Medical cannabis

Today, the Associate Minister of Health, Peter Dunne, said that in future, specialist doctors will be able to prescribe medical cannabis for those patients who need it. Previously, anyone wanting to use medical cannabis had to get permission from Mr Dunne. Some people, especially cancer sufferers, have found medical cannabis helped the pain without the side effects of other medication.

However, there will still be difficulties for patients who want to use it. It is very expensive because it has to be imported. This will change in time as supplies become available here.

Mr Dunne said that the use of cannabis for recreation will still be illegal.

Cannabis for recreational use is legal in four US states and in a few countries like the Netherlands and Uruguay. Some countries like Colombia and Jamaica allow people to possess a small amount of cannabis for their own use.

Many more countries allow the use of medical cannabis; in fact it has been available in Canada since 2001.

Vocabulary

• cannabis (n) – marijuana, dried leaves from hemp plant
• prescribe (v) – order some medicine for a patient (prescription n)
• medication (n) – pills, medicine
• side effects (n) – other problems caused by the medication eg. headaches, feeling sleepy
• recreation (n), recreational (adj) – for enjoyment, for leisure






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