Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016: First Stage

I move:

Go gceadófar go dtabharfar isteach Bille dá ngairtear Acht do dhéanamh socrú maidir le rialáil a dhéanamh ar channabas atá lena úsáid chun críocha íocshláinte agus chun na críche sin do bhunú an Údaráis um Rialáil Cannabais; do dhéanamh socrú maidir le soláthar cannabais atá lena úsáid chun críocha íocshláinte a cheadúnú; agus do dhéanamh socrú i dtaobh nithe gaolmhara.

This Bill sets out to give some structure to what is becoming an increasingly demand-led medication. It is demand-led by a number of very specific groups of ill-health sufferers. We met with a society that represents people suffering with Dravet syndrome. For those who do not know what it is, the syndrome is a form of very severe epilepsy which generally manifests itself in children. Cannabis oil can help a great deal to prevent fitting and seizures. The second group that uses it quite frequently are those with multiple sclerosis. I know from living in Ballyfermot that many MS sufferers already obtain cannabis oil to give them relief; cannabis alleviates the nausea, muscle spasms and pain that go with multiple sclerosis. Those two groups are quite significant groups of people with bad health in society and should be considered. There is anecdotal if not scientific evidence to show it provides pain relief to people who suffer from various forms of cancer. We are trying to facilitate the use of cannabis and cannabis-related products for medicinal purposes but these would be ones that have already been experimented on and would clearly have to be prescribed by a medical practitioner or consultant. To do this, we are proposing to establish a cannabis regulation authority which would bear the costs that may be incurred by the State as a result rather than the State bearing the cost. Anybody who holds this cannabis-related product or cannabis for distribution through prescription would have to be licensed to do so. There would be restrictions on selling it, holding it and only people with scripts could obtain it. There are further issues in the Bill on labelling, testing, advertising and having due regard for the needs of users of this product and to promote awareness and an understanding more broadly of cannabis and its effects.

Is the Bill being opposed?

Question put and agreed to.

Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

Question put and agreed to.