Petitioning the government, Alex’s family were able to get Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne to grant approval of the usage of a hemp-based oil called Elixinol. On June 16, Alex took an initial dose and in the first week, he regained consciousness and his seizures decreased. “The most important thing for us is Minister Dunne gave us the right to choose and that’s what I want other families to be given,” explains Renton. “As a family, we had never been regular visitors to the doctor and there are plenty of people that choose the medical system, but I chose medicinal cannabis. Whether he was saved or not is beside the point. The point is I never want anyone to have to go through the process we did.”
It’s cannabis’ history as a medical treatment that encouraged Hawke’s Bay mum Toni-Marie Matich to first begin giving it to her desperately ill daughter.
However, the medicinal cannabis had a remarkable effect. Within three months, Matich’s daughter’s seizures notably reduced and she was hospitalised less. “Medicinal cannabis didn’t cure her but it gave her the best quality of life for the most sustained period. Now I want to know why and I want to see the research and the science.”