A Hawke’s Bay mother has come clean about giving her daughter cannabis for a severe medical condition.
The teenager suffers from Dravet Syndrome, which causes her to suffer hundreds, sometimes thousands, of seizures a day.
Mum Toni Matich says the number of seizures dropped dramatically, and her daughter’s quality of life improved when taking medical cannabis.
Ms Matich, who has four other children, is speaking for the first time about her decision to break the law and give her daughter the drug.
“I have no regrets about what I did for my child. She had the best quality of life from her illness for that two years’’.
Ms Matich says her cannabis mixture was created with the help of professionals, including botanists and pharmacologists.
“I also consulted with medical cannabis specialists to understand (any interactions) with the medication she was on.”
Ms Matich says she had the cannabis mixture, rich in a compound called cannabidiol, tested to make sure it was free of any toxins before she gave it to her daughter.
Other medications before that had caused horrific side effects, she says.
“One of them schizophrenic type behaviour, so violent, extremely violent.’’
Now Ms Matich has set up a lobby group, United in Compassion New Zealand, to establish legitimate trials for medical cannabis.
Health officials are working closely with Ms Matich on her proposals.
The group is raising money through the ‘’Givealittle’’ website to fund its work. Details can be found at here.
Ms Matich speaks about her efforts to obtain medical cannabis, and the impact it had on her daughter, tonight on Sunday. The programme also tracks down the seller of a product labelled as containing a sought after – but illegal - cannabis compound, that’s been sold to Kiwis with chronic illness and terminal cancer.