Doctors in Ireland could be allowed to prescribe a pharmaceutical form of medical marijuana later this year. While the Irish Medicines Board approved the use of Sativex in April, the government has delayed authorizing doctors to prescribe the cannabinoid-containing mouthspray derived directly from pot plants, not synthetic THC. Last week, however, Alex White, the Minister of State for Primary Care, announced his plan to amend Ireland’s Misuse of Drugs Act to authorize use of the drug.

MS Ireland, a Multiple sclerosis advocacy organization, has long called for the legalization of medical pot/Sativex to ease spasticity associated with MS.

Emma Rogan of MS Ireland told The Irish Times: “We have been waiting around for years for this and there have been a number of announcements that this was coming and nothing has happened. It has been fudged all along the way. Sufferers need this as soon as possible.”

Ms. Rogan stressed the importance of legalizing medicinal cannabis in Ireland: “Anecdotally, we do know people are buying cannabis on the streets, and that is a completely unfair way to treat people, to make then have to do that … It’s people wanting to live their lives with some basic dignity.”