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The United States isn’t the only world player seriously debating about legalizing cannabis. Across the pond, in Ireland there is a growing level of support for cannabis legalization as well.
Two general practice doctors in the UK, Dr. Cathal O’ Suilliobhain (out of Dublin) and Dr. Garret McGovern, recently asked the Irish Medical Organisation to revisit its stance on cannabis. Dr. O’ Suilliobhain advised the assembly that at least 25% of the Irish population admits to using cannabis or marijuana and that it was time to reconsider the pros and cons of cannabis prohibition.
Most tellingly, Dr. O’ Suilliobhain asserted that prohibition is the most dangerous thing about cannabis use. As a doctor who works with people suffering from addiction, Dr. O’ Suilliobhain asserts that the majority of people who use cannabis do not develop health issues as a result of their use and that the greatest risk posed by this medicinal plant is, in fact, getting caught using it.
Dr. O’ Suilliobhain also stressed the impact of prohibition on young people, whose teenage experimentation can, under current laws, ruin their lives if they are caught and convicted of a drug offense. He even noted that when he was in medical school in the 1970s, students in the Royal College of Surgeons were lighting up with some frequency.
The Irish Medical Organisationresponded by unanimously passing a resolution in April of this year requesting the study of the production and use of cannabis within Ireland. Many hope this will be a first step in creating a regulated market.
For now, cannabis remains illegal in Ireland and the United Kingdom, but it is clear that medical professionals are taking note of the possible benefits of cannabis and the unquestionable damages caused by prohibition.
Photo Credit: Department of Posts and Telegraphs under public domain via Wikimedia Commons
In the UK, members of the legislative branch of government are called GPs.