Thousands of Kiwis illegally obtaining medicinal cannabis, new research suggests

Source: 1News

Late last year the Government relaxed laws around the use of medicinal cannabis but new research suggests tens of thousands of New Zealanders are still getting hold of it illegally.

In the first ever online survey into the medical use of the drug, patients say they're frustrated, or feel they can't talk to their doctor about using it.

Shane Le Brun from Medicinal Cannabis Awareness NZ wanted to know what people were using it for.

"One of the things that's really struck me is the number of indications, so medical conditions that people have identified using cannabis for, we're talking probably two dozen," he told 1 NEWS.

Among the early findings are that more than a third of users don't tell their GP they're using the drug and almost 60 per cent of respondents are female.

Cannabis user Shaun Shale wants to see fewer restrictions around prescribing and a regulated market, which would take away several risks such as the drug's strength.

"One of the responses I had from my specialist at the hospital was, 'oh so you're smoking pot and it was in a very derogatory manner," he told 1 NEWS.

The survey runs until the end of July when MPs will be invited to view the research.