Government expected to sign law for legal cannabis-based medicine

Minister of State Alex White

The Government is expected to sign new laws today paving the way for cannabis-based medicines to become legal in Ireland.

The oral spray, called 'Sativex', has been launched in 11 countries (including the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany) and approved in a further 13.

The legislation is likely to be signed by Minister of State Alex White later today.

It is proven to ease symptoms and significantly improve the quality of life of people suffering from illnesses like multiple sclerosis.

It is also used in palliative care for patients who are in severe pain.

The compnay has confirmed it submitted an application for approval by Irish authorities.

Tom Curran - whose partner Marie Fleming died of MS - has been campaigning for years to have the laws changed.

He says although he knew it was illegal, he grew cannabis for Marie so she would get some relief.

"She used to smoke a cigarette - or whatever you'd like to call it - before going to sleep or at night, when the pain used get pretty bad," he said.

"And it gave her such relief that she got sleep; there were no side-effects, which is more than could be said for the pain-control medicines she was getting on prescription.

"The relief it gave Marie far outweighed any difficulty I might have had with the law," he added.

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