It turns out the small Antrim town of Ballyclare is home to Northern Ireland’s first legal medical cannabis cafe. If you have a private prescription for medical cannabis you can puff away in peace, all completely legal.
I have mixed views on cannabis. On the plus side, it makes sense to let people use it for medical purposes. Let’s face it, it is probably less harmful and addictive than a lot of the pharmaceutical drugs we are dolling out to people by the truckload. It is definitely less harmless and destructive than our national drug of choice – booze.
On the downside, as it becomes more mainstream it can be very harmful and addictive, especially to young people. There is a bit of a phenomenon now in the states of a high portion of disenfranchised young men spending hours a week smoking dope and playing video games. Mind you when I was young there were more than a few people who spent their days listening to music and getting stoned and drinking cheap booze so I suppose nothing much changes.
I have never done drugs. I much prefer to look the misery of life straight in the eye but I seem to be in the minority. In Northern Ireland we absofeckenluty love drugs both legal and illegal. People take drugs for many reasons – but mainly to reduce physical, emotional or physiological pain all of which we have no shortage of poor craythurs afflicted by.
It does seem to be quite challenging to get a private prescription. You can’t rock up to your GP, only certain medics can prescribe it and only for certain conditions.
With drug dealers selling openly via social media and even doing free home delivery there is an irony that it is still easier to get it on the black market than to jump through the hoops of trying to get it legally.
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.