=fulltext

[3] Cannabis: The Evidence for Medical Use: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0c_8hkDJu0DUDZMUzhoY1RqMG8/view

[4] Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/index.htm

[5] Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review: https://www.hpra.ie/docs/default-source/publications-forms/newsletters/cannabis-for-medical-use---a-scientific-review.pdf?sfvrsn=5

[6] HPRA Annual Report 2018:
https://www.hpra.ie/docs/default-source/publications-forms/corporate-policy-documents/annual-report-2018.pdf?sfvrsn=5

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Updates

2020-07-29 11:27:38 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-07-25 15:08:30 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-07-20 09:47:40 +0100

10 signatures reached