how Medicinal cannabis could be here next year
Although the legalisation of recreational cannabis is certainly not on the horizon in Ireland, and won't be any time soon, medicinal cannabis could be available as soon as next year.
Current law rules out even medicinal cannabis, except for research, but the Government has a different attitude to its predecessor, when Mary Harney was reluctant to loosen any kind of controls.
Now-resigned junior health minister Róisín Shortall last year said she was examining proposals to make cannabis-based medicines available.
That seems to be proceeding, with the Irish Medicines Board receiving a request from a manufacturer looking for permission to sell medicines containing cannabis.
A spokesperson told the Weekend Review: "Department officials have been engaging with experts on how best to legally describe authorised cannabis-based medicinal products while maintaining existing controls on cannabis and cannabis substances to enable such authorised medicinal products to be prescribed in Ireland and used by patients.
"While it is not possible to set out an exact time frame, it is hoped to bring forward legislative proposals in early 2013," the statement added.