"We are trying to raise law-abiding citizens. And it just seems so hard. The law is too harsh. It's really too harsh."
A family has had to begin using it’s retirement savings to pay for their son’s medical cannabis treatment has requested that the government looks into a more affordable way.
Ollie Venables, 22, is autistic, intellectually disabled, and has mild spastic cerebral palsy. He is in near-constant pain and suffered from muscle spasms and other side effects while on previous medications.
His parents, have successfully navigated the fraught process to obtaining one of the two legal cannabis medications on the market, a CBD oil made by Tilray.
They are among hundreds of families who are lobbying Parliament on a law change which will decriminalise medical cannabis for some people. Most of those families say it does not go far enough. The Health Committee is now working on its report, which is due back at the end of July.
The law change before Parliament will eventually make medical cannabis more readily available and could hopefully reduce its cost, though the new regime is expected to take at least two years to implement.
In the meantime, there will be a legal exemption from prosecution for terminally ill people who have illicit cannabis.
Shelly Venables wants the ability to be able to grow or purchase other forms of medical cannabis legally. But because Ollie is not terminally ill, he or his family will not be exempt from prosecution.
Health Minister David Clark has already ruled out broadening the legal exemption, saying it was intended to be a compassionate measure until the full regime was in place.
Source – New Zealand Herald
Image – Venables Family