More MS news articles for Sep 2001

Cannabis for pain relief urged

Thursday, September 27, 2001

A serious debate must take place in Ireland about legalising cannabis for medicinal use, a Cork Fine Gael TD has urged, following successful trials in the United Kingdom.

Mr Simon Coveney said that "trials conducted over the last number of years in the UK have produced very encouraging results in the relief of severe pain, muscle spasm and bladder problems associated with illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.

"We need to separate the use of cannabis as a recreational drug from its potential to relieve suffering from a range of illnesses such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis as well as chronic pain relief," he said.

Active ingredients contained in a cannabis extract, which can be sprayed on the tongue and absorbed directly into the bloodstream, were found in the studies to alleviate pain, reduce tremors and prevent incontinence.

"Cannabis as a recreational drug should remain illegal but this should not stop its use for genuine medical treatment," Mr Coveney said.

Holland allows the sale of small quantities of cannabis for personal use in cafes, to break the link between it and hard drugs such as heroin.

© 2001