Police in the US have been slammed after they arrested a terminally ill cancer patient for using cannabis extracts to ease his pain in his hospital bed.

Greg Bertz, 69, was busted for drug possession in his room at Hays Medical Center, Kansas, USA, on December 16, by authorities with no "compassion".

Cops seized a vape kit and edible paste containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and told Mr Bertz he must attend a court hearing on January 2, despite the fact that he can't even stand unassisted.

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The pensioner's son Lee Bretz branded the incident "humiliating" for his dad, adding that it left the 69-year-old "pretty upset".

He said: "He can’t make it to court. He’s bedridden. He can’t move his legs.”

“You’d think they would have shown a lot of compassion and not done anything,” he added.

Speaking with the Wichita Eagle, Greg said he was lying "flat on his back" for around three weeks and had been coping with the disease by inhaling from a vaping device and eating THC paste on bread.

He had been advised by a doctor to "do whatever he wants if it makes him feel better".

This was because medics had run out of treatment options for the dad other than putting him in a hospice.

But rather than following the advice of that doctor, a member of hospital staff caught him using the vaping device and called police.

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The three officers who visited him explained to him that the device was a fire safety hazard, given the hospital room is provisioned with oxygen.

Greg told a friend he would try to contact prosecutors to see if they would delay the hearing so that he will be dead by the time it arrives.

Hays Police Chief Don Scheiber said the department was initially contacted about the vaping as a "potential fire hazard".

He admitted they were also notified of THC possession "which is illegal in the state of Kansas".

A summons for a drug violation charge was issued but later reversed after the officer had second thoughts, Scheiber added.

The officer contacted the prosecutor's office recommending the charge be dismissed, but due to the Christmas holiday, it wasn't picked up in time and news broke of the incident.

Kansas is one of only three US states that fully ban marijuana for medical purposes.

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