Family campaigning for legalisation of medicinal marijuana meets with Minister for Health

The Twomey family from Cork met with Minister Simon Harris this afternoon to put forward their case for legalisation following the positive results they have seen with their family member thanks to cannabis oil.

Vera Twomey’s six-year-old daughter Ava has a rare, drug-resistant form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, which can result in up to 20 seizures a day.

The family wants tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) a component of cannabis to be legalised as they believe it may help reduce the number of life-threatening seizures Ava suffers.

They say that since last month Ava has been given cannabis oil – CBD – which has cut her seizures by up to 80% and believe THC could help even more.

Eleven different types of treatment were tried with Ava and none were successful and her mother said that CBD was their “last resort”.

Ms Twomey only discovered it could be legally purchased in this country in September.

The family were able to buy the product, Charlotte’s Web, from a hemp shop in Dublin.

Vera Twomey said that while CBD can be bought here legally she wanted it licensed for prescription by doctors.

Last week, Ms Twomey set off on foot from her home in Aghabullogue to the Dáil to highlight her campaign.

She called off her journey nine hours later after Minister Simon Harris said he would meet her.

Following today’s meeting, Ms Twomey said the minister said he will ask his officials to complete a review into the matter which will be completed by January.

The bill, which was published in July, provides for the regulation of cannabis for medicinal use so that patients can receive a legally protected, secure supply that is safe and effective.

The Department of Health has said it would consider the Opposition Bill at that point.