Activist placed cannabis plants outside Cork City Hall

Gardaí have removed suspected cannabis plants which were placed outside Cork City Hall by an activist who is campaigning for an end to prohibition.

Martin Condon told the Irish Examiner that he planted six cannabis specimens by the iconic building just metres from Cork’s largest garda station on Angelsea St.

He placed little signs with the hashtag #BringAliciaHome next to the plants.

Alicia Maher moved to Spain to access affordable medical cannabis to treat her chronic pain following major complications that arose after she had her tonsils removed as a teenager. She is now writing a PhD in law on the regulation of medicinal cannabis in Ireland.

‘Suffering caused by prohibition’ 

“It’s important that we’re down here doing this, highlighting the suffering caused by the prohibition of cannabis,” Mr Condon said in a video posted to his Facebook page, Martin’s World.

“Alicia Maher is a Cork girl who had to leave home because of lack of access to cannabis here. She’s living over in Alicante in exile, a medical cannabis refugee.

“The big challenge ahead of us is getting Alicia Maher home,” he said:

Why can’t Ireland, a European country, provide the same to our citizens as what’s provided to citizens in Spain? 

On Mr Condon’s last guerrilla cannabis planting expedition by the Shandon footbridge in the city centre, he also used another hashtag, #TalkToVera, to highlight the cause of Vera Twomey and her daughter Ava.

Ava Twomey had a license from the Government to receive her prescribed Bedrocan medical cannabis product from The Netherlands to help control her severe epilepsy.

The family said they had to pay almost €10,000 for her prescription every three months and they could then be reimbursed by the State. Ms Twomey said that this procedure was terribly difficult, stressful and unfair.

However, just this week, Stephen Donnelly, the health minister, announced that Ms Twomey and 16 other families in her predicament would now have their medical cannabis paid for by the State upfront.

Mr Condon vows to continue campaign 

Mr Condon welcomed the news in the video — but said that very few patients fit into the State’s limited and “paltry” categories of who is allowed access to medical cannabis.

He said that people prescribed cannabis should not have to exhaust all other medications first before being prescribed medical cannabis as a last resort. He also encouraged other people to “get out there” and plant cannabis plants too. 

“I’m going to continue to engage with this campaign of civil disobedience until patients have effective access to cannabis and this prohibition is ended,” he said.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, gardaí confirmed they had removed the plants.

“Gardaí removed suspected cannabis plants in the Anglesea Street area of Cork City on Wednesday,” gardaí confirmed.

“The seized plants have been sent for analysis and investigations are ongoing.”

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