Charlie’s blog raised the issue of Drugs and legalisation…thought this might add or subtract to the argument.
Middle Child. I sent this to State Gov way back in 2001...nothing has changed since then..
Medical Cannabis Submission Ph 0292284243
Office of Drug Policy
The Cabinet Office
GPO Box 5341
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Dear Sir or Madam,
I would like to have my submission considered on the issue of the Medical use of Cannabis.
My husband has been a C5/C6 Complete Quadriplegic for over nineteen years. He is now fifty. During the last decade he has been subjected to increasing levels of pain, due to a variety of causes, but all connected with his quadriplegia.
Last year (2000) he spent about three and a half months bedridden over the winter months, because of the pain levels he was experiencing. He has severe degeneration of his hips both right and left which cannot be treated with hip replacement in his case. He has bowel and bladder pain, muscle spasms and experiences pain in his forearms, which is so bad, that it takes his breath away at times. There is also so called “phantom” pain, which is all too real to those who experience it. Cannabis is well known to be helpful in most of the above. All of the above is a daily condition, sometimes it eases, sometimes it gets worse, but it is always present.
At present he is using Durogesic patches and another drug Epilim, to control the pain levels enough so that he can sit up in his chair and take part in life. We both know that after a period of time these drugs will have to increase, to ensure continuing effectiveness, or be changed over, to gain new benefits. All of this will be a big problem, as the side effects of all the major painkillers are well known.
We would be in favour of the controlled medicinal use of Cannabis for compassionate medical purposes. For my husband it could help with the pain levels, the muscle spasms and in other areas, and would be a lot less dangerous long term to use than what is now available for him.
One caution we would urge is that only organically grown and processed, non-hybrid cannabis should be used in any medication. The hydroponically grown cannabis is known to cause major problems with those using it, due to the chemicals used in its growing and the pesticides and other poisons added to it. The hybrid cannabis is not as pure as the original cannabis and no one really knows what problems there may be with medicating with hybrid cannabis.
The cannabis that has been used for many centuries as medicine, is proven, is not physically addictive; unlike many of the morphine based painkillers used; and is cheap. It can be grown in Australia, and could be made available on prescription, on PBS for those who need to use it. The dose would be worked out between pain management clinics, the GP and the Chemist thus ensuring the patient had enough for it to be effective, but not so much that they were mentally affected.
There would be no need for any multinational drug companies to be involved, because with full Government backing and control, the source of the Cannabis could be guaranteed clean and organic, and the dosage of non-hybrid cannabis would be consistent.
Thousands of people in Australia endure pain beyond the level of bearing. They do not want to also have their minds affected by increasing dosages of already available painkillers and muscle relaxants, but are faced with misery no one can really comprehend, with out treatment.
It seems that here in Australia, the only thing holding us back from taking this compassionate step, is the fear many have of anything to do with Cannabis. In effect we are punishing terminally ill, chronically ill people and their relatives, because of our fear of the criminal elements involved. This seems to me to be a back the front attitude.
I will say that long-term heavy use of hydroponically grown, hybridised Cannabis is very dangerous, and the toxins used in its production cause much mental illness. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg at present, and there will be an endemic of illness and problems related to its use, as the generations pass.
But if we use this logic, that of punishing the ill and needy, because of those who abuse, we would not let anyone use any pain relieving, or muscle relaxing medication for fear that someone would abuse the substance.
Making Cannabis as described above available for compassionate medicinal use, would be a blessing for these thousands, it is achievable, it is cheap and it is controllable.
As the Doctors are told to “first do no harm”, it would be the least dangerous and invasive treatment for many, and it is sustainable for decades for those with chronic pain.
I hope we don’t have to wait too long for it to be legally available, for some it will be too late.