A Bill proposing the legalisation of cannabis for medical use has been passed in Ireland.
The Bill was put forward by Gino Kenny TD from the People Before Profit party and passed without a vote in the lower house of the Irish Parliament, with the Irish Government stating beforehand that it would not oppose the legislation at this stage.
It will now progress to the committee stage and this is expected to take place at the start of next year.
A review by the Health Products Regulatory Authority on the scientific and clinical value claims of medicinal cannabis is due to be completed in January.
In September, the UK Government dismissed calls for cannabis to be made legal for medical reasons.
It was responding to a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Drug Policy Reform which claimed that there is evidence in favour of using cannabis in the treatment of certain conditions.
The Government argued that there is a “substantial body of scientific and medical evidence to show that cannabis is a harmful drug which can damage people’s mental and physical health”.
The UK Government has also faced calls to legalise cannabis for recreational use.
Last month, a number of MPs gave their support to a pro-cannabis report in favour of legalisation.
The report, released by free market think-tank The Adam Smith Institute and pro-drug group VolteFace, claimed that legalisation would earn up to £1 billion every year in tax revenue.
A spokesman for the Home Office said it has “no plans to legalise cannabis”.