Ireland Moves to Legalize Medical Cannabis
The nation of Ireland is continuing to relax some of its conservative social policies. In just the past two years, the deeply Catholic country has made divorce legal, decriminalized homosexuality, and legalized same sex marriage, the first nation to do so through a popular vote.
Now Ireland’s parliament, the Dáil, has passed a bill legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis, following word from the ruling party that they would not oppose such a measure.
Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster, Raidió Teilifís Éireann, reports that lawmaker Gino Kenny, sponsor of the bill, intends to make cannabis products available to patients who suffer from chronic pain, epilepsy, cancer, MS, and fibromyalgia.
Ireland’s Minister for Health, Simon Harris, indicated that he will not oppose its progression through the Dáil, but added that some amendments may need to be added to the bill to thwart any possibility that medical cannabis legalization would open the door to legalized recreational marijuana use.
But not everyone in Ireland is happy that medical cannabis is being proposed for the nation. Paul Cullen, the Health Correspondent for The Irish Times, writes that there is “No good evidence for legalising medicinal cannabis” and that passage of the law would “make [marijuana] legal for recreational use for everyone over age of 16.”
Read more at weednews.com.
Obama Says Marijuana Should Be Treated Like ‘Cigarettes or Alcohol’
In an exit interview with Rolling Stone magazine, President Obama said that marijuana use should be treated as a public-health issue similar to tobacco or alcohol and called the current patchwork of state and federal laws regarding the drug “untenable.”
“Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse,” Obama said. “And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it.”
Obama has made comments to this effect before. In a 2014 interview with the New Yorker magazine he said that marijuana was less dangerous than alcohol “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.” More recently, he told TV host Bill Maher, “I think we’re going to have to have a more serious conversation about how we are treating marijuana and our drug laws generally.”
In the Rolling Stone interview published this week, Obama also reiterated his long-standing position that changing federal marijuana laws is not something the president can do unilaterally. “Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict,” he said, “but are done either legislatively or through the DEA. As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.
Read more at The Washington Post.
Steve Kerr Expounds on His Comments Regarding Medical Marijuana Use
Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr made headlines Friday when he said on a podcast with CSN Bay Area’s Monte Poole that he took medicinal marijuana during his recovery from back surgery last year.
Before the Warriors faced the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena Saturday night, Kerr discussed the way the story had blown up over the prior 24 hours, and how his original point — that he’d used medical marijuana because of the many potential side effects that come with taking regularly prescribed drugs — had been lost amid the reaction to an NBA coach admitting he’d used marijuana, even in a medicinal setting.
Kerr’s full responses — which in total took several minutes — are [in the linked article], along with the questions that prompted them.
Read more at The Washington Post.