Ireland to Legalise Cannabis for Specific Medical Conditions

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Patients with multiple sclerosis, severe epilepsy, or undergoing chemotherapy could be given drug despite safety fears

Ireland is set to legalise the use of cannabis for treating specific medical conditions, after a report commissioned by the government said the drug could be given to some patients with certain illnesses.

The Irish health minister, Simon Harris, said he would support the use of medical cannabis “where patients have not responded to other treatments and there is some evidence that cannabis may be effective”.

The report said cannabis could be given to patients with a range of illnesses including multiple sclerosis and severe epilepsy, and to offset the effects of chemotherapy.

“I believe this report marks a significant milestone in developing policy in this area,” Harris said. “This is something I am eager to progress but I am also obligated to proceed on the basis of the best clinical advice.”

Last November, Harris asked Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) to examine the latest evidence on cannabis for medical use and how schemes to facilitate this operate in other countries.

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