New Zealand


Renton case doesn't create cannabis precedent

Legalisation of cannabis won't happen under the current government, despite it allowing the one-off use of cannabinoid oil for Nelson teenager Alex Renton, the Associate Health Minister says.

While the Government allowed the use of Elixinol, a medical product made of hemp oil, to treat Nelson teenager Alex Renton, Peter Dunne says it changes nothing regarding the legalisation of cannabis.

Permission was allowed for Renton to have the product, which is illegal in New Zealand but available in the US, after an application was made to him by his family.

Renton, 19, had been in hospital after developing a condition which meant he suffered continuous seizures. He died on July 1 after around three months in hospital.


New Zealand: Unravelling hemp's potential

Isaac Beach, sporting a hemp briefcase, is looking for partners for a bigger industrial hemp trial in Hawke's Bay.

With an MBA under his belt Isaac Beach went looking for opportunity.

The event manager, who worked several years with Rhythm and Vines, decided his opportunity was industrial hemp from the cannabis plant.

It is grown legally throughout New Zealand but not in Hawke's Bay. The New Zealand market is for its oil but he saw a potential for the fibre's insulative/building potential, filling an urgent need in social housing.


Alex Renton's mum believes her son's struggle will change NZ medical laws

Alex Renton died on July 1 in Wellington Hospital, following a battle with a prolonged form of seizures known as epileptius.

He was granted special access by the Government to use medicinal cannabis in a bid to stop him suffering more seizures.

The 19-year-old’s mother, Rose, told Seven Sharp that she was heartbroken to lose her son who had a “presence like no one else … and it made you feel strong and safe”.

Alex was the first Kiwi to have the treatment, and the initial signs were promising, as he came off life support and started breathing on his own.

“It's got incredible properties for stopping seizures and controlling epilepsy,” Rose said.

But the teen, who has six siblings, took a turn for the worse and died shortly after.


Drug reform is not a Dunne deal

Drug laws have been liberalised from Portland to Portugal. Why is New Zealand missing the (magic) bus? PHILIP MATTHEWS talks with decriminalisation advocate Ross Bell.

Drug law reform. Is there any better example of a heart versus head issue? Logic and rationality tells you that the system does not work, that drugs are a medical issue not a criminal one. But your gut says lock all the junkies and potheads up.

It is Ross Bell's job to wrestle with these dilemmas. For 11 years he has been chief executive of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, a charitable trust charged with preventing and reducing harms caused by drug use.


Former NZ First youth leader on cannabis charge

The former president of New Zealand First's youth wing has been charged with possession of cannabis for supply.

Curwen Rolinson's always been a troublemaker for New Zealand First and now it seems he's a law-breaker as well.

Police arrested the aspiring politician on April 15, and he since appeared in court charged with possession of cannabis for supply.

He's remanded on bail but will be back before a judge next Wednesday.



New Zealand: work on medicinal cannabis bill underway

Moves are afoot to allow the use of medicinal cannabis following the death of Nelson teenager Alex Renton who was undergoing experimental treatment using the product.

The 19-year-old died peacefully in Wellington Hospital last night where he was receiving a treatment of Elixinol, which is derived from hemp rather than marijuana, for a condition which caused him to suffer repeated seizures.

Alex's family applied to Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne to be able to import and use the product and was granted a one-off dispensation on compassionate grounds.


New Zealand: Those in pain seeking other options

People who use cannabis for medicinal purposes are calling for the drug to be made legally available for those who need it.

Those with a terminal illness, or who suffer from chronic pain, claim taking cannabis helps alleviate pain. They know they are breaking the law, but say the benefits outweigh the risks.

Last week Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne Dunne approved a cannabinoid (CBD), Elixinol, for Nelson teenager Alex Renton, who had been in Wellington Hospital for more than 60 days in an induced coma.


Medical marijuana: Good evidence for some diseases, weak for others

Evidence supports the use of marijuana for some medical conditions, but not for others, according to a fresh review of past research.

After reviewing 80 randomised trials that included nearly 6500 people, researchers found moderate support for using marijuana to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms and involuntary movements.

The evidence wasn't as strong to support marijuana's use for nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, sleep disorders, HIV-related weight loss and Tourette syndrome.

Also, any benefits of marijuana or cannabis use must be weighed against the risk of side effects, which include dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, sleepiness and euphoria, according to the study's lead author.


Korean Man Arrested for Massive Marijuana Grow Op

SEOUL, Jun. 25 (Korea Bizwire) – Korean police have uncovered the largest indoor cultivation of cannabis in Korea.

Namdaemun District Police arrested a man in his thirties for growing 46 cannabis plants in his 109 ㎡ apartment space in Yongin, and confiscated the plants as well as 135 grams of end-products, worth a total of 2 billion won (US$ 1.8 million) on the black market.

It is reported that 46 plants can make end-products that can serve up to 92,000 individuals.

The police said that the unveiling of the man’s indoor farm shows that transactions involving cannabis in Korea turned out to be quite large in scale, in stark contrast to Korea’s reputation as a relatively drug-free country.


New Zealand Teen treated with cannabis oil 'breathing on his own' in hospital

The condition has improved of the Nelson teenager whose supporters fought for him to have access to cannabis oil medication.

Alex Renton, 19, spent 12 hours off his ventilator yesterday, breathing on his own, Seven Sharp reporter Jehan Casinader tweeted this morning.

His cannabis oil doses are increasing and sedation is expected to lift further.

Alex is suffering from a prolonged form of seizure, known as epilepticus, and has been in Wellington Hospital since early April.

His condition sparked a national debate on the benefits and morality of using cannabis oil for medicinal purposes.


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