Medicinal cannabis petition presented

A medicinal cannabis petition was presented to parliament today.

RNZ: Alex Renton’s mum presents reform petition to Parliament

A woman whose son died of severe epilepsy has presented a petition with more than 15,000 signatures to Parliament, urging the government to make medicinal cannabis more readily available.

Rose Renton’s 19-year-old son Alex Renton died in Wellington Hospital last year, after suffering from status epilepticus – an acute, prolonged epileptic seizure.

Part of his treatment before his death was medicinal cannabis, which Mrs Renton said provided him with some relief, but was given to him too late.

A report by Wellington Hospital specialists said the oil had no effect on his underlying seizures, and medical staff never saw any improvement.

There’s a range of products becoming available and it was a gamble that the one chosen may make a difference. There was no time nor any easy ability to try alternatives.

But Mrs Renton said Alex had died peacefully.

“A lot of those drugs that were so heavily layered over the months leading up to his death were taken off and drastically reduced and the [cannabis] oil doses were increased.”

The process to acquire the oil and get approval to use it was drawn out and far from easy, Mrs Renton said.

Medicinal cannabis was only granted after a long battle with medical staff for backing, and after 43 other drugs had failed.

Keeping pressure on Parliament, along with overseas moves to more freedom to use medicinal cannabis overseas, may eventually get our Government to move with the times and for the needs of people who suffer.


Leave a comment


  1. Zedd

     /  13th October 2016

    good job Rose, keep the pressure on; 2017 coming

  2. it was interesting to see Labour MP helping carry the boxes of petition forms (D O’connor) 🙂

    I say to ‘team Key’.. “Ignore it at your peril in 2017!” 😦

  3. Kevin

     /  13th October 2016

    The underlining problem as I see it is that our drug laws are designed not to prevent harm but to prevent abuse. Hence all the hoops patients have to go through to get the medical cannabis they need.

    What the government should do is quit focusing so much on potential abuse and focus on preventing harm. That means streamlining the process to make obtaining medical cannabis more easy for doctors and their patients.

    Will this increase the risk of abuse? Definitely. But it’d also greatly reduce harm caused when sufferers aren’t allowed access to medicine that will give them relief.


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