By BRIAN MOORE
A MEETING in Macroom, held to discuss the legalisation of medicinal cannabis, drew attendees from Dublin, Meath and Galway.
Local mum Vera Twomey, whose daughter Ava suffers from Dravets Syndrome, told the over-120 people at the Castle Hotel that a product called Charlotte’s Web Cannabis Oil, manufactured in Colorado, offers some hope for her daughter.
‘We were able to buy, legally, a bottle of Charlotte’s Web from a shop in Dublin. After consulting with a doctor, we discovered the correct dosage for Ava, and we have found that there is a clear change in her condition,’ Vera said.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Gino Kelly of the People Before Profit party, who said legislation to legalise medicinal cannabis is currently before an Oireachtas review board.
‘We are delighted with the numbers of people who have, not only turned out here tonight in Macroom, but also contacted us with their support,’ Deputy Kelly told The Southern Star.
‘It is clear to see that there are people right across the country that are not only interested in this subject, but are also looking for a way to help their loved ones who are suffering,’ he said.
While Charlotte’s Web is not illegal in Ireland, Vera has started a campaign and attended an Oireachtas committee to urge Health Minister Simon Harris to put forward legislation to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis oil, which contains the element tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is illegal.
‘All I want to do is to ease my daughter’s suffering and give her a chance at a life beyond the seizures and the pain,’ Vera said.
The review’s findings are expected to be with the Minister by the end of January, with a Bill ready for committee stage by the middle of March. ‘We are looking at, all going well, the legislation to be enacted by June, but we have a few mountains to climb before then,’ said Deputy Kelly. ‘We want people to have access to medicinal cannabis so that families across the country, just like Vera and Ava who have found what they call a miracle form of relief for their suffering loved ones, can continue without fear of prosecution,’ Deputy Kelly concluded.