Why was Patients Of Cannabis set up?
Recent campaigns for gay marriage and repeal of the 8th amendment have shown that ever more increasingly public opinion draws from a well of sentiment online as much as from the traditional channels of public protest and traditional political activism. There has been much publicised campaigns of individual cases, most notably that of Vera Twomey who has been successful in obtaining a licence for medicinal cannabis for her daughter, but surely not everyone fighting for their heath and survival can mount such a physical campaign to also obtain a licence for medicinal cannabis.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in the Republic of Ireland who are significantly limited in the options available to them for treatment of a wide variety of debilitating and life threatening diseases such epilepsy, seizures, cancer, fibromyalgia and as a consequence many are made aware of the benefits and in many cases, the healing properties of cannabis.
However, due to the existing laws which prohibit the use of cannabis, which were designed to control its recreational use, these very same individuals have to content with both the stigma clearly associated with its classification and recreational use as well as the complexities of sourcing it and the legal implications that this presents.
A considerable effort was put into bringing forward an amendment to the law governing cannabis and its use in Ireland but this has dragged on for some considerable time without resolution in sight which would provide access to people who would greatly benefit from its availability for their needs. Several hard fought exceptions have been granted but surely if an individual or close family member is fighting cancer, we cannot expect them to be actively lobbying their elected representative, marching on parliament, travelling outside of Ireland to seek treatment or break the law in their attempt merely to be well.