Campaigner Vera Twomey 'devastated' by comments of doctors on cannabis

Vera Twomey

Medicinal cannabis campaigner Vera Twomey has said that she was “devastated” to read the comments of doctors who criticised “the one-sided debate on cannabis.”

Ireland is “sleepwalking” into the legalisation of cannabis on the back of a campaign of misinformation about the drug, according to doctors who have set up a new group to campaign against liberalisation.

They say they are treating an ever-growing numbers of patients suffering a range of side effects from abusing the drug.

Ms Twomey is calling for a balanced approach to the issue adding that she had to fight for two years to get medicinal cannabis for her daughter Ava Barry who has severe epilepsy.

“She’s at school today, she’s thriving, she hasn’t been admitted to hospital in two years. Now she’s having a life free of pain.”

It was very “very distressing” to see doctors “coming out and talking about Trojan horses,” she told RTÉ radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show.

“Decriminalisation and ‘medicinal cannabis’ campaigns have proved to be effective Trojan horse strategies on the road to full legalisation and commercialisation elsewhere,” the doctors say in a letter published in the Irish Times today.

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny, who drafted the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Bill, described the letter from the doctors as “extraordinary” and said that some of the language used was “an insult for people campaigning for access to medicinal cannabis.”

In the Irish Times on Monday Dr Ray Walley, a GP in Dublin’s north inner city, said: “I’m concerned about the dishonest debate out there. Society, politics, the medical fraternity, too – we’re sleepwalking into this. The only place you read about cannabis now is in the business sections.”

However, Mr Kenny said that his Bill is not about reckless use, “this is about medical access. Some of this stuff (in the letter) is highly charged.”

He said he agreed with concern expressed about corporations getting involved in the production and sale of medicinal cannabis. “This is something that should be out of the hands of corporations and in a State company.

“Prohibition has failed. Let’s control and regulate and take it out of the hands of unscrupulous dealers.

“It is nonsense that it is a gateway drug.”

More on this topic

Gino Kenny: Leo disrespecting families looking for medicinal cannabis

Stronger cannabis 'causing more problems' for adolescents

20 patients granted use of medicinal cannabis under consultant supervision

No plans to legalise cannabis, says Health Minister

More in this Section

Gardaí in Galway appealing for witnesses to two assaults in the city

Former barrister who stole €235,000 from businessman to be sentenced

Tánaiste admits delay in new digital safety laws amid call to ban children from viewing porn online

Students to take PE classes in Irish to boost fluency


Lifestyle

Animation with emotion: Irish animators on what makes Pixar the best

Step aside London and Paris: The alternative fashion weeks are giving cutting edge fashionistas what they really want

Scene and Heard: Five-minute Theatre For One and George Ezra top picks in Cork

Music is at the core of Sultana’s raison d’etre

More From The Irish Examiner