While European countries move swiftly to create cannabis reform for patients in dire need of the alternative treatment option, the Government of Ireland is intentionally stonewalling their medical cannabis bill, according to at least one member of the Parliament of Ireland.

As reported in the Irish Times, Member of Parliament (TD) Gino Kenny stated that the cannabis bill he co-authored is being “run into the ground” by the feds.

The Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill passed the first and second stages in the Dáil (parliament) in December of 2016 but appears to have stalled on its way to the committee stage.

At this point, the bill needs to be scrutinized by the country’s Oireachtas Health Committee, which examines all matters related to the Department of Health and its agencies. Once that stage is complete, the bill can be sent back to the Dáil for a final vote.

“It is now imperative that the committee gets sight of the legal advice to progress it,” said TD Kenny. “It hasn’t moved since December. It’s becoming clear that [the bill]is being dragged out to the point where the government is effectively closing it down.”

While the government continues to stall on the issue, Irish citizens in need of this invaluable medicine are fleeing the country to find it elsewhere. That includes Vera Twomey and her daughter Ava.

Vera Twomey is one of the most vocal supporters of medicinal cannabis in Ireland. Her daughter Ava suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. Twomey’s efforts in bringing attention to this issue have been seen around the world, as she did everything in her power to lobby the Government of Ireland for change.

Twomey’s attempts included a 162-mile protest walk from the town of Cork to Dublin, where she met with Health Minister Simon Harris amongst a sea of reporters in her wake. Not finding any real success, the family has now left for the Netherlands for better access to cannabis, the only medicine that has been effective in bringing Ava’s seizures down to a fraction of what they once were.

“Our objective will be to return to Ireland as soon as we can. We were driven to leave Ireland, which seems illogical to me, that a gravely ill child should have to travel to get treatment,” said Twomey in an interview with the Irish Times.