Cannabis Oil: Time to look at the medicinal benefits? (Story)

Story (TV3) opened tonight with a good item on medicinal cannabis, which included a frank interview with cannabis oil user Helen Kelly (who has lung cancer plus tumours on both hips and her brain).

Cannabis Oil: Time to look at the medicinal benefits

Medical marijuana used to be seen as a fringe option, a mad alternative to conventional drugs, but not any more.

These days in many countries it has already been approved to treat a number of conditions.

But that is not happening in New Zealand. It has been heart-breaking for the sick people and their families who believe it can help them.

One of those people is the President of the Council of Trade Unions and cancer patient, Helen Kelly.

Ms Kelly wants an exemption from the Government to use medicinal cannabis oil.

Is it time to relax cannabis oil for those who are terminally ill? What did MPs have to say based on a conscience vote?

But what is the difference between legalising marijuana and allowing cannabis to be used in medicine?

Cannabinoids from marijuana can be used as medicine to treat nausea, pain, anxiety and seizures.

The chemical that can do all this is called CBD or cannabidiol. It is not like THC, which is the compound that gets people high when they smoke it.

At Victoria University they are working on understanding the potential of cannabinoids, what they can do and whether they are addictive.

There are already are a number of cannabis-derived products on sale overseas.

Some are available here for special cases that require ministerial approval.

Twenty-seven people are currently being treated by a product called Sativex.

Labour MP Damien O’Connor is working on a private members bill to streamline the approval process and make the medicine that’s already available more accessible.

“I think the vast majority of New Zealanders know there is sense in using cannabis for people in different situations. We don’t want to open the door for decriminalisation, which in my view is one step too far,” says Mr O’Connor.

Other countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany and Italy, have already allowed cannabis to be more readily available in medicine.

Story asked New Zealand politicians to comment on the matter. Many who play a role in changing or keeping the law had strong views, but others were undecided.

One of the problems is that people often confuse allowing medicinal cannabis products with legalising the drug for recreation use.

So for many politicians it’s a tough issue that’s staying in the too-hard basket.

It’s time MPs started fronting up on tough issues like this.

Momentum is building overseas on the use of medicinal cannabis, and the pressure is increasing here. However many people could benefit right now it’s important this is done properly.

Watch the video for the full Story report.

NOTE: medical cannabis oil is generally non-intoxicating. It helps treat pain (at less risk than morphine), nausea and seizures. Allowing it’s use is not a way of legalising the smoking of cannabis, that’s a whole separate issue.

Leave a comment


  1. the momentum is building..
    BUT how many people, are suffering unnecassarily while ‘Team Key’ & co. ‘bury their heads’ & worry about whether it is affecting their careers ! 😦

  2. Rob

     /  13th October 2015

    Legalize it.

  3. So Zedd thinks its a Team Key issue… and frankly that just annoys me. It is not a party issue – their are people in all parties who will be agin and for this. Whats required is people like Zedd, who is a passionate advocate for reform in this area to park the party bus and approach social liberals in all parties on the matter.

    Having seen Keys response to Right to Die its more than likely Key would be amenable to seeing this go in front of a select committee where it can be looked at properly in a non partisan way.

    I stopped following and contributing to a forum on Right to Die because I got SICK and TIRED of people bring party politics into the issue – just like medicinal cannabis its a cross party issue

    For what its worth I would support the availability of medicinal cannabis for cases like this one – where the research shows it to be effective and have limited or manageable side effects…

    • @D1924

      “I sez wot I seez”

      in 2009 ‘team Key’ voted “NO” in a block (in a supposed ‘conscience vote’) therefore making a ‘party issue’ & stopped the Greens Med-use bill going to select committee (1st reading). I heard most say “there is no support for it” even though several polls at the time showed >65% supported the issue.
      Its 2015 & recent polls show >80% support & I don’t see anything has changed. Many Govt. MPs refusing to even discuss it. “Why is this so & who is really pulling their strings ?” :
      * maybe Big pharma, big alcohol/tobacco & maybe ‘organised crime’ who stand to lose out (big time) by allowing ‘another drug’ to be LEGALLY regulated.
      ie profits first & patient care…. maybe later 😦

  4. Robby

     /  14th October 2015

    What is really ridiculous about the whole cannabis debate, is that the people who want a quality product with known medicinal benefits have to source it offshore and smuggle it past customs. Everyone else (who just wants to roll a spliff and chill) just has to walk down the road and see ‘a guy they know’. All the stoners get what they want, but the parents of sick kids have to go begging to politicians for medicine. The law is truly an ASS

  1. “What is really ridiculous about the whole cannabis debate…” | Your NZ

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