Belfast Telegraph

Republic set to legalise cannabis for medical use

By Brian Hutton

The Republic of Ireland is to become the latest country to legalise the use of cannabis for treating specific medical conditions.

Despite a government-ordered report warning of a lack of evidence over the drug's safety and effectiveness, Irish Health Minister Simon Harris has given the green light for its use in certain circumstances.

Mr Harris said he will establish an access programme for cannabis-based treatments for conditions "where patients have not responded to other treatments and there is some evidence that cannabis may be effective". These will include multiple sclerosis sufferers, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and epileptics.

Pressure is mounting in Britain for similar moves.

Germany is already preparing to legalise cannabis for medical purposes, while Canada is set for decriminalisation.

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