Call for Wexford support for medical cannabis bill

By david Tucker

Published 08/10/2016 | 00:00

Campaigning for the legalisation of medical cannabis group in Wexford's Bullring: Vinnie Lavery, Paddy Murphy, Simon Fergus, Stephen Kavanagh and Arthur Lavery.
Campaigning for the legalisation of medical cannabis group in Wexford's Bullring: Vinnie Lavery, Paddy Murphy, Simon Fergus, Stephen Kavanagh and Arthur Lavery.

MORE than 100 Wexford people have joined a postcard campaign aimed at two government ministers urging them to consider legalising medical cannabis.

Simon Fergus, a carer for his disabled mother who is beset with pain, said that if medical cannabis were legalised she would have access to a strain of cannabis that helped her pain, 'but didn't mess with her head'.

'She suffers from a slipped disc, a degenerative disc, rheumatoid arthritis and from a failed spinal surgery.

'I have been her carer since my father my father passed away at the beginning of 2015. She has tried cannabis a few times over the years and found that it did help with her pain, but she found the 'high' effect unpleasant,' said Simon.

Simon, who lives in Bridgetown, said he had been involved in several events over the past two years in Dublin and Wexford in regard to cannabis law reform with organisations such as Help not Harm which authored the Medical Cannabis Bill with People before Profit.

The Medical Cannabis bill was submitted to the dail in July of this year and has yet to be voted on. The bill would allow for consultants to prescribe their patients with medical grade cannabis products and allow for companies to be set up in Ireland that would produce, research and provide quality controlled cannabis medicines to be prescribed.

It would also allow for medical cannabis products to be imported from countries that already have these systems in place such as Canada and the Netherlands.

'I recently attended the Global Medical Cannabis summit in Dublin and heard the chief scientists from the Canadian company, Tilray, and the Dutch company, Bedrocan, speak about how much care and research they put into their cannabis medicines.

'I really want this bill to pass and I'm sure most people in this country feel the same way,' said Simon who has produced 500 postcards - destined for Ministers Simon Harris and Catherine Byrne - for people to sign calling on the government to and its medical establishment to test the viability of medical cannabis use in Ireland - ahead of the signing day at the Bullring last Friday.

'I hope to hold a fund raiser in the near future to fund this campaign as I have been funding it myself so far,' said Simon who taking his campaign to other county Wexford towns over the next few weeks.

Wexford People

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