Helen Kelly: 'The system doesn't work'

9:34 am on 30 January 2016

After a lifetime fighting for the unions, Helen Kelly is now a passionate advocate for medical cannabis after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. She tells John Campbell she still has a few battles left to fight.

Watch John Campbell's full interview with Helen Kelly here:

Ms Kelly stood down from her role as president of the Council of Trade Unions last year after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

She revealed she had used cannabis to help cope with the side effects of lung cancer, and has become an advocate for medical marijuana.

She told Checkpoint with John Campbell that she takes cannabis late in the day to help her get through the night.

"It just helps me sleep and it gets rid of the pain. And I wake up hungry, I don't throw up."

She said she had access to morphine, but it made her feel exhausted and did not last through the night.

Ms Kelly's doctor had recommended cannabis for her symptoms, but he could not prescribe it to her.

She said the system did not work.

"It's taken me months and months and months to get to the product, to talk to the exporter, I have to get an import licence, I have to go into hospital to administer it if it's approved.

"It's a bloody pen with cannabis oil in it. It's just insane."

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