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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation (Continued) [Medicinal cannabis].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation (Continued) [Medicinal cannabis]. (28 Feb 2017)

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Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: …. The Taoiseach will be familiar with the case of Ava Barry who suffers from the debilitating and traumatic condition of Dravet syndrome which causes regular traumatic seizures. Ava's mother, Vera Twomey, believes she has been forced to commence a 250 km walk from Cork to Leinster House as a result of a decision by the Health Service Executive to refuse to license medicinal cannabis based products for her daughter, despite the fact that an Irish registered doctor made the application on behalf of the family. This underlines the need for Deputy Gino Kenny's Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill to be passed as a matter of urgency. It appears a legal chill factor is preventing the licensing of products that would make a major difference to young children such as Eva and many others who are suffering from chronic pain and severe medical conditions. I want to know about the process regarding the legislation because we are in uncharted territory with this Opposition Bill and whether it will proceed to Committee Stage. We need a commitment that it will proceed to Committee Stage-----


An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  On promised legislation.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: I am referring to a Bill and asking whether it will proceed to Committee Stage. I ask the Government not to seek in any way to restrict access to these products for Ava Barry and others with chronic health conditions who urgently need products to which they are being denied access.


An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: A number of Deputies wish to ask questions on the same issue. I ask them to confine their remarks to one sentence. Deputy Michael Collins will speak as the leader of his group.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: I would like a response to my question.


An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Michael Collins wishes to raise the same issue.

Deputy Michael Collins: In the past couple of years the State has blocked a mother's efforts to keep her daughter alive and free from suffering. Vera Twomey will reach the border between counties Cork and Tipperary today. She is highlighting this issue at a critical time. I ask the Taoiseach to personally intervene in the matter.


Deputy Aindrias Moynihan: I raise the same issue which could be addressed by either of two Bills. The Bill discussed in the House before Christmas could be advanced quickly if it were to be allowed to proceed to Committee Stage. Will the Government allow it to proceed? The Minister for Health also gave a commitment to introduce legislation on the issue. Will one or other Bill be advanced to ease the current difficulty?


An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I will allow Deputy Michael Moynihan to ask a brief question before we move on.

Deputy Michael Moynihan: We need a short roadmap for advancing on this critical issue which is being raised in the House for genuine reasons. We do not want a lengthy timeframe..........


[For the full debate, click on the this link]

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