Politicians not responding fast enough to public Medical Marijuana pressure

Seventy-five people have been granted permission to use medicinal cannabis in recent years but relieved recipients say many more would benefit if the cost was not so high.

Ministry of Health figures show it received 79 applications to use medicinal cannabis between the beginning of 2013 and March this year and authorised 75.

Families who have struggled through the bureaucratic red tape to gain permission to have the medication say the costs remain too high a hurdle for too many. In one case, a family has gained district health board support, another has turned to public charity.

Northland woman Alisha Butt has been using Sativex since September to control severe epilepsy and recently became the first person in the country to receive publicly-funded medical cannabis.

Her parents, Sushila and Royd Butt, believed a lack of funding for the drug was preventing others from applying to use it. Mrs Butt said it cost more than $1000 for a month’s supply.

And Helen Kelly, who can afford $12k per annum for her final years was told to take a hike.  

Rotorua girl Zoe Jeffries has uncontrolled epilepsy, spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, microcephaly, cerebral visual impairment and has had severe seizures since birth.

The Ministry of Health last year approved an application for Zoe to use Sativex.

Mother Karen Jeffries said the cost of the product was a huge burden but a Givealittle campaign to fund it had been “amazing”.

In addition to its cost, reluctance among health professionals to talk about medicinal cannabis could also be a barrier to it use, she said.

Her family had done their own research around the drug and there was a long road to getting access to it, she said.

There is of course an easier way.   Become a criminal.

It’s time this gets sorted.  The process of going to the minister and prove every individual case for an exception to the rule is clearly getting to the point where it needs to be handed to health professionals.

And for the hard of understanding:  this is all about pain and symptom relief, and nothing to do with getting high.

Cancer is not a gateway illness for Marijuana abuse.

 

– Kim Fulton, NZ Herald


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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