Ireland will soon be the latest nation to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Irish legislators passed a bill to make legalize medical marijuana after the government agreed that it would not stand in the way.
Gino Kenny, the sponsor of the bill said that it would give doctors the authority to decide if patients would benefit from the herb. The bill was passed Ireland’s lower house without a vote. The measure now goes to committee for scientific and regulatory review.
The landmark decision will allow Irish citizens suffering serious illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia the option of using cannabis as a treatment. Those suffering from chronic pain will also be covered in the legislation.
What is most interesting about this development is an Irish physician is credited with bringing cannabis to the Western world more than 175 years ago.
In 1839, Dr. William O’Shaughnessy brought cannabis into Europe from India. While in India,O’Shaughnessy witnessed the beneficial effects the herb had on relieving pain. O’Shaughnessy, who wrote countless reports on the drug, began using it on his patients in Europe.
Cannabis remained in the pharmacopoeia of Western medicine until the 193os, when the United States began its campaign to criminalize and demonize cannabis.
Kelly, the legislation’s sponsor, believes the Irish government will not stand in the way of progress.
“There is also increasing evidence that when patients use cannabis-based products more toxic alternatives such as opiate painkillers and sedatives are reduced and more serious side effects and deaths on these drugs are reduced,” he told the Irish Times. “Over the past five decades the cannabis plant has been stigmatised, criminalised and demonised by governments and corporations with their own vested interests. The war on drugs has been a miserable failure all over the world and governments are now picking up the pieces.”
Cannabis for medicinal use is permitted in the Netherlands, Croatia, Malta, the Czech Republic, Australia, Canada and a number of in 29 U.S. states.
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