NZ Medical Cannabis News Round-Up

Medicinal Marijuana - New Zealand
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A few interesting medicinal cannabis stories have emerged from New Zealand over the past day – here’s a round up of the news.

The first story is about a young girl with a motor neuron illness called ganglia necrosis.

The girl’s mother obtained ministerial approval for her daughter to use the cannabis spray, Sativex; which she says has made a big difference in her daughter’s life.

Since starting on the spray, the teenager has gained more movement in her hands and her arms; enabling her to participate in activities such as throwing, passing and using an iPad. Her mother describes the change as “pretty amazing”. Here’s more on the story from Radio New Zealand.

In another medical cannabis story from Radio New Zealand, the grandparents of a five-year-old with terminal brain cancer have engaged a lawyer after a refusal from doctors to consider medical cannabis to treat the child. The doctors state there is no supporting evidence for its use.

The child has been given just a few months to live after dozens of doses of radiation have failed. Read more about the story here.

Finally, the mother of a teenage boy suffering from a particularly severe form of epilepsy who passed away has hit back at a yet-to-be-published  report from medical specialists at Wellington Hospital stating the medical cannabis he was administered was ineffective.

Rose Renton says the cannabis extract did provide benefit to her son Alex, but administration was started too late due to a lengthy battle in obtaining permission.

Ms Renton said after the reduction of heavily layered drugs and the introduction of CBD (cannabidiol), Alex became more peaceful. Ms. Renton believes that even in the palliative stage, CBD is beneficial. Cannabidiol is one of marijuana’s many cannabinoids, but unlike THC it does not produce any euphoric effect.

The teen was the first in New Zealand to be granted an exemption for the use of cannabis-based medicine to treat his epileptic seizures. More on this story here.

In New Zealand, cannabis products are Class B1 controlled drugs and Ministerial approval is required before these medicines can be prescribed, supplied or administered – and approvals to date have been few and far between. Further information regarding legal issues surrounding medical marijuana in New Zealand can be viewed on NZ’s Ministry For Health web site.