Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Without a unified medical marijuana program, qualifications for Irish patients are currently a little unclear. But, they still have a chance to get permission from the government to use cannabis medicine for their ailments.
Ireland does not have a formal program, so they also don’t have any official qualifying conditions. In the past, patients with seizures and chronic pain have found success in getting a license from the Health Minister. If you and your doctor can make a good case to the Health Minister’s office, you may be able to get one yourself.
Since talks of creating a national program for medical cannabis are underway, the future program will likely have more information on which patients count. Stay tuned to Irish cannabis news to find out.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2017 and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, a patient or medical professional can possess marijuana if they get approval from the Health Minister. But, these laws apply to numerous drugs, not just cannabis. So, they have no specific guidelines that detail what conditions count and what application to use.
But, resourceful patients find a safe and legal way to medicate. The Misuse of Drugs Regulations do give patients the ability to apply for a license — they just don’t offer many details. This lack of specifications has allowed some patients to take the application process in their own hands.
Chronic Pain Ireland offers a template you can use as an appeal to the Health Minister. Their National Secretary created this document to help patients get the medication they need. It uses the Dutch Office of Medicinal Cannabis guidelines as a base.
Once you have your license from the government, you need to find a legal source for your medicine. Unfortunately, Ireland has no dispensaries or suppliers. So, patients must get imported medication or grow it themselves. Doctors can legally acquire medical cannabis for their patients if they have a license. So, when you apply for your own medicinal cannabis card, your doctor will apply, as well.
If you want to grow your own medicine, make sure to ask for permission as part of your license application. The license you get from the Health Minister will state if you can raise cannabis plants. Since each license works on a case-by-case basis, consider everything you want out of your treatment.
Ideally, access will expand with the formation of an official medical marijuana program. Health Minister Simon Harris claims his office is currently determining a source for Irish cannabis medicine but has not specified further.
When a patient has a license from the Health Minister, they can do the cannabis-related activities specified on their card. Some patients might not have the same permissions as others. So, the protections a patient has depends on their license and what it allows them to do.
But, not many patients in Ireland have licenses. In March 2018, Harris stated he had only signed five licenses. So, without an official government program, patients without licenses have no legal protections. Hopefully, developments in Irish medical cannabis law will happen soon so patients can medicate in peace.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we know knowledge is power for patients in need. So, we have a full library of international resources you can use to learn about marijuana medicine in your country and beyond. Use these guides and our news blog to understand how to get legal access to medical marijuana.