Cork mum to speak on legalising cannabis

Cork mum to speak on legalising cannabis

Vera Twomey with her daughter, Ava, who suffers from Dravets syndrome. Vera is to address a meeting next weekend on how using cannabis oil has drastically cut Ava’s seizures as she calls for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis.


Vera Twomey's six-year-old daughter Ava has a rare condition called Dravets syndrome, a drug-resistant form of epilepsy which at its worst, causes up to 20 seizures in a day.

Ms Twomey says that since beginning to administer cannabis oil to Ava, she has had a 90% reduction in her seizures. She will speak about her experience at a meeting in the Rotunda Hospital this Saturday from 2pm. 

The public symposium, organised by the People Before Profit Alliance will also feature commentary by Professor Mike Barnes, author of Cannabis, The Evidence For Medicinal Use and David Finn, Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway.

During a visit to Cork last month, Minister for Health Simon Harris said he had initiated a policy review by the Health Products Regulatory Authority on the use of medical cannabis. The review was expected to be completed by the end of the month but has not been released yet. 

The report has not been released so far, and Ms Twomey has accused the Minister of "breaking his promise".

"We have had no contact from the Minister's office. 

"They are making no comment which is cruel.

"We badly need to see this report because it is the next step in the campaign to legalise medicinal cannabis."

Ms Twomey said that urgent action is needed on this issue, arguing that many patients who could benefit from it. 

"People like Ava don't have days or weeks or months to wait. 

"Her life has been turned around since we began with the cannabis. 

"She is brighter, eating more, sleeping better. 

"She has a chance now to go to school, to play with her siblings and enjoy her life. 

"It's heartbreaking that children like Ava don't have access to medicinal cannabis.

"The government has to take responsibility and act."

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