A medicinal cannabis user is relieved the Government is making the treatment available through GPs, but fears the cost may be too high.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne on Friday said doctors would soon be allowed to prescribe cannabidiol (CBD) without the involvement of the Ministry of Health or politicians.
But it won’t be funded by Pharmac, and CBD products currently aren’t produced in New Zealand, so have to be imported.
Advocate and user Huhaka Hickey says the medicine is worth every penny, but hopes using cannabis oil won’t bankrupt her.
“I dread the day I can’t afford medicinal cannabis. The side effects, the zombieness – it’s not worth it.”
Ms Hickey has multiple sclerosis, and started using cannabis oil after a cocktail of opiates failed her.
She used to think using CBD would make her high, but found that wasn’t the case.
“I had the same perception – maybe I’m going to stoned or whatever. But it’s very much like taking a medicine, and you don’t get the side effects that you get from the opiates that I was taking.”
Medicinal users don’t experience a high from cannabis oil because it doesn’t contain THC, the active ingredient recreational users want.