7 November 2016
Here’s the tweet
Today I have announced a policy review in relation to medicinal cannabis & have asked the HPRA to research this area & report back 1/2
3:47 AM – 4 Nov 2016
The Minister added that he will be seeking expert scientific advice from the country’s Health Products and Regulatory Authority (HPRA), so the government can be made aware of the “latest medical and scientific evidence” when it comes to the benefits of cannabis.
Harris went on to highlight several of the countries around the world that now enjoy better health because of medical cannabis, including the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Malta, and many of the U.S. states.
Last July, a political party within the Emerald Isle called the People Before Profit Alliance introduced the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill. Their efforts were bolstered because of resident Vera Twomey called on the government to take action when her six-year-old daughter Ava, who has an advanced form of epilepsy, became practically seizure-free, after beginning daily treatment with cannabis oil.
This uplifting story has not fallen on deaf ears within Ireland’s government, as Minister Harris acknowledged Twomey in his comments. “I met [with her]in June and I understand the very difficult situation the family are in. I look forward to meeting with Vera again in the coming days.”
Ireland’s , The Journal also reports
HEALTH MINISTER SIMON Harris has announced a review of Ireland’s policy on medicinal cannabis, which is currently strictly controlled.
The announcement comes a day after mother Vera Twomey began a 150-mile protest from Cork to Dublin to try to persuade the government to legalise cannabis for medical purposes.
Vera’s six-year-old daughter Ava has Dravets syndrome, an extremely rare, drug-resistant form of epilepsy which at its worst, causes up to 20 seizures in a day.
Vera says that medicinal marijuana in liquid form has the potential to save her daughter’s life, as it reduces the frequency of Ava’s seizures – she says by about 80%.
Having been frustrated by continuous efforts to contact the Department of Health, and after her daughter had a particularly violent seizure, Vera set off on a 150-mile protest to try and get the government’s attention.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime tonight, Vera said that she and other people who had joined her had walked 20 miles and arrived in Mallow at about six o’clock when Minister Simon Harris rang her.
“He said well Vera I’m not comfortable that you are doing this, that you are walking all the ways up to Dublin; you don’t have to do this.”
I said to Simon I’m not comfortable having to walk 20 miles either but what am I going to do? What are you going to do?”
A formal meeting was arranged between Harris and Vera and the minister later released a statement regarding the medicinal cannabis.
In the statement, Harris says that he has asked the Health Products Regulatory Authority (formerly the Irish Medicines Board) to provide him with their expert scientific advice on the issue.
“This is not a discussion about decriminalising cannabis in any way shape or form, it is about reviewing our current policy and seeking to inform ourselves of the latest medical and scientific evidence on the potential medical benefits of cannabis for some people with certain medical conditions”, the Minister said.
More info about Harris can be found at http://www.simonharris.ie