Sir Paul Holmes turned to cannabis for pain relief, widow reveals
Broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes turned to marijuana for pain relief in the weeks before he died, his widow has revealed.
Holmes died in 2013, after battling heart problems and the return of prostate cancer.
His name joins those of other well-known New Zealanders who have lent support to the cause.
Lady Deborah Holmes told NZME. Paul was not a drug user but "in the final weeks it was the one thing that could give him peace and comfort".
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He was allergic to morphine and the alternative concoction of drugs "sent him off to la la land", she said.
He smoked the drug, as the couple was unaware of cannabis oil.
Following Martin Crowe's death, a close friend said the New Zealand cricket legend was self-medicating with liquid marijuana to ease his pain.
Crowe died on March 3 following a long battle with cancer.
Former England cricketer Mike Selvey produce a moving tribute piece for Britain's Guardian newspaper, where he says Crowe opened up to him about his medical struggles in New Zealand during the World Cup last year.
Selvey says Crowe told him he was sleeping 15 hours a day and using cannabis oil rather than undergoing more chemotherapy for his second bout of lymphoma.
"He had been diagnosed with follicular lymphoma a couple of years previously but appeared to be in remission, cleared, until the cancer returned, in the virulent terminal form of double-hit lymphoma," Selvey wrote.
"The apparently hale nature of his condition was a camouflage. When he was awake, he said, he did indeed feel good, but rather than undergoing yet more chemotherapy he was by then self-medicating with liquid marijuana and sleeping 15 hours a day. Happy hours though," he said.
The spotlight is on medicinal cannabis largely owing to former president of the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) Helen Kelly campaigning for access to the drug.
Kelly was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer just over a year ago.
She continues to source cannabis illegally, which she takes at night to help her sleep and control pain.
Previously Kelly has said it was a "huge relief" for her when she discovered cannabis oil.
Last month Kelly applied to the Ministry of Health for access to Bloom Farmers Highlighter Sativa and Indica cannabis oil inhalers.
Dunne said he was told by the Ministry a day after the application was received that it had "insufficient information for (the ministry) to be able to assess the product and make a recommendation".
Rather than decline the application, Dunne asked the ministry to go back to Kelly's oncologist and get the information that was needed.
Kelly is continuing to source more information on the products she's seeking access to in order to get sign off from Dunne.
In June last year, Nelson teenager Alex Renton was the first Kiwi to receive a cannabidiol (CBD) product signed off.
The one-of use of Elixinol, a CBD product from the United States was approved by Dunne after Renton's Wellington doctors applied to the Ministry of Health.
Renton, 19, had been in hospital since early April suffering "status epilepticus", a kind of prolonged seizure, and died from his condition in July.