Helen Kelly seeking use of cannabis oil for cancer

Helen Kelly seeking use of cannabis oil for cancer

Outgoing CTU president Helen Kelly is going to ask Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne for an exemption to use cannabis oil as part of her treatment for cancer.

Ms Kelly told The Nation programme today that her cancer was progressing despite the chemotherapy and a new immunotherapy drug.

She said she had exhausted "all the normal medicines" and was "brassed off" that certain alternative remedies were not available.

"I'm going to ask Peter Dunne for cannabis oil," she says.

In June, Mr Dunne approved a one-off use of cannabis oil for a Wellington teenager in an induced coma on compassionate grounds and said he was not setting a wider precedent.

It transpired that Alex Renton's mother had given her son the oil weeks before government approval, which doctors condemned when they found out.

Ms Kelly says cannabis oil relieved pain, and while she was not sure about its curative qualities, she was interested in research into them.

Ms Kelly says the new immunotherapy drug was not working "so yeah, that's my lot really".

She has access to morphine but called it a horrible drug.

Ms Kelly, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer in February.