Flanagan to bring bill to Dáil on legalising cannabis

A bill aimed at legalising cannabis is being brought before the Dáil in April next year by an Independent TD.

Roscommon TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan is to bring a Private Members’ Bill before the Oireachtas to fully legalise the drug for purchase. “I have been campaigning for years for the legalisation of cannabis and I am preparing a Private Members’ Bill that I will be putting before the Dáil in April of next year,” he said.

Mr Flanagan has been a long-time supporter of the full decriminalisation of cannabis, though he no longer smokes the drug.

“I wouldn’t be naive in thinking I will get a lot of support in the Dáil but it would certainly show some of them up for the hypocrites they are. I’m a legislator and I have a mandate.

“There is this preconception that it is bad for you but the fact is, people are smoking it and the Government is losing a massive amount of money by not regulating it and taxing it. I’m launching this campaign and I aim for it to be successful,” he said.

The Department of Health has said it hopes to bring forward legislative proposals by early 2013, enabling cannabis-based medicines to be prescribed in Ireland. The legislation would allow the prescription of Sativex, a drug containing cannabis extract, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Sativex is already available in the North.

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