Medical advice is being sought by the Republic's Department of Health in relation to cannabis-based medicinal products.
Irish Health Minister Mary Harney confirmed that her department is currently seeking "expert advice on whether or not there is a need, from a clinical perspective, to amend the Misuse of Drugs legislation to allow for the use of cannabis-based medicinal products".
However, Ms Harney warned that: "As cannabis is the drug which is most abused in Ireland, I am reluctant to loosen the controls on its use."
She said that she was aware that claims have been made in respect of the possible health benefits of cannabis-based medicinal products for patients suffering from certain conditions.
"I am also aware that cannabis-based medicinal products may be legally prescribed in other countries," she said.
At the moment in Ireland, cannabis and cannabis-based medicinal products are schedule one controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
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