Minster for Health Simon Harris vows government won't oppose medicinal cannabis bill
The bill is due to be debated in the Dáil on Thursday...
Minister for Health Simon Harris has announced that the government will not oppose the medicinal cannabis bill put forward by People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny.
The bill, which will be debated in the Dáil on Thursday, provides for the regulation of cannabis for medicinal use so that patients can receive a legally protected, secure supply that is safe and effective.
Although Harris said he will allow the bill to pass to committee stage, he will table several amendments to Gino Kenny's bill.
According to a statement from Harris in The Irish Times, he expressed his desire to see progress and not divide the Dáil.
“However, on the central objective of the Bill, access to medicinal cannabis products, I accept the deputies’ bona fides, share their desire to make progress on this matter and it is clear there is much common ground on this across the Oireachtas.
“Therefore, while there are elements of the Bill I do not and will not support, I don’t wish to divide the Dáil on this issue and will not oppose the Bill at second stage.”
The bill also has the support of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour, the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Anti-Austerity Alliance, some of whom are expected to propose amendments.
If it is passed, the bill, which proposes the establishment of a cannabis regulatory authority tasked with regulating the sale, labelling, advertising and marketing of cannabis and related products, will go to the Oireachtas health committee for examination.
A report from the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) about the issue, which was ordered by Harris earlier this month, is due in January.