3News 18 October 2015
A seven-year-old Rotorua girl who suffers severe seizures has been granted the use of medicinal cannabis.
The Ministry of Health gave Zoe Jeffries’ parents permission to treat her with Sativex, a cannabis oil-based mouth spray, for six months, the New Zealand Herald reports.
Karen Jeffries says although Zoe has only been taking the oil for a couple of weeks, she seems a lot more settled already.
Zoe’s teachers have also noticed a difference in her with the drug, saying she is able to cope better with the noise.
Zoe has uncontrolled epilepsy, spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, microcephaly, cerebral visual impairment and is believed to be one of the youngest recipients of medicinal cannabis in New Zealand.
Father Adam Jeffries says he hopes the drug will help control Zoe’s seizures which can cause further brain injury,
Sativex can be prescribed by a doctor but must be approved by the Ministry of Health. One bottle can last around four weeks but costs more than $1000 because it is not funded by Pharmac.
There are growing calls for the Government to legalise medicinal use of cannabis but Prime Minister John Key says the Government is not looking at wider use.
Zoe’s parents have created a Givealittle page to help fundraise for the drug.