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TVNZ - Commisioner calls for Medicinal Cannabis Trials.

Children's Commissioner Dr Russell Wills says New Zealand should be trialling medicinal cannabis for children.

His comments come as an eleven-year-old girl becomes the first New Zealand child to be prescribed medicinal cannabis extract, called Sativex.

The girl, Paige, has Dravet Syndrome, a rare but lethal form of epilepsy.

Parents Brent and Kelly say their daughter suffered up to fifteen seizures a night. She suffered brain damage and had the mental age of a three year-old.

"The information the doctor gave at the time was that she probably wouldn't live past nine or ten,"says father Brent.

Sativex has been approved for Multiple Sclerosis and chronic pain sufferers.

But its use - untested for a child - has Dr Wills worried. He says Sativex may have side effects for children including sedation and hallucinations.

"We know those side effects can be pretty substantial," he says.

Because of those fears, he says some parents are breaking the law to make another form of cannabis oil they believe is far safer.

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