Patients ask Luke Ming Flanagan to fight for medicinal cannabis
Published 04/05/2012 | 07:16
UP to 50 patients have called on Luke "Ming" Flanagan to fight for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use.
The Independent TD revealed people from all over Ireland suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) and other illnesses had contacted his office over the controversial issue.
Mr Flanagan - an outspoken campaigner for the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use - said one MS sufferer claimed his incontinence was cured when he smoked the drug, but went back to wearing a nappy when he stopped.
Another man's eye spasms, which caused temporary blindness, stopped when he smoked the drug, he added.
"We are trying to get use of medicinal use of cannabis raised in the Dail, but we are deciding how best to do that," said Mr Flanagan, who will address a global cannabis march in Dublin on Saturday.
"We have had about 40 to 50 people contact us directly.
"We have had so many requests we would like to bring some of the people affected into the Dail to make themselves available to other TDs."
Meanwhile, medicinal cannabis activist, Gordon McArdle, has proposed legislation on the issue which he has posted to every TD in the country.
He said the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act would be strictly regulated, but would allow the patients of Ireland access to medication that could save their lives.
He maintained Ireland had the legal right to medical cannabis through EU Directives.
"We are calling on the government to allow the use of medical cannabis immediately," said Mr McArdle.
"The current system has patients seeking their medication from the streets.
"If you were a patient would you want to buy your medication from a regulated premises, which has grown the medicine to WHO Herbal Medicine Standards or from the local dealer?
"The quality of medicine is just one issue, patients' safety is another.
"Grandparents suffering from arthritis or motor neurone disease are forced to become a part of the criminal underworld just so they can find relief and dignity.
"This is a disgrace, many nations across the EU have allowed medical cannabis and Ireland's politicians demand that we are last as always to change."