Header Item Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016: Second Stage [Private Members] (Continued)
 Header Item Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016: Referral to Select Committee [Private Members]

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 931 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 88 Next Page Last Page

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith] The biggest gateway drug for people who smoke cannabis is tobacco and it is one of the biggest killers. Deputy Harty referred to the provision relating to smoking in the workplace. That was inserted because it is not recommended that people who take cannabis for medicinal purposes should smoke it but if some patients do, we have to guard against passive smoking, particularly in workplaces. The same applies to vaping as a method of taking cannabis.

The Barnes report describes how "the human brain and other organs contain naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors as well as chemicals that bind to those receptors". These have "a range of important natural functions, including modulation of pain, control of movement, protection of nerve cells and a role in natural brain adaptability (plasticity), as well as a role in various metabolic, immune and inflammatory processes" and they are in us naturally. THC and CBD mimic, exaggerate and help to stimulate the effects of the human system. That is why they alleviate spasmodic episodes, pain and nervousness to help people relax, etc. Medicinal cannabis is an efficient drug. It can help alleviate a long list of complaints and ailments and big pharma worries about this. George from Ballyfermot is in the Visitors Gallery and is dying to get his hands on this for his granddaughter, Ellie, who also suffers from severe fits just like Ava Twomey. If the legislation was passed, within a matter of months, we would be able to dispense with many more poisonous and harmful drugs such as opiates, benzodiazepines and other chemicals we constantly have to put into our bodies to relieve the symptoms of cancer, fits and so on. I have a friend whose husband is also in the Visitors Gallery. She has been having cannabis treatment over the past few months to alleviate the effects of radiotherapy on her body. It is remarkable to see the difference in a matter of weeks in respect of the relief she is getting and the change in her body, which means she can sleep and eat better.

This is a big issue in working class areas. We have held public meetings and campaigned on this in our constituencies. People in working class areas are aware of medicinal cannabis and they have been researching it on the Internet. I acknowledge that is not sufficient for us to pass legislation, hence the Bill and the question of us going through the proper process in the House. Nevertheless, this will be an amazing breakthrough for us if we can get the legislation through. It should not only be about the tough cases; it should be about multiple sufferers of cancer, MS and Parkinson's disease. Many people could benefit.

When I was a young one, I was big into reggae. Peter Tosh on his album, "Legalise It", sang that cannabis was a cure for glaucoma and that has always stuck in my head. All he talked about was glaucoma. If THC and CBD were part of a medicinal treatment, there is a long list of diseases they could alleviate for humanity. The end game for us is to create a better and more pain-free society for everybody and this is a small contribution on that road. I congratulate Deputy Gino Kenny and I congratulate everybody in the Visitors Gallery for coming in and for sticking with us. They should not go away because we have not got the Bill through yet.

Deputy Gino Kenny: Information on Gino Kenny Zoom on Gino Kenny It has been a healthy debate and I have taken everybody's view on board. It has been quite an emotional and hard week for me but not as hard as some people's circumstances. I can see people in the Gallery whom I have gotten to know over the past few months and I consider the likes of Ava, Paul, Colette, Mark and a few others whose names I forget to be my friends. It has been a fantastic five or six months, even though I have heard about the hard circumstances of their lives. There has almost been a reawakening of goodness to want to help people.

I accept the bona fides of every Member. I disagree with much of what the Minister says but he is genuine on this issue. I disagree with Deputy Harty and I am slightly disappointed by some of his comments. It is his own opinion. I respect him but I am disappointed.

Many provisions in the Bill could be amended, including those relating to the research institute and the cannabis authority. That was intentional because I am new to this game. The last thing I want to do is set up another quango.

Deputy Jonathan O'Brien: Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien There are two.

Deputy Gino Kenny: Information on Gino Kenny Zoom on Gino Kenny I would not be called Gino Kenny then; I would be called Quango Kenny.

  It has been a healthy debate. There is no going back, just like Vera Twomey's walk. When she first suggested it to me, I thought, "Oh God, what is she doing?", but it did awaken people and it did awaken the Minister and he acted. It is up to the House now to act for the benefit of many people. It is a healthy day for democracy in Ireland that we can agree on something very valuable to many valuable people.

  Question put and agreed to.

Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016: Referral to Select Committee [Private Members]

Deputy Gino Kenny: Information on Gino Kenny Zoom on Gino Kenny I move: "That the Bill be referred to the Select Committee on Health pursuant to Standing Orders 84A(3)(a) and 141."

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a chur in iúl do gach Teachta as ucht an chomhoibriú a bhí anseo anocht. Bhí go leor Teachtaí a bhí ag iarraidh páirt a ghlacadh sa díospóireacht. Fuair gach Teachta a bhí ag iarraidh labhairt sa díospóireacht an deis sin os rud é go raibh comhoibriú ann.

Question put and agreed to.

  The Dáil adjourned at 9.40 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 6 December 2016.

Last Updated: 23/02/2018 13:50:20 First Page Previous Page Page of 88 Next Page Last Page