Pierce Richmond | 31.03.2021

Pierce Richmond is a 38 year old father of four from Dublin, now living in the North East. His father has late stage throat and oral cancer and they are currently reviewing options for palliative care. Here, Pierce chats about the use of cannabis for his father’s illness. Twitter: @egg__fried_reus

When did you first become interested in cannabis? Cannabis has always been around me in various forms. Friends, family etc. I was very anti-drugs for most of my life. I took an interest in cannabis about sixteen to eighteen months ago.

What’s your relationship with cannabis like and what are your preferences with it? Personally, I have been using cannabis for around two months now. I like to vape CBD flowers. I use it mostly in the evenings to relax and get a good night’s sleep. I have a very deep respect for the plant now and the benefits it can have for people.

Do you prefer weed from a more recreational or therapeutic point of view? What started out as sourcing weed for medicinal purposes led to me learning a lot and having my mind and eyes opened up to the positives of cannabis. I have no issue with anyone using it for therapeutic or recreational purposes  

When did you decide to begin sourcing cannabis for your father, and why? Sometime in the past fifteen to sixteen months. My dad has spent most of his life in rural Australia, where they have a totally different view of cannabis. So he was aware of the benefits and how it could help.

How does cannabis benefit your father? Improved mood, sleep and appetite. And often as a painkiller. 

How did your father initially feel about trying cannabis, and did he know much about it? He knew a fair bit as mentioned above, and has also smoked recreationally from time to time.

Does your father speak much with others about the benefits of cannabis? Where possible. Most of his extended circle of friends and family are back in Oz, so his social circle isn’t huge here.  

When do you see the Irish government reforming our current cannabis laws? Do you see those who are in power at the moment making these reforms? Ten to twenty years for any meaningful change, maybe small increases to the likes of the MCAP (Medical Cannabis Access Programme) list in the meantime. 

Do you know a lot of Irish people who use cannabis recreationally or medicinally? I’ve a few mates who have used it forever. And since publicising my dad’s issue online, I’ve become familiar with a lot of the Irish cannabis community via social media.

Do you ever feel unsafe getting cannabis in Ireland, due to its general illegality? Yes. I’ve been robbed twice and ripped off more times than I care to remember, which led to purchasing online, which has its own risks. Transporting it from the source to dad’s is quite stressful. As you can imagine, the car smells like weed with a bulk order. And with increased police presence on the roads due to Covid, it can be nerve racking. For myself, I have found a CBD supplier that offers home delivery. Still fear a knock on the door from AGS (An Garda Síochána) every day, due to the aroma of my new pastime! 

Thank you for your time, Pierce! All the best.

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