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Govt accused of creating medicinal cannabis crisis through strict regulations

The Government is being accused of creating a medicinal cannabis crisis by imposing the strictest regulations in the world.

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Medicinal cannabis users spoke to Benedict Collins about the trouble they’re having accessing the drug. Source: 1 NEWS

Among those affected is seven-year-old Eddy Thomas, who has had the medicinal cannabis prescribed to him repeatedly detained by officials at the border.

It stops his epileptic seizures.

"It’s really, really quite frightening," Eddy’s mum, Katy Thomas, told 1 NEWS. "Edward could have died at any point over the last three months."

It also takes an emotional toll.

"He talks constantly about being scared of dying from his seizures," she said.

A delivery has since gone through, and will last for the next six months.

The standards are so tough, no local products have been approved.

Cannabis (file image). Source: 1 NEWS

In 2020, more than 200 consignments of medicinal cannabis were destroyed at the border because they failed to meet the rules. In the first three months of 2021, 67 consignments have been destroyed.

Green Party drug spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick called it "hugely disappointing".

"It took us years to create this mess and it shouldn’t take us years to get out of it."

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern denied the Government had made a mess of the situation.

"Ultimately, we want New Zealanders to access safe products to manage their medical needs. If that is not what people are experiencing, then we will keep looking at the system we have created."

Many Kiwis still rely on the black market to access their medicinal cannabis — often through growers referred to as "green fairies".

But recent scientific testing of some of their products showed that claims they were high in CBD were often incorrect.

Gavin and Niki Woodfield with two-year-old George. Source: 1 NEWS

Gavin and Niki Woodfield credit the "green fairies" with helping keep their two-year-old son George alive as the chemotherapy for his leukemia makes him desperately ill.

"After two days after CBD oil, he started climbing stairs for the first time in his life, his tremors subsided, his anxiety was a lot better," Gavin said.

They said New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis regime is hopeless and can’t believe the Prime Minister’s position.

"The fact politicians are saying that the system is not a mess really shows a real disconnect versus what’s happening in the real world," he said.