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Shortland street echoes real life.

Last night Shortland street posed a moral dilemma, with a Class B drug (prepared Cannabis in the form of a “Pot Brownie”) being administered to “Pixie” who is a minor, with obvious benefits to the young patient facing the looming threat of cancer. Unfortunately this piece of fiction is echoed on a daily basis up and down New Zealand.

MCaNZ has contact with many patients who use Cannabis whilst suffering from cancer, particularly for recurring and end-stage cancer.  Cannabis – when used for cancer medicinally – has great benefits on nausea and appetite, making chemotherapy far more tolerable.  It is also effective in reducing pain somewhat, whilst also improving sleep and reducing general anxiety in some cases. We feel that the scenario depicted on Shortland Street was a fair representation of daily life for many New Zealanders – one that should not be a crime – but patients should have access to a comparatively safe medicine that is effective in improving multiple aspects of a cancer patients life.

There are double standards in New Zealand when comparing Cannabis-based medicines, to Opium-based medicines. The latter are given freely to cancer patients, who in severe situations can be on hundreds of milligrams of morphine a day.  United in Compassion is committed to education on the topic of Medical Cannabis in NZ and hopes to remove the stigma and those double standards, so that the estimated hundreds of New Zealanders who use Cannabis while fighting cancer on a daily basis are no longer considered criminals.

 

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