Labour 100 day medical cannabis promise could be 1,000 days or more

The lack of urgency by the Government on medical cannabis has been very disappointing, after initial promise of it being a first 100 day priority, and especially as it was promoted as important by Jacinda Ardern in the memory of her friend Helen Kelly.

And it was promoted as a 100 day promise:

Labour will hit the ground running in government, with a programme of work across housing, health, education, families, the environment and other priority areas.

  • Introduce legislation to make medicinal cannabis available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain

It is now about 360 days since the Labour-led government took over, and they look nowhere near fulfilling this promise.

MCANZ Coordinator Shane Le Brun: “It is disappointing that the bill’s second reading has been postponed to November due to haggling around supplementary papers to improve the bill.”

“Patients are left disenfranchised and frustrated with the lack of progress on the bill”.

On 1 November 2017 Dylan Kelly wrote (The Spinoff): On a new government, kindness and the (unfinished) legacy of my mother, Helen Kelly

Jacinda Ardern’s programme offers real hope for the issues Mum fought so passionately for, from labour law and cannabis reform to forestry and Pike River.

…Fast-forward to this year’s debate, and Jacinda Ardern’s rapid-fire declaration that legal medicinal cannabis was a no-brainer was considered the savvy political response.

Mum’s final public words were “I want people just to be kind. It would make a hell of a difference.” Jacinda Ardern, in her final interview before becoming prime minister, told John Campbell that her government was going to “bring kindness back”.

We’ve got a lot of work to do. But with Prime Minister Ardern and co in charge, we can finally get started.

Ardern started with talk of kindness, and Labour started with a promise on medical cannabis, but a year later they have not delivered.

A press release from Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand:


Government’s 100-day Pledge to legalise Medical Cannabis could slip to 1000 days.

Documents released to MCANZ under the official information act show that the regulations associated with the government medical cannabis bill could take years, with a planned go-live of mid-2020. This go-live date is subject to change and with the current under-resourcing of the MOH, it could be considered a best-case scenario.  Additionally, an advisory committee initially scheduled for March has been pushed back to November, and may yet be pushed back further.

“It is disappointing that the bill’s second reading has been postponed to November due to haggling around supplementary papers to improve the bill. If the Minister of health had consulted widely in the first place when drafting the bill, we wouldn’t be in this fiasco where  essentially anyone who has a stake in the outcome of this bill, whether it’s the patients, the budding industry or indeed the political opposition are all asking for significant amendments to the bill.”

“Patients are left disenfranchised and frustrated with the lack of progress on the bill, and the lack of amendments from the select committee, where the overwhelming majority wished for the exemption to extend to those with severe, chronic and debilitating conditions.”

“It is likely that if things continue as they are, by the time this bill is sorted, nearly 3 years will have passed. Circumstances will have progressed so far that patients will likely be using the referendum as a tool to gain safe legal access, potentially skewing the result in favour”.

“Another issue is the lack of budget at the Ministry of health for external consultation or industry/international experts to assist. We hope that with the surprise surplus government has announced this week, that some of this can be dedicated to setting up the scheme”

“Without additional resources in the near term, it will prove hard for this potential industry to catch up with Australia, costing the country in jobs and revenues, and patients on a cost basis,” says MCANZ Coordinator Shane Le Brun.

Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand

https://mcawarenessnz.org/


Jacinda Ardern in 2016 (Stuff):  The pain behind the medical marijuana debate’

It was sometime in the middle of last year when the political suddenly felt personal. It wasn’t a party, it wasn’t even a social occasion. I was visiting my friend who had spent the evening periodically flinching, doubling over, and rocking, and was now reaching for a form of cannabis as she tried to deal with her pain.

My friend was dying.

I think that’s what gets me most about the medical marijuana debate. It’s the perfect example of the brutal reality of people’s individual situations, and the layers of complexity that emerge as soon as you dig into it as a politician.

This is not a new debate – it came up when I first came into Parliament. At that time it was in the form of a member’s bill. It’s fair to say that it had a few holes in it, but those were all details that we had time to fix. I voted in favour of it, others used the drafting as an excuse to turn it down. The bill failed.

And here we are again. Same problem, different political cycle.

That was the last political cycle, before Ardern made 100 promises as Labour Prime Minister.

My friend will never benefit from change in this area, she passed away. But in reality I doubt she ever really cared too much. She was too busy living every single day to the fullest right up until her last breath. Surely we owe it to everyone to give them the best chance they have to do the same, despite the pain.

Surely Ardern and her Government owe it to the people who experience problems and pain on a daily basis, people who die suffering, to bloody well treat this like the priority she promised.

Helen Kelly blamed Muldoonism for Trades Hall killing

Interviews of Helen Kelly in the year before she died are being edited into a movie, due out later this year.

A preview of part of that from Newshub – Revealed: Helen Kelly blamed fatal bomb attack on Sir Robert Muldoon

A new film about the late union leader Helen Kelly reveals she blamed a fatal bomb attack on anti-union hysteria whipped up by former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon.

Ms Kelly said the frenzy led the suitcase bombing left in the building, its explosion killing caretaker Ernie Abbott.

In it, she recalls how she knew Mr Abbott well – her father Pat Kelly worked in the hall with him.

“He was just a lovely guy who lived in the hall, did his job, was a union person as well, had a little dog which everybody loved that got injured in the bombing, Patch.”

The movie is based on a series of interviews with the union leader in the year before she died – including one about the 1984 Trades Hall bombing.

There is a scene on the bomb attack, based on interview footage released to Newshub, in which Helen Kelly clearly blames it on the environment created by Muldoon, known as ‘Muldoonism’.

“Just this absolute sort of anti-Communist, anti-socialist, anti-reds under the bed hysteria which was really designed to shut down trade unions and discredit them,” she said.

“It was run by Muldoon – and it was vicious, and people were being forced to be sort of scared of trade unions and to see them as a threat,” she said.

“And it got worse and worse, and it was this sort of war of words at that stage – and then suddenly, someone put a bomb in the Trades Hall.”

It’s quite possible that intolerance and hate whipped up for political purposes at least contributed to the murder of Abbott. This was as bad as the Rainbow Warrior bombing, whether killing someone was the aim or not.

The deliberate division and attack methods of Donald Trump could also contribute to something terrible in the US happening, given the number and type of arms readily available there.

Looking back: Trades Hall bombing, 1984

Trades Hall bombing, 1984

This police poster calls for information on the Trades Hall bombing, at Vivian Street, Wellington, on 27 March 1984. A bomb left in a suitcase killed Ernie Abbott, a unionist and caretaker of the hall. At the time of the bombing Trades Hall was the headquarters of a number of trade unions. The attack came after a period of heightened industrial tensions, during which Prime Minister Robert Muldoon made frequent verbal attacks on the union movement. The bombing remains an unsolved crime, but it appears to have been the action of an isolated individual with a hatred of unions.

Courtesy of New Zealand Police – Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa

 

Government’s medicinal cannabis bill “woefully inadequate”

Dylan Kelly, son of Helen Kelly, staunch Labour party supporter and campaigner for allowing the legal use of cannabis for pain relief, has described the Government medicinal cannabis bill “woefully inadequate”.

Labour had said they would honour the memory and efforts of Helen by promising a medical cannabis bill within 100 days of taking office, but they have rushed it and made a very poor job of it.

Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa referred to the Helen Kelly legacy in her speech on the introduction of the bill in Parliament yesterday.

Indeed, as I alluded to before, and other speakers have also, we have examples of people who have spoken really strongly about the use of medicinal cannabis. Helen Kelly is one such example of a person who lived so bravely, so openly, with terminal illness, and she devoted the last part of her life to campaigning for her fellow New Zealanders to make their lives better. She felt for ordinary people for whom medical cannabis might make a real difference.

In July of 2016—I want to just end with a quote from one of many interviews that she made, and this is something that Stuff actually covered. At that stage, she was suffering from tumours, she had a broken back, and she had only a few months to live.

I quote her: “I’ve still got all the symptoms of coughing and being weak but living without pain is sensational.” She was taking 10 milligrams of slow-release morphine twice each day, but by bedtime the morphine had stopped working and she was aching.

I quote her: “If I took nothing I reckon my pain would be seven or eight out of ten. If I just took the morphine my pain would be about five out of ten but if I take both my pain is nothing. [It’s only the cannabis] that gives me relief, it lets me sleep all night.”

Labour MP Dr Liz Craig also mentioned Kelly in her speech:

In speaking, I would like to acknowledge a wonderful colleague known to many of us, and that was Helen Kelly. In the months before she died in 2016, of cancer, she shared her journey with many of us in New Zealand.

In that way, she became a very powerful advocate for medicinal cannabis, because what she found is that, even though she was on strong opiates, it was really only with cannabis that she could become pain free.

Helen Kelly in April, 2016: Why I take an illegal dose of marijuana every night

“I’m getting it from a circuit of people in this country who are supplying sick people with cannabis.

“Brave, brave people, they’re not charging. People who believe in the product and don’t think it should be unlawful.”

Every night, she mixes up an illegal dose to ease her pain and allow her to sleep through the night.

Ms Kelly says she doesn’t want to be “arrested and charged and criminalised”, and is calling for a referendum at the next general election on legalising cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use.

Jacinda Ardern in May 2016:  ‘The pain behind the medical marijuana debate’

It was sometime in the middle of last year when the political suddenly felt personal. It wasn’t a party, it wasn’t even a social occasion. I was visiting my friend who had spent the evening periodically flinching, doubling over, and rocking, and was now reaching for a form of cannabis as she tried to deal with her pain.

My friend was dying.

I think that’s what gets me most about the medical marijuana debate. It’s the perfect example of the brutal reality of people’s individual situations, and the layers of complexity that emerge as soon as you dig into it as a politician.

This is not a new debate – it came up when I first came into Parliament. At that time it was in the form of a member’s bill. It’s fair to say that it had a few holes in it, but those were all details that we had time to fix. I voted in favour of it, others used the drafting as an excuse to turn it down. The bill failed.

And here we are again. Same problem, different political cycle.

My friend will never benefit from change in this area, she passed away. But in reality I doubt she ever really cared too much. She was too busy living every single day to the fullest right up until her last breath. Surely we owe it to everyone to give them the best chance they have to do the same, despite the pain.

In an election debate in September 2017 both Ardern and Bill English were asked if they would consider legalising cannabis for medical purposes. Both were given thirty seconds to respond.

“I don’t need 30 seconds, Mike. The answer is absolutely, yes.”

Dylan Kelly, Helen’s son, on the bill before Parliament now (RNZ):

“It’s woefully inadequate – terminally ill patients are not the only people who need medicinal cannabis.

“But sort of more importantly a lot of people who do need this medication can’t really provide it for themselves, and a lot of the people who supplied my mum’s medicine are putting themselves in really quite serious legal jeopardy in order, not to make money, purely in order to help people with chronic pain”.

“And I think a bill that continues to criminalise those people is insufficient.”

The bill passed it’s first vote in Parliament yesterday. Can it’s inadequacies be fixed at Select Committee?

Drug summit in July

A drug summit pushing for cannabis law reform is being organised to be held at parliament in July.There will be international and New Zealand speakers with Helen Clark a possibility.

Stuff: Stories of hardship and frustration inspire big-name drug summit

Arguments for cannabis law reform, and calls for politicians to stop “running scared”, are expected at a drug summit in Wellington to be chaired by broadcaster Ali Mau.

The suffering people endured while waiting to get medicinal cannabis approved was one reason Mau said she was interested in drug law reform.

Media has been pushing cannabis legal absurdities more, in particular highlighting Helen Kelly openly saying she was flouting the law to use cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering as she died of cancer.

Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell has long expressed frustration at the slow pace of drug law reform. In particular, he said the 1975 Misuse of Drugs Act was antiquated and unfit for purpose.

It had not tackled high rates of drug use and abuse, but instead had “burdened tens of thousands of young people and Maori with criminal convictions”.

Mau said this week: “I share Ross’ chagrin, or pain if you like, that the pace of change in New Zealand is way too slow.”

She had noticed a shift in public attitudes in recent years, with people increasingly voicing support for decriminalisation.

There has been a shift in attitude internationally, with a number of countries making changes to cannabis laws in particular.

There has also been a change in attitude in New Zealand, particularly on medicinal cannabis products, but parties and Parliament remain reluctant to do anything.

Speakers could include Helen Clark which would ensure a high profile:

Helen Clark could return to Parliament to discuss decriminalisation at the summit in July, and others are expected to voice frustration at drug law inertia, and what they see as an overemphasis on punishment.

Mau will not speak at the Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium, but a dozen women with backgrounds in drug and alcohol research, politics, law and public health have confirmed their attendance.

“I’ve never seen a lineup as impressive,” Mau said.

Maori Party founder Tariana Turia was expected to discuss issues affecting Maori and wider criminal justice sector reforms on July 6.

Former Canadian deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, who headed that country’s task force on marijuana legalization and regulation, will speak on July 5.

Alison Holcomb, who drove efforts to legalise marijuana for recreational use in the state of Washington, will also address the two-day conference.

Bell hoped politicians would agree that drug law reforms were needed, and might realise they could make drug reform campaign promises instead of “running scared”.

This is good timing to push all parties to be clear about their drug policies and what priority they will put on them.

 

Medical cannabis regime ‘anything but compassionate’

Prime Minister Bill English has been criticised after he claimed that there is already a compassionate legal route for patients to get medical cannabis products.

It is difficult and slow for most patients trying to obtain medical cannabis products legally, and many resort to breaking the law. Doctors have claimed possibly half of their patients are self medicating with cannabis products.

RadioLive: That’s a ‘no’ to doctors prescribing medical cannabis – Bill English on The AM Show

Fear of creating a ‘marijuana industry’ is stopping Prime Minister Bill English from allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical reasons.

Speaking to The AM Show on Monday, Mr English said there’s already a “compassionate” and legal route for patients to get cannabis products – if they need them.

“The minister’s just changed the rules so that’s a little bit easier, with the Ministry of Health now approving it instead of each one going to the minister.

“As far as we can see, that’s going to work pretty well and we don’t want to take it any further.”

Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ asks English “where is the compassion?”

On Duncan Garner’s Radio show Monday morning, our Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with the current special approvals scheme.

Just 2 days before an Oncologist on the TV3 show “The Nation” suggested that about half his Cancer patients were using Cannabis. It would be safe to assume that none of them were using legal options as they were not cost effective. Sativex contains perhaps $180 dollars equivalent of Raw Cannabis, for the cost of over $1000

MCANZ Coordinator Shane Le Brun:

“Currently perhaps 1 per 100,000 people are accessing Medical Cannabis legally. If a doctor is accepting widespread Cannabis use in his patient population, with no effort put into trying to help them go legal then the patients are at the mercy of police discretion.

“The police have shown no ability to think of the public interest and discretion around Cannabis based offences for patients.

“Just this weekend they seized a Tetraplegic’s Personal Cannabis supply, how does that make the community safer? How does the community feel about that?

”The current system simply isn’t working and is anything but compassionate.

“MCANZ doesn’t advocate for terminal patients, as they generally die before the product is in their hands, as has happened to a toddler last year who died the week he was scheduled to start on Sativex”

Le Brun says that MCANZ would like a domestic market developed for Cannabis based medicines, believing they can be produced to a high standard without the need for expensive clinical trials.

“Cannabis based products are relatively simple, It’s just another Essential Oil.

“The Current regime ensures that only expensive products will be acceptable, and that means patients will continue to break the law with the support of their specialists, and making criminals of otherwise law abiding citizens.”

It drives people who are suffering severely and in some cases dying to break the law. Helen Kelly was a prominent example, being open about illegally using cannabis products as she died of cancer.

The domestic market in Canada is considered by MCANZ to be the closest model to ideal, where products are prescribed by GPs, and the cost per mg of active ingredients are 80% less of what is paid in New Zealand currently.

Many other countries are making medical cannabis far easier and cheaper to get – and legally.

See also:

Newshub: Half of cancer patients using cannabis, say doctors

Dr Falkov says 40 to 60 percent of his patients are using medicinal cannabis, and it may have benefits beyond pain relief.

“Essentially most patients use it firstly because they hope it’ll work and improve their cancer control rates, and that’s a very important thing that’s been missed in this debate about medical cannabis. It may well increase cancer control rates.

“Secondly, they’re using it for pain, and thirdly they’re using it basically for appetite stimulation, and a lot of them are using it for anxiety and nausea and vomiting.

“What I’d really like to see is not widespread legalisation of every form of cannabis, but allowing doctors to actually ask patients about their cannabis use; record what they take; evaluate the effectiveness of various products and actually be allowed to use cannabis in research protocols with cancers that are subject to normal ethical approval; going through ethics committees, and subject to normal clinical trial constraints.

“All I’d like really is for cannabis to be treated like any other medication.”

Stuff: Mother in panic over tetraplegic son’s missing carers

Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ: website

Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ is a Registered charity, run by a group of passionate, rational like-minded people with a personal stake in the need for Medical Cannabis in New Zealand. Our ambition first and foremost is to “Put Patients before Politics” and help others get access to Medical Cannabis in New Zealand through legal means. Our ambition is to facilitate and promote the re-introduction of Medicinal Cannabis products – as prescription medicines in NZ. We aim to provide a community for patients and their carers, to promote education of both the general public and especially the medical fraternity, and work towards MC products being more widely available, without the stigma attached currently.

 

 

The Nation on immigration and wrongful convictions

This morning on The Nation:

Immigration

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse and Green Party co-leader James Shaw on migration levels. Are the Government’s move to clamp down on a some categories this week a knee jerk reaction?

Immigration Minister says this week’s changes to immigration rules won’t affect the pressure on Auckland.

The data about health care costs used when the Govt closed off the migrant’s parent category is 3-4 years old.

Gower says that the parent category changes look like a cheap shot.

The community felt that closing the parent categories is to shut out Indian and Chinese parents.

Gower says that the changes look like a reaction to polls and to public pressure. Woodhouse denies it.

James Shaw “we think the country needs a more sustainable immigration policy” and would make immigration numbers 1% of the population, which is around 45,000 but that would include returning New Zealanders.

Shaw saws that the top line net immigration figure would be 17,000 (down from 70,000).

Shaw says they will turn the tap on and off to balance Kiwi movements. I don’t think immigration is easy to adjust at whim.

“The whole idea here is to smooth out the peaks and troughs”.

Immigration figures would need to be eased down slowly to prevent negative effects on growth.

Now Shaw says they would need to “manage it down slowly”.  He talks about “smoothing it down”. I think that’s easier in their than in practice.

Shaw says Labour “seems comfortable” with the Green plans. Is Labour on board with the Green’s new policy? “You’d have to ask them”.

There is a petition online from the Chinese community wanting the Government to reconsider the parent category

 

Wrongful Convictions

Is the way our justice system deals with wrongful convictions good enough? has a story you won’t want to miss

Lawyer Julie-Anne Kincade says tunnel vision can sometimes be a problem for Police.

And they remember Helen Kelly.

Another poll supports medical cannabis

A UMR poll commissioned by cannabis lobby group Start The Conversation shows strong public support for medical cannabis, in line with other polls.

“Should Parliament change the laws of New Zealand so that patients have safe legal access to affordable medicinal cannabis and cannabis products when prescribed by a licensed doctor?”

  • Supported 76%
  • Opposed 12%
  • Undecided 12%

Only 15% of National voters were opposed.

“Should Parliament change the laws of New Zealand so that natural cannabis and medicinal cannabis products are treated as herbal remedies when used therapeutically?”

  • Supported 61%
  • Opposed 24%
  • Undecided 15%

NZ Doctor: New UMR poll shows overwhelming support for medical cannabis law change, says NORML

The poll was conducted by UMR for Start the Conversation from 29th July to 17th August 2016.

The poll will be used by the group, which includes representatives of NORML, to decide whether to proceed with organising a cannabis law reform referendum to coincide with next year’s general election.

URM’s previous cannabis poll in March 2016 reported that 72% of respondents agreed with “the use of marijuana being allowed for medical purposes”.

Chris Fowlie, spokesperson for the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML NZ Inc:

“John Key thinks cannabis law reform sends the wrong message, yet NORML’s message is getting through. Most New Zealanders now know cannabis is not only safer than alcohol but is also an effective remedy for a variety of conditions, and they want the law to change.”

“The message John Key needs to hear is that very few people support the status quo, including National Party voters, and he ignores them at his own peril,” said Mr Fowlie.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

  • Start The Conversation is a group representing cannabis and community activists, researchers and policy analysts throughout New Zealand, including NORML, Helen Kelly, Prof Max Abbott, Dr Geoff Noller, The Cannabis Party, Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ, It’s Medicine (Rose Renton), MildGreens and more. Start The Conversation organised a cannabis debate at the Auckland Town Hall in June, which led to this poll, and is holding its next community forum in Whangarei on Saturday 17th September.
  • Chris Fowlie is NORML’s spokesperson and a candidate for the Waitakere Licensing Trust in this year’s local body elections. He is running on a ticket of “Regulate Cannabis Like Alcohol”, and says under the current law the Trust could run Cannabis Social Clubs for medicinal and/or research purposes. As with West Auckland liquor sales, any profits would be returned to the community.
  • The UMR poll is available here: Changing Marijuana laws Jul-16.pptx

NZ Herald: Another poll shows strong support for medicinal cannabis reform

The poll was commissioned by Start the Conversation, a medicinal cannabis lobby group. The group includes Helen Kelly, a former CTU president who has been campaigning for medicinal cannabis after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Kelly said the campaign group would use the poll to decide whether to try and force a Citizens Initiated Referendum on the issue during the election in 2017.

“Politicians now have the choice. Force those who are mainly unwell to collect signatures simply so the public will be believed or act quickly and with mercy and fix this mess up so people like me and many others have safe and legal guaranteed access.”

Dr Geoff Noller, an independent cannabis policy researcher who is part of Start the Conversation, said the poll showed there was little political risk involved in making a change because New Zealanders were ready for reform.

The Nation – bad Havelock water, good Helen Kelly

On The Nation today, the bad water in Havelock North:

The gastro outbreak in Havelock North is the worst in 30 years… so who’s to blame and what happens now? talks to Lawrence Yule And Massey University ecologist Mike Joy on how to stop something like this happening again

Yule says the Council has “no idea” how the fecal matter got into the bores, and the bores are still testing postive for e-coli

Yule says it wasn’t clear to him until Saturday how many people had become ill.

And Helen Kelly:

. talks to about her campaigns for workers’ rights, medical marijuana & why she won’t be writing a bucket list

What went wrong in Havelock North’s water supply? talks to Hasting mayor Lawrence Yule

Ecologist Mike Joy on the water crisis in Havelock North. How can we stop it happening again?

on workers’ rights, medicinal cannabis, and much more. Our very special full IV here:

The problems with medicinal cannabis

Only minor changes have been made to Ministry of health guidelines for approval of use of cannabis-based products – see Minor MOH changes on cannabis based products.

This leaves medicinal cannabis in a bit of a catch-22 situation – until products can be proven to be effective and safe they won’t be approved, but until they are used and properly assessed their effectiveness and safety will remain unknown.

Stuff reports: Guidelines for applying for medicinal cannabis barely touched following review

The feedback from the review was “unanimously supportive that the guidelines and process are sound,” Dunne said.

His position of a “robust and scientific” approach to cannabis has not changed, which means “identifying the greatest therapeutic benefits and determining the most appropriate ratios, dosage and delivery mechanisms”.

“Otherwise we are essentially flying blind and hoping for the best, an approach that flies in the face of evidence-based medicines policy.

“The consistent feedback from experts in their field was that cannabis-based products should be treated no differently to other medicines – evidence-based principles should and will continue to be followed”.

New Zealand will have to wait until adequate testing of cannabis based products has been done overseas.

In general this is a sound approach, the Ministry should not approve untested or unknown products.

However cannabis is already widely used in new Zealand, and cannabis based medical products are legally available in other countries and notably in some states of the USA, like California and Oregon (where all cannabis use is legal).

It has also been found to be legal to bring a month’s supply of prescribed cannabis based medicine into New Zealand.

So annoyance and frustration and anger here are easy to understand and empathise with.

This situation has left Helen Kelly, like others, in a situation where she is openly breaking the law.

Terminally ill Helen Kelly says the Government has made her a “criminal” after a review of medicinal cannabis guidelines ended with little change.

Kelly continues to illegally source her own drugs after her bid for medicinal cannabis was withdrawn – the result of a “complicated” application process, which required information that was “impossible to access”.

“I’ve been left to buy my own cancer treatment and take illegal cannabis – the whole system is stuffed.”

I can understand why she thinks the whole system is stuffed, I’d probably feel the same way if I was in a similar situation to her.

And I’d probably break the law too if I thought that illegal but available products would help easy pain and discomfort better than legal products.

The Police appear to be turning a blind eye to  Kelly’s use of cannabis product despite her openness, and it would look awful if they arrested a dying person, but it but this leaves the law looking like an ass.

It’s also understandable that the Ministry of Health and Dunne are unwilling to approve unproven medical products – it would look bad (and would be bad) if they approved one that turned out to be inappropriate or unsafe.

There seems to be no sensible solution in sight in the foreseeable future.

Helen Kelly Backs Medical Cannabis Charity

Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand Press Release:

Today Helen Kelly published a post supporting of others making meaningful contributions in support of Medical Cannabis, including a supporting video of our #MC410 fundraiser, aiming to fundraise for Sativex for 10 Patients.


MCANZ is grateful for the public endorsement from Helen Kelly, who is the only notable public figure tackling this issue from a genuine personal need. We hope in future that other public figures and Charities will join us in publicly taking a positive stance on this issue, as charities representing MS, Cancer etc have been largely silent, to the detriment of the patient groups they purport to represent.

Helen Kelly:

“Its Prime goal is to make sure that families that have got legal access to Medicinal Cannabis are able to afford to fund it.”

“We need a proper medical cannabis law in New Zealand to make this accessible, to have it funded but in the meantime there are families with desperate people missing out on what has been a fantastic drug for me, the best drug available, for pain relief, for Nausea, for the Stimulation of my appetite..”

“I have got cancer everywhere, and it has enable me to have a full night’s sleep, to be comfortable, to be pain free”

Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand Coordinator Shane Le Brun:

“It’s important to realize that not everyone is in a position to flout the law as Helen does, some, like a patient we are fundraising for are in care facilities, while others, with severe disabilities relating to Multiple Sclerosis, are in no position to get stuck into the gardening as it were.”

“We have 1 legal option Pharmaceutical grade option, which while not suitable for everyone, and almost unobtainable, it is proving possible to access for those with the most extreme need”.

“We are fundraising for 10 of these patients with extreme need from up and down the country under our #MC410 campaign, in these cases the Medical Profession and the Ministry are not a barrier to access, only the cost”.

“we hope with the support of New Zealanders we can continue to support these 10 needy patients receive a potentially life changing treatment, as already one of our patients has had improvements in Seizure activity, reduction in pain relief and dramatic improvements in sleeping patterns, additionally giving the family caring for him an improvement in their lives, easing the burden of several people”.

About MCANZ: http://mcawarenessnz.org/our-mission/