Lifting the restriction on the use of medical cannabis is like “dangling the carrot” but not being able to grab it, a medicinal cannabis advocate says.
Doctors can now import and prescribe cannabidiol (CBD), which was previously a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, bringing New Zealand into line with other countries including Australia.
But Rose Renton, whose son Alex was the first New Zealander to be granted an exemption to use it in 2015, said the move does not go far enough.
“It’s totally symbolic. The only CBD that New Zealand doctors are able to prescribe is imported CBD that is hugely priced,” she said.
“The New Zealand public are being told one thing but they are not being given any affordable access to it.”
Ms Renton’s 19-year-old son was able to use medical cannabis one month before his death, after getting ministerial approval. He died of severe epilepsy.