Police block medicinal marijuana for 2000 illegal users

As many as 2000 terminally ill patients, amputees and cancer sufferers have been forced to go without their cannabis-based pain relief after two police busts involving so-called 'green fairies'.

Green fairies provide cannabidiol products either free of charge or for a small fee to those who say it helps ease their pain.

Joan Cowie has stage four lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

But the man who supplies her cannabis-based balm, which eases the pain of her conditions, has been arrested.

"He's the man that gives me hope," Ms Cowie says.

"He has heart problems, he has COPD and it's helped him so he's the man that gives me hope."

The man, who for legal reasons can't be identified, is one of two so-called green fairies facing charges for possessing, cultivating and supplying cannabis products.

He told Newshub it's difficult to say no to sick people.

"When you know how well I've been helped and how easily I've been helped by something so simple."

He supplies cannabis-based balms and oils free of charge or for a small koha to hundreds of terminally ill patients, amputees and cancer sufferers like Ms Cowie.

After his arrest her supply is dwindling - and she knows her pain will return.

"It's cruel. You know there are a lot of people out there that are like that."

Studies have shown one in 20 Kiwis over the age of 15 have used cannabis for "medical purposes".

Ms Cowie has joined a support group with other users who say pharmaceutical pain relief like morphine and codeine leave them feeling nauseous and sick.

The mother of six and grandmother of eight says she's not a stoner, and says her medicine has a purpose.

"Some days with my chest and that, I don't feel any pain."

She doesn't know how long she has to live, but has a message for the government and the police who arrested her 'green fairy'.

"We're not hurting anybody. We're just trying to heal ourselves or make our lives a bit better."

The man charged with cannabis offences has been released on bail.

Police say their role is to enforce the law, but officers do have discretion over cannabis offences on a case by case basis.