- 31 Jan 18
Decriminalisation and the legalisation of medical marijuana are top of the agenda, reports Stuart Clark.
The campaign for common sense Irish drug policy stepped up a gear on Friday January 26, when legendary Dublin GAA man, Philly McMahon (above), launched the Ana Liffey Drug Project Strategic Plan 2018-2020.
The All-Star defender has already come out in favour of medically supervised injecting centres following the heroin-related death, in 2012, of his brother, John. But the Ana Liffey plan will go a lot further. Our reports on this Portuguese-style initiative, which can be accessed on hotpress.com, are mandatory reading for all of those on the National Drugs Strategy Steering Committee, which will be reporting at the end of the year to Minister Catherine Byrne. If the right decisions are made now, we might save ourselves a whole world of pain over the next ten years.
The committee would also do well to listen to the Cork mother, and campaigner for the availability of medicinal cannabis, Vera Twomey, who has updated Hot Press on her battle to get the marijuana-based medicine her 8-year-old daughter, Ava, needs to control her epileptic seizures. “We got a phone calling from Micheál Martin, who’s given us lots of help, telling us we’d finally been granted a licence for the use of medicinal cannabis,” Vera says outlining what turns out to be a typically Irish solution to an Irish problem. “We still have to go to Holland every three months, though, to access the medicine, which is extremely expensive. Here, Ava would qualify for the Long-Term Illness Programme for her epilepsy, whereas over there we have to pay. We’ve found it tough – but other families simply wouldn’t be able to afford the flights and the accommodation and the cost of the medicine.”