“Teen in coma for 57 days needs legal access to cannabis oil”

Seven Sharp had an item on Alex Renton, the 19 year old who had a major seizure and has been in a coma in Wellington Hospital for 57 days. So far treatment has been unsuccessful, and his life is at risk.

His family want to be able to try using cannabis oil (CBD) which has been successful in reducing seizures in some cases.

Today, two weeks after a recommendation from Alex’s neurologist that CBD be tried, the Wellington DHB has put in an application with the Minister of Health requesting approval to be able to use it.

TVNZ News only seems to have this available online via this video; “Teen in coma for 57 days needs legal access to cannabis oil”

Mike Hosking: On a day where we found out that the courts weren’t in a position to help Lecretia Seales, what did the judge say, it’s really only Parliament’s job who can do that, we want to introduce you to a young man who has a similar vexed battle on his hands.

Nineteen year old Alex Renton, he’s been in a coma for fifty seven days with a mystery illness.

Nadine: The drugs haven’t fixed him but his family is holding out hope, because they believe Alex’s saviour could be cannabis oil. Problem is it’s illegal. So could a law change in this case save a life?

It’s use is allowed with the approval of the Minister of Health, according to the NZ Drug Foundation:

@PeteDGeorge @metiria The law doesn’t actually need changing. The minister right now could simply give approval… if he/she wishes.

Jehancasinader: (voice over video of his family celebrating Alex’s birthday in hospital):  Alex never expected to celebrate his nineteenth birthday in a coma. The pair of shows a present from Mum, for the day she hopes he’ll walk out of here.

Alex was as fit as a fiddle, until one seizure tipped his life upside down.

Alex’s doctors are stumped, their diagnosis uncertain. Meanwhile his brain is inflamed, and rocked by constant seizures.

Alex’s family believes there’s one last hope.  Cannabis. It’s illegal of course, but advocates say the oil can fire up neurons in the brain.

Rose (Alex’s mother): We’ve been offered the oil from overseas, clinically tested oil.

The oil is extracted from special strains of the cannabis plant that are very low in the intoxicant THC.

Jehancasinader: Last year we showed you how desperate Aussie families have relied on it to save their kids lives. It needs special approval. Rose says hospital officials are dragging the chain.

Rose: They seem to be frightened.

Jehancasinader: Until now Rose says drugs haven’t been a part of Alex’s life.

Rose: This isn’t about recreational marijuana, this is about medicine.

Jehancasinader:  Now Alex is being given Ketamine.

Rose: They choose to pour chemicals into him, but they will not choose a natural herb extract.

Jehancasinader: Rose believes time is running out for her boy.

Rose: A petition of twenty five thousand people have supported this treatment for Alex, and still we wait, he waits, because one hospital thinks they know better.

Mike Hosking: Jeez it’s been a tough day in so many respects hasn’t it Jehan, even to you, you’re with us live, just tell us how is Alex doing and what seems to be the hold up, what seems to be the problem here.

Jehancasinader: Well Mike I visited Alex here at Wellington Hospital late last night with his Mum. It was pretty tough actually seeing him lying in that bed unable to move and unable to talk.

Now you heard Rose saying that story that she believes the hospital has been dragging the chain on this, and we have the proof tonight.

The Ministry of Health says that it still hasn’t even received an application from the hospital for this cannabis treatment to be given to Alex.

Now this is two whole weeks after the neurologist said look we really need to look at this as an option. He is deteriorating.

Now within the past hour I finally heard from the DHB and they’ve confirmed that today they’ve decided to put that application in to the Minister of Health. He will have the final say on whether the cannabis treatment is granted and meanwhile Alex is spending his fifty seventh night in that hospital behind me.

Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne will now have responsibility for this decision.

Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  6th June 2015

    This shows the stupidity of the poltical system you are fixated on and love so much. The family and hospital should just do it – the police won’t prosecute. Life is not a game to be played to the rules of morons.

    • “Life is not a game to be played to the rules of morons.”


    • ‘the police wont prosecute’ oh really

      The Police hierachy are one of the main advocates for maintaining Prohibition (Job protection ?).. look at the issue with GreenCross. Mr McKee seemed genuine in his intent to provide medicinal cannabis to sick people (because the state refused) who could benefit from it, but the Police setup a ‘sting operation’ specifically to ‘take him down’. They spend $100million annually on this issue.. it keeps them employed. 😦

      The stupidity is that so many people, believe the nonsense that is put about (hangover from ‘reefer madness’) just because the Police & politicians keep repeating it. ie the ‘harm reduction scale’ measured in Dollars, based on the over-inflated black-market price (to make it sound so excessive.. ‘we took $10 million worth of DRUGS off the streets.. reducing this much harm’ – “B-S says I&I” 😦

  2. NZ Govt. is still running ‘fear & misinformation’ on cannabis.. minister Dunne’s agenda is not on the same page as many other countries, who now allow legally regulated cannabis, for both medicinal/therapeutic & even personal use.

    WHY is this so, minister ?
    What is YOUR agenda (or those pulling your strings) ??
    Surely there is enough clear evidence, to show that this drug does have benefit for epilepsy & other conditions/illnesses & even as a general pain relief. If this young man dies.. it will be too late (on your hands) to say ‘we didn’t have enough proof its safe !!’

    Cannabis is not some ‘new untested drug’ its been around for 1000s of years & is being used widely today.. 😦

  3. kittycatkin

     /  6th June 2015

    So has opium been around for milleniums, but I don’t think that many of us would like to see open season on opiates like heroin.

    I’d be very surprised if the minister had an agenda of the kind you are implying; what evidence have you of this ?

  4. Opium use is widespread (medicinally) its called MORPHINE (aka Med Heroin)

    ‘minister had an agenda’ Lets just say.. ‘its my GUT-feeling’ (based on what I see & hear) 😦

  1. Coma continues while the DHB stuffs around | Your NZ

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