by Scarlet Palmer on 05/03/2018 | Legal & Politics

Cannabis News Network Report: Cannabis Connecting the Troubled in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Belfast, once considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world, recently hosted the first Northern Irish Medical Cannabis Summit. Organised by the United Patients Alliance, the event featured a wide array of speakers. More importantly, people from previously divided communities attended. Clark French reported on it for CNN and Sensi Seeds.

The 1998 Good Friday agreement ended the terrible period known as the Troubles, during which opposing forces clashed violently over whether or not the north of Ireland, known as Northern Ireland but actually a separate country, should remain a part of the United Kingdom or re-join the Republic of Ireland. Although the violence is for the most part over, the wounds it caused still run very deep – and the uncertainty over what Brexit means for the border between the two countries threatens to re-open them.

One of the most dangerous cities in the world

Even against this backdrop, the city of Belfast stands out. Of the more than 3,600 deaths from violence between 1969 and 2001, 1,600 were in Northern Ireland’s capital. During the 1970s and 80s, it was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Since the beginning of the Troubles in 1969, so-called ‘peace lines’, imposing walls of up to 25 feet (7.6 metres), have been built to separate neighbourhoods of opposing factions from each other. These are not exclusive to Belfast, but it does have more than any other city. For decades it has been considered that it would take a miracle to bring these divided communities back together.

Medicinal Cannabis Summit 2018

Enter a miracle in the form of medicinal cannabis. As its use becomes more socially acceptable, and cannabis social clubs and patient support groups become more common, the reports of how cannabis alleviates pain and suffering reach more and more people. The United Patients Alliance Northern Ireland recently held the first ever Northern Irish Medical Cannabis Summit. It is possibly the first event to have brought together people from both sides of the Belfast wall, and beyond, in such a positive and personal way. As cannabis campaigner Dannielle McFarlane says in this video, “everybody has somebody who’s sick”. Everyone has a friend or family member who could, or does, benefit from medicinal cannabis.

Clark French, founder and director of the United Patients Alliance, travelled to Northern Ireland to speak at and report upon the summit. Whilst he was there, he made this compelling short video with Cannabis News Network about the potential healing that cannabis is bringing not just to patients, but to whole communities.

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