Stop arresting 'green fairies' - doctor

An Auckland doctor is calling on police to stop arresting so-called 'green fairies' who supply medicinal cannabis.

Dr Graham Gulbransen, a GP for 30 years, told Newshub the arrests are causing anxiety and distress for more than 100,000 Kiwis. 

He's taking the unusual step of speaking out on behalf of the country's medicinal cannabis users.

"There are 100,000 people or more who are really anxious about what the police are doing, and I'm calling on the Police Commissioner to stop the prosecutions," he said.

One of those prosecuted is Rose Renton, who had fought to get her dying son treated with cannabidiol (CBD) oil. She appeared in court on Tuesday charged with cannabis offences.

Her arrest is the third of so-called 'green fairies' in recent months where dealers of CBD-based products, or medicinal cannabis, have been targeted by police.

"These are very distressed people and if they can't get their medicinal cannabis supply, we're increasing their levels of suffering... so I'm really upset," Dr Gulbransen said.

The police busts have disrupted supply to hundreds of patients across the country.

A law change last month allowed CBD to be prescribed by doctors but patients are struggling to find products.

That's because certified CBD suppliers, like Canadian firm Tilray, are still working through paperwork to import supplies.

Tilray told Newshub it hopes the first batch will arrive next month.

"In the meantime, we're relying on compassionate green fairies to help where we can't," Dr Gulbransen said.

However his plea has fallen on deaf ears. On Thursday afternoon, police told Newshub their role is to enforce the law and that their approach to cannabis has not changed.