Alex Zanutto

Irish Health Committee Rejects MMJ Bill

An Irish Parliamentary committee has rejected a bill to legalize medical cannabis on the grounds that the measure was “too loose to effectively guard against leakage of supply to recreational users, [and] overuse by patients,” and that if cannabis were removed from the Misuse of Drugs Act, as proposed, it could decriminalize cannabis use for everyone, the Irish Times reports.

The Health Committee said removing cannabis from the Misuse of Drugs Act “seems in conflict with the intention of the bill which is to make cannabis available specifically for medicinal use as expressed in the title of the bill.”

“It is the view of the committee that this is not a safe course of action,” the lawmakers said in the denial.

Last year, Ireland’s lower house of Parliament approved the measure, proposed by People Before Profit MP Gino Kenny, and at that time many expected the measure to be law by Easter. In February, a Health Products Regulatory Agency working group released a report outlining its recommendations for a medical cannabis program that would allow patients with just three qualifying conditions access to cannabis products. The following month, the body proposed a five-year medical cannabis pilot program, which would cover those conditions.

Kenny told the Times that he heard about the rejection on the radio, which he called “completely unacceptable,” adding that “there was bias against” the bill from members of the committee. He said that the committee members “have to live with themselves for what they’ve done.”

“What happened yesterday is a shambles,” he said.

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