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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation [Medical cannabis].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation [Medical cannabis]. (04 Oct 2018)

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Deputy Gino Kenny: I raise the issue of medical cannabis, which I have raised more times than any other issue in the two and a half years since my election. I just received a telephone call from a parent who is utterly confused about the position on medical cannabis. Three options are available, namely, to go through the licensing system for medical cannabis, to go abroad to obtain medical cannabis, or to obtain it illegally, as most people are doing. In January 2017, the Health Products Regulatory Authority, HPRA, made a recommendation on establishing a medical cannabis access programme. That was 19 months ago, and nothing has been done. Will the Tánaiste give a timeframe for having the access programme up and running? I ask him not to give another stock answer because I get the same old answers all the time. 

The Tánaiste: I know the Deputy has done a good deal of work in this area. The last time I answered a question from him on this issue it received a negative reaction, which I had not intended to provoke. What we are trying to do is have a streamlined licensing system that can allow families to access appropriate drugs under the supervision and support of a consultant doctor. It will mean those decisions being made quickly in a streamlined way to ensure appropriate medicines can be accessed and licensed to be brought into Ireland for patients. That is my understanding of what the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris, is committed to. As far as I know, he has not refused any licence that has been requested and has the support of a consultant doctor in terms of the management of the case for the patient concerned. There is a commitment to try to streamline that process to ensure decisions can be made more quickly for the families concerned.

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