Medical cannabis Bill scrapped in Ireland

A Bill which would have legalised cannabis for medical use has been dropped in the Republic of Ireland.

The Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016 would have allowed the drug, a Class B controlled substance in the UK, to be permitted for patients with epilepsy, intractable nausea and other illnesses.

The Irish Parliament’s health committee scrapped the Bill after its report warned of a lack of safeguards, and other “unintended” consequences.

Not safe

The report said the Bill poses “major legal issues, unintended policy consequences and a lack of safeguards against harmful use of cannabis by patients”.

It also noted that there was a shortage of scientific peer-reviewed evidence on the safety and effectiveness of legalising cannabis for medical reasons.

It cautioned that changing the law could have the effect of decriminalising cannabis for all users.

‘Harmful drug’

Last year, 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”.