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Peter Robinson's anger over party political broadcast for cannabis campaign party Cista in Northern Ireland

A new party campaigning for the relaxation of the laws on cannabis will spark up debate after it secured a party political broadcast in Northern Ireland.

Their breakthrough came last night when they recruited a third candidate to run for them, automatically qualifying them for a broadcast.

The party is called Cista (Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol) and its latest recruit is Neil Paine, a 45-year-old former British soldier who lives in Coleraine. He is standing in East Londonderry where he hopes to unseat Gregory Campbell of the DUP.


It's time to strike up a conversation about cannabis and MS, says Irish healthcare firm

Dr James Linden spoke to Sean Moncrieff about how patients and researchers are caught in a legal grey area

It was an Irish doctor, one William Brooke O'Shaughnessy, who first pioneered using cannabis for medical relief. In 1839, the Limerick-born physician published one of the world’s first research paper on the drug’s medicinal qualities, having used Indian hemp – then known as gunjah – to treat tetanus and other diseases.

Now, 176 years later, and another Irish doctor is hoping to explore the medical qualities of marijuana, and saying it’s high time that the Irish authorities changed the law to offer relief to thousands of people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.


Ireland POLL: Should cannabis ever be legalised?

Senator James Heffernan and Dr Chris Luke lay out the pros and cons for leagalising cannabis in Ireland. Have your say in our poll below.


Yes, because criminals control its distribution and its illegality is attractive to impressionable young people, says Senator James Heffernan

IF people want to relax of an evening, and if they smoke a joint to do that, well, I don’t have a problem with that. It’s wrong to criminalise a person for using a recreational drug.

Go to any festival in the country and you’ll see recreational drugs everywhere. There’s not a major hassle about that.


Irish Defence: Tomato plants miraculously converted themselves into cannabis plants

A man whose tomato plants “miraculously converted themselves” into cannabis plants has been given an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, on condition he grows no more illegal drugs.

Father of five Daniel Johnson (34), of Garryglass, Cahersiveen, pleaded guilty at the February sitting of Cahersiveen District Court to two counts – of unlawfully cultivating cannabis and unlawfully possessing cannabis on September 18th, 2013.


PSNI seize £800,000 worth of skunk cannabis smuggled into Northern Ireland from Italy

Detectives from Organised Crime Branch have seized drugs worth £800,000, an undisclosed amount of cash and made six arrests as part of an international investigation into the illegal supply of ‘skunk’ cannabis into Northern Ireland.

Those arrested include four men and two women with ages ranging between 26 years and 33 years old.

The PSNI is the lead investigator in an operation involving colleagues from the Italian Carabiniere and the National Crime Agency.

In a major search operation on Tuesday, detectives believe they have arrested significant members of a crime gang who have been involved in money laundering and drugs trafficking activities.


It's high time to introduce medical cannabis in Ireland, say healthcare firm

AN Irish healthcare company say it’s high time the government changed the laws on medical cannabis in this country.

GreenLight Health, a medical cannabis research and development firm, based in Dublin, are hoping to spark interest in a fundraising campaign to lobby the government on the matter.

At present people who use cannabis to relieve medical conditions face criminalisation, a €2,750 fine and up to 12 months in prison for a second offence.

“The situation in Ireland at present is unacceptable,” says Dr James Linden, MD of GreenLight Health. “We know from speaking to people with MS, for example, that they are crying out for cannabis-based medicines to relieve their symptoms.


How The Irish Invented Slang for Marijuana

CANNABIS CULTURE - We all know that the Irish saved civilization, or so says the bestselling book by Thomas Cahill.

Now comes the book, How the Irish Invented Slang, by Daniel Cassidy, who postulates that many slang words for which even the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) can't name the origin were in fact based on Gaelic.

After a friend died and left behind his Irish dictionary, Cassidy took his wife's advice and learned a word every night, soon noticing how similar the pronunciations were to slang words.


Whoops - Ireland accidentally legalises possession of ecstasy for 24 hours

Emergency drug laws are being rushed through in Ireland after possession of ecstasy was temporarily legalised as a result of a court striking down a ban on another substance.

Parliamentarians will sit into the night to pass legislation quickly after the Court of Appeal's ruling temporarily makes legal the possession of the party drug, along with benzodiazepines and some so-called head shop drugs.

Health minister Leo Varadkar said he is working to pass the emergency laws within 24 hours. 'We had no way of knowing what the court would decide today, but we prepared for this possibility,' he said.


Poll: Is it time to legalise cannabis in Ireland?

THE NUI GALWAY student body today voted that its Students’ Union should support the legalisation of cannabis.

In a referendum today, students were asked if they agreed the SU should “actively supports the legalisation and regulation of the cultivation, sale and possession of cannabis for adults age 18 and over”.

Of the 2,634 voters, 68% voted yes and 32% voted no. This result now gives the SU a mandate to support legalisation, making it the first SU in Europe to take such a stance.


'Cannabis could help reduce tumour growth in cancer patients'

Cannabis could be used to reduce tumour growth in cancer patients, scientists have said.

New research reveals the drug’s main psychoactive ingredient — tetrahydrocannabino (THC) — could be responsible for its success in shrinking tumours.

It is hoped the findings could help develop a synthetic equivalent with anti-cancer properties. But researchers warned that cancer sufferers should not be tempted to self-medicate.

Dr Peter McCormick, from the University of East Anglia’s school of pharmacy, said THC’s anti-cancer properties have been known for some time but the study had identified the receptors responsible for fighting tumours.


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