Delegates vote for medical marijuana
THE youth branch of the country's biggest political party is seeking the legalisation of marijuana for medical purposes.
A motion on the issue was emphatically carried at the Garret FitzGerald Summer School, organised by Young Fine Gael, in Killarney at the weekend.
The Munster Regional Council branch, which tabled the motion, stressed that it was not in favour of making the drug available for recreational purposes but it supported its availability to help terminally or critically ill patients.
The branch said there was evidence to suggest that marijuana could help patients with multiple sclerosis, cancer, glaucoma or AIDS.
"This is not about smoking joints. This is about revolutionising healthcare," a spokesman said.
Young Fine Gael member David Higgins told the Killarney gathering that it was impossible to overdose on marijuana.
"The worst it can do is put you to sleep or give you the munchies," he said.
One female delegate wept as she told of a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and she said a compassionate approach was required on the marijuana issue.
A spokesperson for Fine Gael last night told the Irish Independent that Health Minister James Reilly recently indicated that his department was "actively examining" its policy on the use of medicinal canabinoids.
Meanwhile, during a debate on the tourism industry, South Kerry Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin said that the party must ensure those in the trade were given the best chance of competing with overseas destinations.
He said it was becoming "grossly expensive" for hotels and others in the trade to remain in business.