The debate about medical cannabis use in New Zealand has come to the forefront after a teenager in Wellington Hospital was given Elixinol, a drug containing cannabis derived cannabidiol (CBD), to treat epilepticus. 20 other medications were attempted previous to Elixinol.
Alex was training to be a chef and started going into seizures after feeling low-energy for a few days. He was then placed in an induced coma for 54 days to control ongoing epileptic-like seizures. Twenty different medications were attempted, and Alex's mother fought for the right to use Elixinol. The drug was not being allowed due to the bureaucracy surrounding medical marijuana, but on June 9th the Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne approved the remedy.
Today, his first Elixinol treatments were finally administered and he stated that he feels "calm and settled" after his second treatment, according to TVNZ.
In other news, On June 15th, Auckland police have carried out 10 search warrants and arrested eight people who will be charged with selling and cultivation of marijuana. Thousands of plants were seized.
John Key, New Zealand's Prime Minister, has stated that "I haven't seen any advice that supports the view that we should be taking a broader view of the use of medical marijuana", according to NZCity.