Around the world, more and more countries are opening up to the idea of allowing marijuana as medicine. With research coming out of every corner of the globe showing its effectiveness in treating several severely debilitating medical conditions, it only makes sense that more governments are taking steps to make this medicine accessible by those who need it. Nations like Canada have already been allowing the medicinal use of cannabis – and some, like Australia and Germany, are well on their way to providing relief for hundreds of thousands of patients. Now Ireland may be the next country to step up and recognize marijuana as medicine.
It all started because of one mother who decided to protest by walking from Cork to Dublin – a 150 mile journey – in order to get in front of those who make the laws. Vera Twomey decided this was the only option she had left to get someone to listen to her – after attempting to write, call and even trying to engage lawmakers over social media to no avail. Her daughter Ava, who is six-years-old, has a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome, which causes up to 20 seizures a day and hundreds in a single month. While the condition is resistant to most prescription drugs, studies have shown significant results in the use of CBD oil to control the seizures.
Ava has now been on CBD oil since October 2nd and has seen a significant reduction in seizures – however, due to the illegality of the medicine, it is not something that is readily available or even something that she is legally allowed to take, regardless of how effective it is. Before making the decision that she would walk the 150 miles to try and talk to someone personally and bring attention to the issue, for Ava and all those who would benefit from medical marijuana, Ava had a seizure that Vera Twomey believed could have killed her daughter.
“Last night Ava had a violent seizure, and I’m convinced that Ava could have been in a very serious way if it wasn’t for the benefit of almost a month completely free of seizures to fight off the attack last night.”
After starting her journey, Twomey received a call from the Minister of Health, Simon Harris, who has now met with her and promised that at the start of the new year, they will be looking into the possibility of legal medical cannabis for patients in Ireland. There will be a report issued by Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority, which will provide a scientifically based analysis for the Minister of Health – helping them to decide how to move forward with such new policies.
“This is not a discussion about decriminalising cannabis in any way shape or form, it is about reviewing our current policy and seeking to inform ourselves of the latest medical and scientific evidence on the potential medical benefits of cannabis for some people with certain medical conditions”, the Minister said.
While it will definitely take time before medical marijuana is legalized, as well as made readily available to patients, it is a huge step forward for yet another country. Every time a country decides to repeal prohibitionist laws in the interest of helping patients find relief, they are helping bring legitimacy to the benefits of medical marijuana. Thanks to Vera taking a stand for her daughter and not resting until she was heard, thousands upon thousands of people in Ireland will hopefully have the option of medicating with a safer, more natural substance.