The Government's decision to begin a medicinal cannabis access programme later this year is "very welcome news", but "important questions" still need to be answered.
This is the view of People Before Profit Galway's Adrian Curran, who has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Health that funding will be made available for the programme.
The programme will allow the use of products licensed under the Medicinal Cannabis Access Programme where conventional treatments have been unsuccessful. The types of conditions which might benefit from such an approach include spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and severe, treatment-resistant epilepsy.
Mr Curran said the programme is a positive development, but that a number of issues still needed to be addressed, such as, how restrictive the programme will it be; how it will be funded; and if medicinal cannabis will be made available to those who need it, without them "having to jump through exhausting hoops". He said people who suffer from chronic pain should also have medical cannabis made available to them.
In the coming weeks, People Before Profit will submit the Cannabis Regulation and Control Bill 2021, which aims to legalise cannabis in Ireland.