Only time will tell whether today’s children will have as much difficulty explaining to their grandchildren why we so steadfastly criminalised medicinal cannabis products as their grandparents have today trying to explain why contraceptives were once only available to married couples who could find a doctor who might prescribe them.
Just as legalising cannabis, even medicinal cannabis, is still regarded in some quarters as proof that the barbarians are at the gates, the legalisation of contraception — the first of many loosing laws — was seen in that light too.
During the intervening decades, since former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey steered his “Irish solution to an Irish problem” through the Oireachtas, the sky has not fallen in and responsible contraceptive use is as everyday as rain.
Two medicinal cannabis products have been approved for sale.
These are the first sanctioned under the Government‘s five-year medical cannabis access programme.
Both are oral products and contain levels of the psychoactive chemical THC that were, like contraceptives, once illegal.
The HSE will pay for cannabis products approved under the medical cannabis access programme, in line with the existing support schemes for medicines dispensed through community pharmacies.
This all seems laudable but it might be wise to plan a review in, say, five years to see if the decision in justified.