- 22 Oct 13
Two Irish GPs, with between them 40 years of specialising in addiction treatment, have called for cannabis to be legalised here in a landmark article that will appear in the Thursday October 24 issue of Hot Press.
Dr. Garrett McGovern and Dr. Cathal Ó Súiliobháin are both board members of the Irish chapter of NORML, the American organisation, which drove last year’s successful referenda campaigns to legalise marijuana in Colorado and Washington states.
NORML Ireland’s official launch takes place on the day of publication in Buswells Hotel, Dublin 2 at an event, which also serves as the official unveiling of Luke Flanagan TD’s Cannabis Regulation Bill 2013.
“I’m supporting this bill because I’d like to see some rational debate around a sensible drug policy,” says McGovern who’s set up his own alcohol and substance abuse clinic in Dundrum. “My feeling is that we haven’t had that yet in this country. My personal view is that there are far more advantages to legalising cannabis than keeping it prohibited.”
Echoing those sentiments, Dr. Cathal Ó Súiliobháin asserts: “Usually with the patients I see, the issues are getting into trouble with the law or school – and that creates family difficulties. They mostly come to doctors to have screenings and demonstrate to the courts that they’re no longer taking it. The problem is that cannabis is illegal, not that they’re suffering adverse effects from it.”
He adds: “The drugs that cause serious harm in Ireland are alcohol and tobacco; then you’ve heroin, cocaine and the head shop-style of chemicals; down the bottom are tea, coffee and cannabis. I don’t see it as a major drug problem.”
See hotpress.com at 11.30am on Thursday for the first look at the Cannabis Regulation Bill 2013, with video coverage and photos from the launch following later in the day.