The father of two is facing three years in prison for donating medical cannabis to patients. Local advocates are calling for change
It is sadly a familiar story heard in too many places still. Caregivers on the front lines of the cannabis revolution are still facing jail time – even when providing a community service, often for free, to patients for whom no other solution works.
In Ireland, however, Prohibition still has the names of individuals who have fought for it inevitably intertwined in the same. In this case, father of two, Patrick Moore was sentenced by a Limerick District Court in early December to five years in jail, two suspended.
Technically, as organizers and advocates are pointing out, this is the “correct” sentence under current Irish law. But as a result, isn’t it time that this law is changed?
Where Does Reform Stand in Ireland?
Currently, medical cannabis is “legal” in Ireland, but as in many other places, this is a technical distinction. It is almost impossible for patients to access the drug via “normal” if not “legal” channels. That is why the caregiver connection in all such jurisdictions is also such a hazardous one.
In November, the Irish High Court dismissed a legal challenge to the domestic cannabis laws. In response, local campaigners vowed to introduce legislation to decriminalize the plant in Parliament before year’s end. Time is running out.
This kind of tragic case of course is not just seen in Ireland, but even in places like Germany where recreational reform is now in front of the legislature. And for that very reason, every caregiver, in Europe, right now, who ends up in prison needs to start making a hell of a lot of noise, legally and otherwise. In an environment where a Russian patient was given amnesty to remain in Holland to continue his medical cannabis treatment, it is overdue that caregivers such as Moore are also protected in an interim period which is sure to see many more such casualties.
What Practical Steps Can Be Taken (By Anyone)
There are many people who hear these grim stories and while sad, think there is nothing one can do. That is far from the case.
In this season of cheer and giving, think about giving cannabis patients everywhere a present beyond value. Here are a few ideas.
- Write directly to Patrick Moore via Peter Reynolds at email@example.com. Send a Seasons Greetings card, thanking him for his sacrifice. Or record a video message. Trust me, it will take you no time at all, it will make you feel great, and it will make him feel even better.
- Donate directly to the Moore family. Having a parent in jail for that period of time is going to affect the whole family. Talk to Peter about the same.
- Write to your local politicians, wherever you are, and use this case as yet another senseless act of cruelty at a time when medical cannabis efficacy has been recognized across Europe, and further the current healthcare environment if not regulatory environment is not integrating the same fast enough.
- Donate to your local patient group (or a local patient). It is a long hard winter for those who have very little, and cannabis patients if not their families, not to mention those who are paying for reform with jail time, all need some help and cheer.
“Clap for Cannabis Care”
For those with a little more time on their hands, and a sense of humor, I hope to kick start the “Why Doesn’t King Charles and the Royal Family Clap for Cannabis Care” campaign. Yes, I know that Ireland is not part of the UK, but it is on the other side of the Brexit side of the border, and why not?
It might make Kate and Wills look a bit green, but perhaps given this season of competition and media event bombings, perhaps reaching out to the “Rebel Royals” instead, might also be a good idea.
King Charles and the Royal Family – Contact | The Royal Family
Harry and Meghan – firstname.lastname@example.org
It is time, as the world settles into the end of 2022 and looks forward to 2023, to buckle down, tighten belts, and prepare for the next trudge forward. It won’t be easy. Many still, will pay the unjustified price of slow reform. But we can do it. We are doing it.
Happy Holidays Patrick. And thank you!!