The Government has agreed to allow the progression of legislation to provide for medical cannabis to the next legislative stage.
The move is despite the fact that the Oireachtas Committee on Health recommended withdrawing Gino Kenny’s bill because of “fundamental flaws” in the legislation.
Minister of State at the department of Justice and Equality David Stanton said he was of the view that “if you have a very flawed piece of legislation, it might not be possible to amend it, perhaps it should be redrafted and resubmitted”.
However he said there seemed to be a consensus among TDs that the bill should proceed to Committee stage in the Dáil.
“The majority here want to proceed to committee stage, the Government will not be opposing that at this time,” he said.
He said the Government would not oppose an amendment put forward by Mr Kenny that the bill should proceed to the next stage.
Earlier Dr Michael Harty, Chairman of the Health Committee had tabled a motion proposing that the bill be withdrawn.
He said he was now in a “very difficult position.”
He said nobody on the health committee had objected to the withdrawal of the bill, but now TDs who are on the committee were speaking out against its withdrawal.
He said he was learning a lot about politics.
“Maybe this bill needs to go back to be redrafted rather than amended…I feel it’s going to be a very difficult task to amend this bill, I would suggest redrafting rather than amending,” he said.
“I am alone standing here, it’s a very uncomfortable position to be in, as chairman of the committee I cannot go against the recommendation that the bill be withdrawn,” he said.
A vote on the matter will take place next week.