Simon Harris vows not to oppose medicinal cannabis Bill – Irish Times

The Government has announced it will not oppose Opposition proposals in the Dáil to make cannabis available for medicinal purposes.

Minister for Health Simon Harris confirmed he will facilitate a Bill put forward by People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny and allow it to progress to committee stage in the Dáil.

His statement came following a meeting with Mr Kenny and his Dáil colleague, Richard Boyd Barrett.

Mr Harris said he did not agree with all of the contents of the proposed legislation.

“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.”

Cannabis research

The Bill has already secured the support of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour, the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Anti-Austerity Alliance.

Fine Gael had initially said it would oppose the legislation and await the recommendations of a review by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

The Bill, which is to be debated 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.

It also proposes the establishment of a cannabis regulatory authority, which would be tasked with regulating the sale, labelling, advertising and marketing of cannabis and related products.

A Cannabis research institute, which would conduct or commission and publish cannabis-related research, has also been proposed.

Mr Harris said he had serious concerns about those measures and would be tabling

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