Critically ill breaking law by using cannabis for pain relief

MS Ireland and a consultant neurologist,  Dr Orla Hardiman, both disclosed ‘many’ sufferers use cannabis to treat spasticity and pain.  Last year,  MS Ireland wrote to ex-health minister Mary Harney inquiring about the  possibility of making Sativex, a cannabis- based drug licensed in Britain,  available in Ireland.  The organisation outlined the published  research into the benefits of Sativex and asked her to  make it available to  people with MS.  “We heard back asking if we could nominate a medical  professional who could help review the product,” a spokesperson for MS Ireland  said. “We nominated our medical adviser but that’s all we heard.”   Dr  Hardiman, meanwhile, said she believes cannabis can help people.

“I  have a lot of patients who use it for spasticity and pain, for whom stiffness is  eased and they can walk much better than they used to,” she said.  “But  doctors cannot override the law and it is against the law, so we can’t endorse  it.”  The Department of Health, meanwhile, said that as cannabis was  the drug most abused in Ireland, it was reluctant to loosen controls on its use.  However, the department is examining the issues associated with  applying controls, similar to those that apply to other controlled drugs that  can be misused, such as morphine and methadone, to cannabis-based medicinal  products.

via : Irish Examiner

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