Header Item Heritage Bill 2016 [Seanad]: Referral to Select Committee (Continued)
 Header Item Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016 Report: Motion [Private Members]

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 961 No. 3
Unrevised

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  2 o’clock

Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016 Report: Motion [Private Members]

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher So that there is no confusion, let me be very clear in respect of the first speakers. First we will have the chair of the committee, Deputy Michael Harty, then we will have the Minister. With the approval of the House, I will then call on the Deputy responsible for this Bill, Deputy Gino Kenny. Agreed? Agreed. I remind the Deputies that they can share time.

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith Those Deputies did not come in for ages. We were in the queue long before them.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I only came into the Chair now.

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith We were queuing by the Chair and were told to sit down.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Deputy knows the practice.

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith I do not.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I am here a long time and I know the practice.

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith I am not. I have only been here a short time.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger The practice is that Deputies stand by the Chair and give their names. That is the normal practice.

Deputy Pat Buckley: Information on Pat Buckley Zoom on Pat Buckley Anseo.

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith An bhfuil cead agam dul amach go dtí an leithreas?

Deputy Louise O'Reilly: Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly Níl cead ag an Teachta. Suí síos.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher There are only ten-minute slots anyway.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett May I make a suggestion on that?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Deputy may if it is helpful.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett The arrangements would only allow for seven slots.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher No, the slots are ten minutes each.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett The Government and the committee have 50 minutes between them.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher They have 15 minutes each. That is 30 minutes.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett They have 30 minutes between them to begin and then a further ten minutes each at the end. That leaves only 70 minutes for the rest of us.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher There will only be seven slots if everyone takes ten minutes.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett That is precisely my point. I suggest we change that and make them five-minute slots.

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith That should include Government speakers.

Deputy Joan Collins: Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins Or the ten-minute slots could be shared.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We can do that if we get agreement. Are the Government and the chairman going to take 15 minutes each, as they are entitled to?

Deputy Simon Harris: Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I do not need that much time.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Minister is being helpful.

Deputy Michael Harty: Information on Michael Harty Zoom on Michael Harty I will need 15 minutes.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The chairman is taking 15 minutes and the Minister is taking ten.

Deputy Gino Kenny: Information on Gino Kenny Zoom on Gino Kenny I will only need five.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Will someone run out and get a few more speakers? We will have too few.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett The Leas-Cheann Comhairle need not worry, we will fill the time.

Deputy Bríd Smith: Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith The Leas-Cheann Comhairle should not forget to take a few women as well.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger We need a gender quota or something.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I will not respond to that. In the times we are in, I will not say anything.

Deputy Joan Collins: Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins Are we being given ten-minute slots?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Let the chairman begin and I will work it out.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett What are we doing?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We will go for five minutes.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett Five minutes. And will everybody be allowed speak?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I am trying to let everybody in. Let me work out the list while Deputy Harty begins. There is no point in delaying.

Deputy Michael Harty: Information on Michael Harty Zoom on Michael Harty I move:

That Dáil Éireann accepts the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Health in its Report entitled 'Report on Scrutiny of the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016 [PMB]', copies of which were laid before Dáil Éireann on 12th July 2017, that the Bill should not proceed to Committee Stage for the reasons set out in the Report, and orders accordingly.

I should say at the outset that the Joint Committee on Health has been interested in the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids since November 2016. It set the issue as a priority and devoted a meeting to examining these benefits on 24 November 2016. At this meeting the committee heard evidence from the Health Products Regulatory Authority, a specialist neurologist with an interest in epilepsy and the mother of a young girl who suffers from intractable epilepsy. The Joint Committee on Health is very supportive of making medicinal cannabinoids available to patients who do not respond to conventional medication. On 19 January 2017 the committee produced a report on medicinal cannabinoids. In that report the committee noted that, despite the encouraging medicinal possibilities offered by cannabis and cannabinoids, there is still a shortage of peer-reviewed evidence for the efficacy and safety of cannabinoid treatment for many conditions and that potential benefits had to be balanced against risks. The report stated that we should therefore pursue a careful yet committed course of action in engaging with medicinal cannabinoids.


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