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Dr William Courtney

The Power of RAW Cannabis

Listen to Dr Courtney HERE

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Stephanie Smith: "Greg's article in today's local paper. And start..but misses the point of the desperately urgent needs and stigma Greg and every other patient that needs whole plant canna meds lives with on a daily bases until they finally properly legisate."

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Nimbin Mardigrass 2015 MCUA Stall

"Patient Testimonials"

Gail Hester

My name is Gail Hester. I have been a cannabis user since I was 18 yrs old. I am now in my 60s. I began as a social smoker when I was doing my nursing training back in the 1970s. It was at the height of the Vietnam war, when the US soldiers were bringing cannabis to Australia while on R&R from the jungle warfare and the nightmare existence they endured. Looking back now, it is easy to see why it was so popular with these guys. In 2008, my family went through the harrowing experience of watching my beautiful and vibrant 21 yr old daughter Sarah, waste away and then die a slow painful death from aggressive bowel cancer. We were robbed of all hope by the “terminal” diagnosis and the total helplessness of the situation was all consuming. A mind blowing experience for any parent. During her treatment I felt I had to stay strong for her and her father and brother. At times, I needed something to escape the reality. Booze was not an option. Antidepressants were not helping. It had been many moons since I used cannabis, and a friend suggested I try it - which I did. It became my crutch - the only way I could detach myself from the emotional pain that threatened to overwhelm me. It enabled me to mentally step aside from it and remain functional. It helped me get through her “treatment”phase, the planning of her farewell and the comforting of her many young friends who attended the funeral. In the years since, it has enabled me to view and talk about the experience from the same objective perspective. It allows me to think of her and what might have been without falling into the black abyss of depression. I still cry every day. I doubt that will ever change. But without cannabis I shutter to think where I may have ended up. It wasn't until several years later I found out about the medicinal effects of cannabis and how it had anti cancer properties. I was inspired to research further by a man I met who had turned his death notice to face the wall by using cannabis oil. He defied their diagnosis and the law. He lives today, cancer free and he is my friend. It was this that led me to finally believe that there was indeed a ray of hope where all hope had been lost for others in circumstances similar to mine. My biggest regret was not knowing about how cannabis could have arrested my daughter's suffering and maybe changed the outcome and as a result I have made it my life purpose to spread the word because no other family should have to go through that pain. It was after the airing of the Dan Haslam story in June 2014, when 2.8 million people responded to a poll that showed 96% of the population were in favour of legalising cannabis, that I knew something had to be done to give these people a voice. So with the help and encouragement of the Australian HEMP Party -who created the facebook group for me - the MCUA was born. The group has since grown to reach the incredible milestone of over 10,000 Aussie members and has become Sarah's legacy. I still need to use cannabis every day, and I will continue to fight for its freedom as long as I draw breath. On this page are the real life experiences of the ever increasing numbers of Aussies who have come to know the power of this amazing plant and its ability to improve their quality of life. It is my hope that these true life stories will inspire and inform, but most of all bring freedom from unnecessary suffering for patients and their carers; and have some impact on changing the law that makes access to cannabis a crime.

Juanita K.

I was asked to put ‘my story’ here, in support of Medical Cannabis and tell you ‘why’ it is not only necessary for me, but, why you should consider my situation. I am supposed to tell you my tale of woe and why you, as a government need to make Medical Cannabis not only legal, but allow those of us who find it necessary to take it, grow and make our own Cannabis Oil and do it all legally, with the government’s blessing. I will tell you my story, but the simplest way, is to tell you the truth, pure and simple. The truth is this,, you, as a Government - OWE ME! Now, you may wonder, how could the Government, how could you, ‘owe me’, you don’t know me and we’ve never met. So, how could the government, how could you - owe me anything? Well, it’s quite simple really, what is ‘wrong’ with me now, is as a direct result of the government’s decision, one that was made, some fifty-eight years ago. Had the Government not made that decision, not allowed, that decision, or done their homework better, I wouldn’t be in the Chronic Pain, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week that I’m in now. I wouldn’t have to live like this and frankly, I probably wouldn’t even know about Medical Cannabis Oil and its benefits and I certainly wouldn’t have to take it, to get some semblance of a life, or some kind of relief from the constant and never ending nerve pain, that I’m in. You see, fifty-eight years ago, the government, made a decision to allow an infant child to be adopted, by parents that should never have been allowed to adopt a dog, let alone a baby. But, you, the government, didn’t do your homework, didn’t look deep enough, into a man who was a WWII veteran, with, let’s just say ‘serious mental and emotional issues’ and who was ‘forced’ by his wife to adopt said infant, to allow her to fulfil her need to ‘mother’ another child, that she physically couldn’t have herself. That child, was me. You see, that man, my adoptive father, resented being forced into an adoption he didn’t want, for a baby, that wasn’t his and somebody, would have to ‘pay for that’ and that ‘somebody’ was me and for many, many years, that’s exactly what I did, ‘pay for it’. My adoptive father, beat me mercilessly and often and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I did try, you see, but, you, as a government, or your representative, not only didn’t care, but sent me back to him, despite being told and even shown what he was doing to me, you didn’t care and you didn’t want to know. You the government, probably still don’t want to know or care, but I’m used to that now. You see, at about the age of 10 or 11 years of age, I found, you. I found where the Adoption/Children’s Services Department was and I took two buses, all by myself, and I went for help. You see, back then, I was young and naïve and thought, you, the government who approved my adoption, would help me, would save me. Your representative did listen to me, did see the bruises, the marks, the scars, but, not only did she do nothing, she used the threat of what would happen to me in foster care, or an orphanage, terrible horror stories, to force me to go home, back to my abusive adoptive father. But, she wasn’t finished with me yet, I guess she didn’t like being told, the adoption was a mistake, perhaps, she even took it personally, I don’t know. What she did next, sealed my fate and I would soon know, that there was no one to help me, no one to save me. Least of all, my own government. You see, in my narration of what was happening to me, she, the government representative, required my parents name and address and phone number, she said, in order to know who it was, who was abusing me. When she sent me home, she called my father and told him where I’d been and what I’d said to her. He was waiting for me, when I got home. That was the day, the beatings would not only get worse, that was the day, that would ‘set the standard’ for what I would have to live with until I could and would finally leave home for good. You see, when I got home that day, my adoptive father beat me so badly, he fractured and broke bones, left my body so bruised and battered I would be unable to go to school, unable to do anything more than lay in bed in agony for weeks. Over the ensuing years he’d beat me with his fists, his booted feet, a tomahawk, the ‘wrong’ end of a belt or jug cord, even a piece of 4”x 2” he had ‘fashioned’ for just this purpose. He would ‘stomp’ on me, on my back, on my body, anywhere he could reach. In trying to get away from him once, I even went through a ‘plate glass’ door, not getting a scratch on me, just leaving my ‘outline’ in the glass, this was the days before ‘safety glass’ of course. But after being hit repeatedly with the ‘blunt end’ of a tomahawk, all over my back, buttocks, legs, well, you don’t tend to stick around for more and try, even if it’s in vain, to get out of his reach. Of course, the police were called by the neighbours at times, but they’d be told I was a very disobedient child and defiant and the police officer would tell me to do what my father said and I wouldn’t get hit. Sounds simple really doesn’t it, except I wasn’t being hit because I was disobedient or defiant, I was beaten, simply because I was adopted. How do I know this, you might ask? Because that was the ‘mantra’ he’d say to me, as he beat me, over and over and over again. He would tell me I had ‘dirty blood’ because my biological father wasn’t named on my birth certificate, therefore, I would have to have that beaten out of me. Or it would be some other excuse, usually to do with him being forced by my mother to adopt me in the first place. He never let that one go. The word ‘adoption’ was the ‘dirty word’ or ‘swear word’ used in my house, regularly. Well, I did finally get away from my adoptive father, I first left home at the age of twelve, only to be brought back and beaten severely, not for leaving, but for being seen as having left. He couldn’t have people think badly of him, he was a successful business man, he wouldn’t have people know, what he was really like. I would finally leave at fifteen years of age, for good and I would never go back to live there. I would however, visit to see my mother, from time to time, but she died when I was eighteen years, from ovarian cancer. Did you know, I have the power to give someone cancer? No? Neither did I, but that’s what he told me, that I had ‘killed my mother’, that being ‘exposed’ to my ‘dirty blood’ by living with them, had given her the cancer that had subsequently killed her. Now, well, three years ago, I had a tiny fall, nothing to speak of, hell, it didn’t even leave a mark, let alone a bruise, but within two weeks I deteriorated to the point, I could no longer walk, without help. My legs, particularly my right leg, just plain wouldn’t work and the pain in my back would leave me screaming in agony into a pillow. So, my husband took me to the doctors and told him what had happened. He sent me for x-rays that was the beginning of the end for me. I was an active fifty-five year old before then, hell, in the two weeks before the slight fall, I had painted our newly purchased two story house by myself. It took me a week to do it, I worked hard each and every day to get the house ready to move into for when my husband, who works away, came home and we could move our furniture. I had, had a ‘twinge’ of back pain, during the time I painted the house but nothing to speak of, after all, I was up and down ladders, a ‘twinge’ was to be expected, don’t you think? I was a healthy, fit, individual, who didn’t know the meaning of ‘sitting still’, after all, I have children, who has time to sit still, when you have kids? Now, at the age of fifty-eight, I am nothing more than, what I call myself, a ‘useless oxygen thief’. You see, I am unable to ‘do’ anything. I cannot ‘do’ much more than move from my recliner to my bed and most days, I cannot even do that without help. I cannot shower, dress myself, cook, clean, or work anymore. My life, is effectively, over. I’m just a human, sitting, waiting to die now and unfortunately, that could be thirty years away, so I’m told. Oh, that’s right, I have to tell you what’s wrong with me. You see, all those years ago, all those beatings, the kickings, the tomahawks, the jug cords, the belt buckles, (you should see what the wrong end of a belt buckle or jug cord can do to a child’s body), the 4”x 2” wood, the boots, the fists, well, you see, most of it happened before I reached puberty, you know, before the bones in our body, finally ‘fused’ together and the damage done then, well, now, it’s come back to ‘bite me’. Every doctor, every radiologist, every specialist, that sees my x-rays, CT scans, asks me the same question, gosh, I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked, I’d have the money to pay for all the experimental treatment, I need or the Medical Cannabis Oil to take my pain away. They all ask, the same question, ‘were you hit by a car, or were you in a serious car accident as a child’? Ahh, no, I wasn’t, why do you ask? Well, they say, we don’t see this kind of damage to someone’s spine and hips, unless they’ve been in a serious accident. That’s when I have to tell them the story, the history of my life with my adoptive father, that’s when they understand, how my body, ended up like this. Of course, to make matters worse, I am allergic to all the lovely ‘approved’ drugs your government has to give me. The opiates, the narcotics, that could or are usually prescribed for someone with this kind of damage to their body, well, frankly, they’ll kill me. So, what am I left with? What is there to take away or at the least take the ‘edge’ of my pain? Nothing, not one blasted, blessed thing. Oh, I can take paracetamol, but they are as effective as taking a lolly. The doctors decided that my only option to help with the pain was to have the government ‘approved’ corti-steriod injections into my spine. As horrid as they are, well, I was desperate, desperate for anything, that would help with the pain. So, after 30+ injections into my spine, hips and buttock – oh, I didn’t tell you about my right buttock – from being ‘kicked in the butt’ so many times by my father, (with his boots on of course) the ligament has calcified, it’s an injury I’m told, by the specialists, they usually only see in Sports Persons, who have spent many years in a career being injured and during this investigation, it seems my ‘hamstrings’ on both sides, never developed properly, as they are supposed to during puberty and it’s directly as a result of injuries I received as a child. (and here I thought, my butt, was ‘best’ feature and it was because I was so active – who knew?) But, there’s something they didn’t tell me about all those spinal needles. They didn’t tell me that they’d kill off my immune system, that I’d end up an INSULIN INJECTING DIABETIC. The cortisone, that took ‘the edge’ of my pain, for short periods, would give me a LIFE THREATENING ILLNESS and would frankly, kill my pancreas. So, now, in order to live, I have to inject Insulin into my belly every day. Also, now, because of my blood sugars, response to the Steroid Injections, I can no longer have any more injections or it will put me in a Diabetic Coma. That’s what your GOVERNMENT APPROVED DRUGS did for me. But, let me tell you a short story – someone, ‘gave’ me some Medical Cannabis, just a small amount. I didn’t think it would work and as I’m not someone who uses, or can use, drugs, I was sceptical, well frankly, I thought it would be like every other nutritional supplement I’d taken, of no help what so ever. Well, as I hold Diploma’s in Clinical Herbalism, Aromatherapy and many others, I’d tried every other supplement, why not give it a go? What can it hurt? As an Herbalist, I knew its properties, knew how it worked and frankly at the stage I was at, I had nothing to lose. So, I gave it a ‘go’. Within twenty-four hours I could walk without help, I could lay on my back in bed without being in screaming agony, I could ‘potter’ around the house without having to sit down in exhaustion from the pain. I started to live again, I started to have HOPE, something I had lost. I didn’t have to spend my days in a recliner or in bed, day after day, I could even go out for coffee, something I haven’t done in three years. It was, MAGNIFICENT!! I wasn’t ‘high’, I only took a small dose before bed each night, it made me sleepy and I slept through the night, without waking up in excruciating pain, several times a night. I was a ‘new woman’! No, I wasn’t ‘cured’ my back is permanently damaged, what my adoptive father did to me, what the government allowed him to continue to do, cannot be undone, nor cured, but finally, I had some quality of life back. But, reality has a way of always coming to ‘bite you on the arse’, and it did, I ran out of the Medical Cannabis Oil and I was back to where I was, where I am now. Spending each and every day, sitting/laying in a recliner or in bed, unable to do anything. You, the government, ‘approves’ of a number of opiates, of narcotics for pain, these are addictive drugs that will, when taken for long periods, end up killing you, kidney’s, liver and heart failure, they are all the ‘side effects’ of these drugs. Not to mention how many people each and every year die from these same prescription drugs, these same ‘approved safe’ drugs your government not only allows, but encourages us to use. But of course, I can’t take them anyway, they’ll kill me. Yet, a nutritional supplement, which is EXACTLY what Cannabis is, is banned, is illegal. It’s not addictive, it’s side effects are minimal and certainly not life threatening, like Morphine, Endone and numerous other ‘safe’ drugs your government approved – none of which I can take anyway, not without dying. So, you see, I fall ‘through the cracks’ of your health system, your ‘approved’ drugs can’t help me, except to kill me and what can help me, what can give me back some semblance of a life, some quality, you consider illegal and I’ll go to jail if I take it. How long do you think I’d last in jail? Maybe a week, maybe less. There is NOTHING stopping you from making Medical Cannabis Oil legal, right this minute, right now, you have the legislation to do it, in fact, it has been done many times, when you’re big Pharma companies want a drug passed quickly. You want trials, well those ‘trials’ have been done, all over the world, for many, many years and when one of the most PRESTIGIOUS hospitals in the world, THE MAYO CLINIC, has been researching and using Medical Cannabis for years, it makes your trials, your government look like the laughing stock, the fools you really are. It makes Australia, as usual, the last to ‘catch up’ to the rest of the world. The last to think of the health and welfare of its citizens, the last to give a good god damn, for its people and their health. You see, I’ve spent the last three years, researching my condition, hell, I’ve got nothing else I can do, but spend time on the internet, researching ALL the treatment available to me. I’m not a candidate for surgery, you can’t ‘fix’ what was done all those years ago, there’s too much damage. I’ve looked at Stem Cell Injections, but I cannot afford the cost, or I’d try it, I’ve researched Medical Cannabis Oil to the point of ridiculous, the good, the bad and the ugly of all of it and let me tell you this, it’s safe, it works, and it won’t kill you like your ‘approved’ drugs will and do. The stage I’m at now, and let me tell you, my condition progressively worsens, each day, each month, each year, very soon, I will be bedridden, very soon, they tell me, I will need to go to a nursing home. I’m fifty-eight years old, and I can tell you, I’m not going into a nursing home, not going to become bedridden, with my family to give me bedpans, wipe my bum, wash me, while I lay there, useless, waiting till my body, finally gives out. No thank you, that’s not for me. I have three of my seven children still at home, my youngest just turned seventeen and is in year twelve at school, her twin brothers are nineteen and have become my carers when my husband is away at work. My husband gives them a ‘break’ when he comes home and takes care of me, but not for much longer. I have decided I will make sure my youngest gets through year twelve and gets a good career, my twin sons, will have to leave me and get on with their lives, as long as I am like this, they cannot move on with their lives and live the lives they are destined to live, to have a life, they like me, are just as trapped as I am. I don’t know about you, but, I haven’t spent all these years raising my children, only to see them like this, taking care of me, unable to even go out on weekends unless someone is here to take care of me. So, it’s become quite simple really, unless, Medical Cannabis Oil becomes legal and available, NOW, then by sometime next year, I will take myself out of this situation and give my children a chance at having a proper life, one that doesn’t involve taking care of their mother’s every day needs, of having to live with the memory of having to wipe their mothers backside every day. Nor will it involve me being in a nursing home. I have now been prescribed one of the drugs I’m allergic too, it’s a risk, but there’s nothing left for me to do. I’m not depressed, no, that’s not my style. I’m a realist, I face what I have to face, and just get on with it. My adoptive father, taught me that much. But, if it wasn’t for the government, if it wasn’t for the wrong decision made to allow me to be adopted by a mentally unbalanced person, a person, that the government was fully aware was unstable, well, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m still being ‘abused’, all these years later, my now dead, adoptive father is still abusing me and my government is still ‘turning a blind eye’ to it and allowing it to continue and that’s abuse too. It’s simple really, allow me and others who need it, to LEGALLY access Medicinal Cannabis Oil NOW, not next week, next month, next year, some of us, well, we can’t wait that long, I know I can’t, I won’t and even if I could your so called ‘trials’ are not for the likes of me, your criteria doesn’t include people like me, with Chronic, continuous nerve pain to even have a chance at the trials. We are again, the ‘forgotten ones’, just like my adoption and my cry for help. Your government apologised for forced adoptions, great, it was moving, but now, put your money where your mouth is and HELP ME, with more than platitudes and empty promises of ‘one day’ or ‘we have to trial it, to research it’ – that’s been done and done again and better than anyone in this country, could ever do it. As I said before, the Mayo Clinic has been using it with fantastic success for years and is still researching it and we both know ‘the research’ could take many years before Medical Cannabis becomes available for the likes of people like me. As I said earlier, my condition is as a DIRECT RESULT of THE GOVERNMENT NOT DOING IT’S JOB ALL THOSE YEARS AGO AND ALLOWING MY ADOPTION AND NOT HELPING ME WHEN I CAME FOR HELP AND BEGGED FOR IT. So, in my books, YOU OWE ME – You wouldn’t help me back then, all those years ago, now’s your chance to undo the wrongs, to finally reach out, to give me what I need now, a chance to live, a chance to have more time with my family, to let my children have me in their lives for as long as I can be and to not do, what the government has been doing to me all my life, turning your back on me, yet again. You didn’t save me when I asked, begged for it, you turned away and left me to be abused, beaten, and ultimately, as a direct result of those decisions then, you left me to endure what I live with today. If you hadn’t turned away from me as a child, well, I wouldn’t be writing to you now, I would be, well, I’d be LIVING. Make Medical Cannabis Oil LEGAL NOW and give me a chance, my last chance, to live. It’s up to you – once again – my life is in your hands. Just like that small infant I was, all those years ago, I was in your hands then, just as I am now. You failed me then, I only hope this time, you’ll do what you didn’t or wouldn’t do before – not fail me, or turn your back on me again, but this time, SAVE ME.

Lee J.

My name is Lee. Im 57 years old. On November 11 2015 I was told I had breast cancer and would need a mastectomy and lymph node clearance. The mastectomy was booked for the following week. There followed a couple of days of cat scan, bone scan etc and a needle biopsy for typing. Then the bomb dropped. The cancer had already spread through all my lymph nodes into my liver and lungs. This had all happened in the 12 months since my previous mammogram. Typing showed particularly aggressive stage 3 of 3 HER2 metastatic breast cancer. Incurable or terminal depending on the doctor and choice of terminology. While my husband and I tried to get our head around our seeming lack of a future our three amazing adult kids went into battle mode. Luckily for us our youngest son has long had an interest in medicinal cannabis and had a contact in this community. I started on co a week after diagnosis. As my decisions up to this point have been fear (terror) based I also decided to hedge my bets and go with 'tradional' medicine so I have also had chemo. In the first few weeks of my treatment I became extremely unwell and was hospitalised with tremors and uncontrollable vomiting. This resulted in a ct scan to check my gall bladder - coincidentally scanning my liver at the same time. This caused great consternation among the radiology staff as it seemed I was missing a tumour in my liver! Four had become three in just weeks. Unheard of apparently. I had a nightmare with chemo. Some people can cope - not me. It made a complete mess of me. I will not repeat it. At my last set of scans taken four months after diagnosis I have no visible tumours anywhere. The primary tumour in my breast has gone. My lymph nodes are clear. My liver is clear. My lungs are clear. My oncologist is stunned. My GP had to reread the results in front of me twice and then giggled like a girl. The surgeon who was originally to do my mastectomy said "wow" three times, incredible twice and backed it up with a hearty 'shit' when he saw my liver was clear. Because these results DON'T happen with chemo. The best they hoped for was the tumours to reduce in size. I am so grateful for my second chance and it breaks my heart that other women just like me are dying every day. As are countless people with other cancers and illnesses. I feel a moral obligation to stick my head up and try to help. At this stage my oncologist is still convinced I'm dying. Despite the evidence right in front of him. We have agreed that I can prove him wrong.

David M.

I use marijuana with my sleep, it is so very hard & takes most of the night getting to sleep without, I use it as a natural laxative as it works great. I suffer from severe disabling pain & this Bullshit system has seen the medication I've been stable on for over a decade stripped from myself, the only thing that changed was my address, now the only thing left to help is Tramal which does very little & my illegally sourced marijuana supply, this does not rid the pain but it does give a cloudy affect which makes it a lot more tolerable. I often think " I wish this shit was legal, again " its a natural bloody source that big companies saw outlawed for the success of whatever they were invested in, be that paper products, wool & cotton investors did not want to risk their companies to a natural product that could do the same & more. Myself & thousands of others have to risk prosecution for having anything to do with natures own then we have to put tobacco with it to make it stretch further & this alone is constantly on my mind as the tobacco mixed with it is doing more harm than anything, if weed was legal so many thousands would not have to see themselves in this predicament

Jody Y.

I've used cannabis for 33yrs, as a relaxant, pain killer, laxative, motivator, and for creative inspiration. I come from a family of alcoholics, with emotional and nervous conditions, so drinking is not a sensible option for me. I don't like alcohol, tea, coffee, gambling, cigarettes, prescribed drugs (especially their deadly side effects) or any other illegal drug. Cannabis has not proven to be a pathway drug for me. Cannabis has no detrimental side effects (apart from the current legal and social ramifications)for me, it suits me and my body. The crime is that my herbal non toxic natural choice deems me a criminal and adversely effects my career. Where are my human rights? I can't drive after a glass of wine!!! Yet it's legal for me to do so. Australia is the only country in the world conducting these faulty roadside tests. What a gross waste of resources declaring war on a non toxic plant! Why? My recent research has proven that prohibition is enforced to protect big business. It's time this fact was exposed and laws formed for the good of all. Learning about others curing cancer, epilepsy and many many other conditions has deepened my resolve in refusing to be repressed and speaking up! Thanks for listening.

Andrew I. TAS

Marilyn (my wife) has been on medicinal cannabis since January 2015, and over the past 18 months has shown remarkable recovery in many areas. Marilyn has a neurodegenerative condition of unknown origin. She was also recently diagnosed with myelodisplasia, which means she now has a severely compromised immune system. We are very vocal and passionate advocates for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis, and find it appalling that we have to work outside these ridiculous laws to treat Marilyn. We have been very public about Marilyn's use of cannabis, and proud to be members of the MCUA.

Ian F.

I use for pain sometimes, for my mechanics back. I think I have ocd but not sure, it seems to help settle me down and relax. Other than that I use as prevention. Been using for about 15 years regularly, like one would do with beer. Used my medicare card maybe 3 times in the last 15 years.

Ben. Qld

My name is Ben Thornton. Born 1982 to Greg and Wendy, second eldest of eventually four. At age 2 my parents begun to realize my behavior wasnt the same as my older brother. Threefold the energy, hot cold flash emotions, instant aggression to instant grief to normal in ten minutes, and other unusual and unorthodox behavioral symptoms. At almost three years i was struck in the head with a piece of two inch water pipe that was attached to a socket wrench attached to the main bolt on an engine bottom end my dad and his friend were working on and the sledgehammer returned the pipe full force into the front of my skull. i believe this accident may have affected me. After this incident (which i clearly remember happening minus 5 seconds), my behavior, without my awareness till a very later age, became typically textbook adhd. I spent from kindy to year ten struggling to figure out what the fuck was going on, struggling to put two and two together, despite being reasonably smart. I missed social cues, i would wake up and say to myself when i started school, dont get into trouble today, but by lunch i would be in the principles office for some shit, and i would think, how the fuck did i wind up here again for f*** sake. every day same shit, week in week out till i left school. School was so boring, i hated it. i was in trouble every day, it was shit. Mum and dad refused to medicate me after i was diagnosed by a team of specialists and a barrage of testing, needles, diets, bla bla bla for years. I couldnt slow my head down enough to think before i acted, i was so impulsive it was a serious fucken disability and it nearly killed me hundreds of times through out my childhood. It was the most frustrating, bullshit thing i hated about myself, couldnt think ahead to save my life. It was like i couldnt go from a to b to c to d in my head, i got from some of b, most of c, all of d. fucked. I knew my head was fucked up because i couldnt just do what the other kids did, and i hated myself and the world. The only thing that saved me, i was a cute good looking little kid, and my looks got me through some situation where i now know other add kids struggled through... and i hated myself for it through my twenties. Happiness was very elusive growing up. My parents x bikies, now right wing christians did their best to raise me. there wasnt abuse in my home nor did i experience domestic issues, again i was fortunate to have good parents. Now i am older and through a misspent youth living wild and hard and fast, i reconise my symptoms of my particular disorder is absolutly unquestionably those of a crystal meth user high on meth. As a teenager i had been very sheltered by my parents. No alcohol, No drugs, no parties, but as teenagers do i found alcohol. Easily by far the most dangerous drug i have used. Most socially destructive drug i have ever experienced the fallout of use of. I knew although this made me feel good, and i could easily get it, it completely fucked my head up and every single time ive been nearly killed, in jail, been in a seriously dangerous situation has been related to alcohol, i knew i needed something else. Then, by the time i was fifteen and finishing my grade ten cretificate at Tafe, i was invited by the "cool" kids to come have a smoke with them. i knew it was pot, and because my mother warned me about it i thought, hell yeah ill give it a crack. BAM. The world as i knew it ended. INstantly it was like all the connections in my brain increased times fifty. I was witty, i was not socially akward, i was three steps ahead of the crowd and took advantage of this by dropping jokes and puns and for the first time in my entire life, the world was clear, everything made sense, everything became just easy, and i was the happiest i had ever been in my life. I began to habitually use cannabis on and off, and life became managable overnight, not bearable, everything just clicked into place in my head, i knew what i had to do, when i had to do it, and for the first time in my life i could function. i had clarity. Cannabis allows my head to slow down enough to be able to process everything. All the gorgeous things in life i was simply skimming over, simply just being present, i couldnt really feel anything my environment was offering. my senses become alive. I experience no negative side effects from cannabis, and i refrain from smoking at work, and if im required to drive, making my work life extremely difficult to operate in, but my work environment is construction sites and there are regulations stating that i may not operate heavy machinary under the influence of any drug that MAY impair my judgment. I disagree however with this regulation as cannabis in no way negatively with my attention defecit affects my clarity or judgement nor does it hinder or impair my ability to function, nor is my perception, awareness or alertness in any way shape or form impaired, impeeded, do i suffer from the use of cannabis, in fact i experience the opposite of the afore mentioned negative side effects. I will continue to smoke cannabis until a suitable, natural, non prescription, non genetically modified organic alternative is discovered and made available for my consumption, despite its legality status in Queensland Australia. Im not giving up my life for anyone or anything, i enjoy being normal too much, so does my family, my friends and my community

Sami.

I don't any more but I should. I smoked on a daily basis and functioned as a normal healthy adult. Obtaining marijuana was never a problem as I lived in a large city. I chose who knew I smoked and who did not. Then everything changed when I moved interstate to a small country town. I did not know anyone in this town except my partner. I knew I could get some if I wanted to but basically, the whole town would know that I smoke in a matter of days. I cannot afford to be labelled as I volunteer with a govt. agency and I would lose that privilege. Since I have not smoked for the past 3 years, I have gone from the healthy adult that I previously mentioned to a very sick person. I now have a thyroid condition which contributed to an auto-immune condition. I also have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, problems with my eyes, suffer from depression, anxiety and have a great deal of muscular pain. Some of these things I have been told I will have for the rest of my life. I am only 51 years old. This all started when I stopped smoking marijuana. I believe that if I had medical access to this amazing drug, I could gain back my life,reduce the awful pain I am in and possibly reverse what has happened to me, without the stigma attached to being 'one of those drug takers'. I don't drink, I don't take any other drugs except for the ones prescribed to me, some of which can, as I have been advised, kill me. I do not want to be a criminal, I just want to save my own life !

Edward R.

I am 29 years old and have been living with severe treatment-resistant anxiety and depression disorders, including Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder, for around 20 years. From the age of 13, I became suicidal as I felt living was far too much for me to handle. At 18, I was sleeping around 20 hours a day, unable to eat due to severe anxiety and was often overcome with fear when I left the house. Due to my condition, I am compelled to obsess and ruminate over my thoughts. My mind is programmed to analyse each thought and determine the consequence of every possible scenario, even for something as simple as “What should I have for lunch?” Adding to that, my mind is constantly flooded with many thoughts based on different stimuli such as interacting with another person or watching the news. Because of these two symptoms, my thoughts become cyclical and I dig myself into a mental rut that instigates depression that lasts for weeks and months. There are many more facets to the way my mind works that I’m just not able to properly describe, I am constantly in a state of distress, self-reflection and pessimism due to a hyper-aware mind. I first sought professional help 5 years ago when I first became aware of what anxiety was, and have been prescribed 5 different types of anti-depressant as my psychiatrist followed the trial-and-error procedure of finding the most suitable medication. Each of these anti-depressants have provided little to no aid to my condition but instead I experienced a wide array of side effects including increased anxiety, excessive sweating, mood swings that lead to self-destructive behaviour and, worst of all, increased suicidal and homicidal ideation. In addition, missing a single dose of anti-depressants, or when transitioning between medications, causes debilitating withdrawal symptoms. The most common of symptoms are brain zaps, which are like small electric shocks in the brain, and others include disturbances in mood, movement, sleep and cognition to the point where I was unable to stand or function normally. Conventional medication had dramatically decreased my quality of life and provided little aid or relief from my condition. I started using cannabis around 3 years ago using a vaporizer and advised my psychiatrist, who admitted that there was evidence that it was an effective treatment, but warned me to use it in moderation. The first thing I noticed when using cannabis was instant relief of my anxiety, which prescribed medications including Xanax have never been able to accomplish. It reduces the amount and intensity of my thoughts while also providing a break from the overanalyses of those thoughts. The relief of anxiety is not just a short term fix, after the initial psychotropic effects of THC wear off after 2 hours there is still a significant decrease in anxiety that lasts up to 12 hours after. Using cannabis before going to sleep also provides me with a full night’s rest and I wake up feeling refreshed and optimistic. Prior to cannabis use I would suffer from insomnia as I would be unable to turn off the thoughts and ruminations in my mind, which would then carry over to the next day and the day after that. Cannabis decreases my anxiety to the point that I am able to work on the root causes of my anxiety. Along with decreasing the amount and intensity of thoughts, I am now able to positively challenge negative and incorrect thoughts rather than exacerbating them. I was first taught Cognitive Behaviour Therapy prior to cannabis use however I was rarely able to calm myself down enough to practise this form of therapy. Since I started using cannabis, I have been able to effectively utilize CBT and meditation in my toolkit of anxiety management. Cannabis is very comparable to anti-depressants and the arguments against it can also be applied to these pharmaceutical drugs. They both have properties and effects on certain patients unknown to scientists and doctors and they are both mind altering drugs that require trial-and-error to determine the most suitable type (of strain or anti-depressant). However, only one of these has dangerous short term and long term side effects, causes withdrawal symptoms, requires 2 to 4 weeks to take effect and is responsible for many overdoses, suicides and homicides. Since starting cannabis use, I have completed a university degree and have built a promising career in Information Technology as a Database Administrator, which is remarkable considering my psychiatrist once advised me that I shouldn’t work more than 3 days a week as anything more would be too stressful. I have been improving my mental and physical health, socializing more and I believe have become a more contributing member to society. Forcing patients like myself to choose between breaking the law and suffering from chronic illness is extremely frustrating. Patients are forced to interact with the black market and give their money to bikie gangs, suffer the consequences of police raids decreasing the supply and increasing the price, or risk the penalties of growing their own, if they have the resources to do so. I was arrested for possession of a dangerous drug in 2013 when I had been pulled over for a random breath test and the police officer noticed the poorly concealed bag I had just purchased. Both police officers at the scene agreed that while I may have a legitimate use for it, I did not have a legal use. They even agreed with me that recent research and news stories have shown that the danger of its use is often overstated. When I attended court, the magistrate also understood that I had a legitimate use for cannabis and spared me from a fine or conviction and sent me to drug diversion. The drug diversion counsellor advised “You may receive benefit from it, but it’s still illegal.” I’m not advising that cannabis should be used as a first line treatment for anxiety disorders or any other condition, but when it is clear that conventional medication is not effective for all patients, they should be provided with an option that has anecdotal evidence of effectiveness. Clinical studies have already been completed , 5 years of trials and studies conducted in Australia will not provide any new or more valuable information. It is also discriminatory as it implies that only the select few patients, with selected conditions, who are allowed to participate in these trials will be exempted from the law when other patients with the same conditions are likely to be prosecuted. It is clear public opinion on the medicinal benefits of cannabis have progressed, including with doctors, members of law enforcement and the judicial system. I plead with everyone to be involved with allowing the legislation to catch up.

Denise K.

this will be my first email I have ever written, I'm 67 years old and I smoke Cannabis for pain , I started smoking it over 10 years ago for and Osteoarthritis Pain, I smoked recreationally in my twenties but not much because I didn't like the high! nearly 20 years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I went through the full gamit with pain killers and they also tried me on antidepressants and valium to no avail and that is when I decided to smoke kiff only, and it works a good part of the time, when I can get hold of it! In 2013 I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, I was fortunate that on removing the kidney I didn't need treatment, the hospital gave me Oxycodine for pain after the operation, I didn't take it I returned it to the Hospital unopened on my six week check up and told them how I relieved my pain with Cannabis, I also told the hospital Pharmacy on returning it! I would love to see it available as a preventative medicine incorporated into our health care system so we can CHOOSE to use it as a first resort not a last one.

Mark P. Qld

This is my story on my life with epilepsy : I had had epilepsy for 31 years now was first diagnosed with it when I was 17 yrs old it was a frighting experience and hard to adjust with at first. For many years afterwards it was controlled by medication but In 2000 it started to become uncontrolled so Neuro increased lamictal strength which got it back undercontrol. then about four years ago it become uncontrolled again so They added zonegrann to meds which helped for awhile, but Later on my seizures became more frequent and one put me in ICU at a hospital so They added lyrica that didn't help much as Seizures where still frequent and i was having blackouts, so They have now added keppra to medication cocktail. Due to cocktail of meds and frequent, uncontrolled seizures my neuro has told me I'm at risk of sudep

Geoff L.

several years ago I poisoned myself with herbicide from using a leaking back pack sprayer.This resulted in an aggressive itchy as hell rash over 90% of my body,Doctors were baffled and couldn’t even give it a name,similar to contact dermatitis was what they said,well 18 months later after every biopsey, blood test and treatment known their final conclusion was to ‘learn to live with it.theres nothing more we can do’ I started a small grow so I could make some cannabis oil to see what it could do and guess what ? I mixed it with coconut oil and applied it twice a day and it cleared up and was almost gone when I was raided and arrested and my plants taken,that was 8 months ago now and the rash is back in full force and no way can I afford to buy what I need to make more oil. I went back to the doctors to prove a point,they did all the tests again and gave me a prescription for some deadly chemo cream and virtually said ‘go away’ When I suggested there might be a natural cure they had a good laugh and one even said ‘when was the last time you saw a pill grow on a bush’ Yes seriously Now I have to live with an itchy social killing rash,cant take my shirt off in public,cant go to a beach,just scratch and be miserable all day.WHY DO I HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THIS WHEN I DON’T HAVE TO,The cannabis laws are creating a huge amount of suffering,especially for children,its not cannabis that’s criminal its your law.

Stewart D.

I'm a medical cannabis user I have had HIV. For 30 years. Medical cannabis helps me with nausea associated with taking my medication, I suffer with many side affect from my medication, I also have not had control of my health for the last decade, I developed Aids , I've been in hospital with phenomenon twice. I've also had Karpossis Sarcoma . The aids cancer, I was first treated in the year 2005 and again in 2006 with chemotherapy, I found medical cannabis was so beneficial with all the side affects that come with chemotherapy, the nausea, the headaches, the pain, the insomnia the appetite and the depression. As the immune system gets hammered during chemotherapy, the herpes virus takes hold of my body the treat me with a drug vovirax it cost some $500 a month, another trigger for the virus to erupt is stress, over the years of treatment with this drug that also makes me light sensitive and gives me headaches, I've found that medical cannabis can relieve the stress, and raise the immune system to a level that I no longer require this debilitating drug that is rather costly. After the doctors got the cancer after two cycles of chemotherapy my hepatitis C got really bad , I was treated on a combination drug trial that was 48 weeks long, which failed and the hepatitis came back quicker and harder, I then went on another 48 week trial for hep c , side affects were nausea , flu like feelings, loss of appetite , lnsomnia and depression . All of which I tried to ease with medical cannabis, it really did help , I also tried pharmaceuticals for the side affects which whilst taking my HIV medication was really a bad combination of side affects. Medical cannabis helped with all of the side affects as well as making a 48 week drug trial with numerous doctors visits and nursing appointments seem to fly by . I managed to stay off the anti depressant medication they wanted me to take for some 30 weeks of the trial. The last treatment cured my hep c but in doing so interfered with my immune system and made me susceptible to cancer. A SCC ( cervical cancer) formed on my tongue which I had to have removed and later it came back in a gland in my neck which required radiation and a radical neck dissection ... Pain and discomfort was handled with OxyContin and Valium with endep for the depression and insomnia. I again used medical cannabis and slowly removed the pharmaceuticals from my regime, I mainly use edibles . That is I eat my medical cannabis, Recently my specialists found an unusual cell mass on my anus, another place where this cancer can occur. I was put on a 3 month waiting list for the exploration surgery, I decided to try the medical cannabis oil, a 3 month treatment. Which I almost completed, by 2 weeks . They got an opening in hospital for. The surgery too take place, I was calm as I was taking medical cannabis oil, I was not depressed , I was what. I considered good health both physically and mentally.. I had the surgery and as I woke up the doctor told me 'there was nothing there, at all ' I researched this and found that a healthy immune system can spontaneously clear up these cancers in soft tissue areas of the body. I was over the moon in my opinion the medical cannabis oil had not only kept me calm and centred during the three month waiting period but the affect on the immune system was outstanding, I had no stress , no aniexty I slept well and was able to eat, live and laugh during what some could consider a very stressful moment. I have recently stopped taking any medical cannabis for 3 months now, I find it hard to eat, sleeping is difficult and I need medication to help which it does not do, I am stressed and feel that I'm getting sick again, I'm worried about my next cancer check and can't stop thinking about if it has come back. I would like to take medical cannabis but unfortunately I feel like I'm a criminal doing so, I've signed up for the trials in Nsw to begin in 2016. But I don't know if I can participate in them as they seem to now how strict criteria. I also am on the NSW tics scheme but as a. Pensioner I can't afford to buy any. Medical cannabis, the tics scheme doesn't allow for a person to cultivate so what can I do? I would like to access some medical cannabis oil to help me but I don't know how I can... I'm not a criminal My partner has HIV, that for several years could not be controlled, he currently takes a toxic cocktail of medication , 5 pills containing some 7 drugs in the morning and 4 pills containing 6 drugs in the evening. The medication makes him sick, it gives him nausea if not taken on time, diarrhoea if not taken with food. So nausea is helped with the medical cannabis which enables him too eat which helps keeps the diarrhoea in check, His weight is well below what the specialists would like for someone in his condition, the medical cannabis is maintaining his weight, Next is the insomnia that comes with one of the medications, another side affect that the medical cannabis helps with. Then there is the social or community stigma that comes with a being gay with HIV, as well as depression / or the constant reminder of having this incurable disease. The sadness and sorrow that comes from the gay community as we remember all those friends that have not been so lucky, Not to mention every 3 months the inevitable anxiety that comes with every blood test that the virus has not mutated and broken through needing a another change in medication with yet more side affects. To add to all this the light sensitive headaches that can occur from one of the drugs or the possibility of an interaction of 2 or more of these cocktail of medications . Does one start too take yet more pills for that or just relieve the headache with some medical cannabis, the 9 pills daily already makes you rattle so to start taking 2 panadol every 8 hours is just too much as well as too depressing to think about, For these reasons my partner consumes medical cannabis Currently the medication for the first time in 2 decades has controlled the HIV virus, from this, he has been able to return back too work and become an active member of society.

Laura B.

I am a 37 year old mother of four living in the Pilbara. I have auto immune diseases, chronic pain and bowel disease. I have been medicated for the pain for four years, have seen multiple specialists (all requiring extensive travel and associated costs). No doctor or surgeon can “fix” me, the only solution that afforded me adequate pain relief was Norspan (synthetic morphine). This became a further contributor to bowel disease and I was ordered to cease taking any and all pain relief by my gastroenterologist (allowing only panadol). This leaves me sobbing in pain, unable to maintain a house or care for four children. I am at the beginning of my medical cannabis journey, having recently sourced a bottle of oil. It is bittersweet. Here is something with the potential to give me a better quality if life. It won’t exacerbate my bowel disease (indeed research is pointing towards viable CBD treatments for such diseases) and may offer pain relief. However, I don’t know who I am buying off, if it is the real deal, and worst of all if I will be branded a criminal. It is so upsetting to read of families in Canada and America receiving treatment for exactly the same medical symptoms legally. Receiving SUCCESSFUL treatment. I dream of a future where I can make plans with my children and turn up, present and healthy enough. I am not dying, but I live such a restricted life because of the lack of pain relief and bowel disease treatment.

Tom

I shattered 5 vertebrae and compressed one in a motorcycle accident just before I turned 16 (March 2011). Since then I have suffered chronic pain due to the injury, after a long hospital process of miss judging how severe it walls I ended up with 10 screws and two rods supporting my back for the rest of my life. I was put onto heavy prescription pain medication wich I had to stop taking because embracing the pain was more bearable then the zombie that the opiates turned me into. Marijuana has truly helped me and I'm sure many others to have the ability to continue with life rather then succumb to illness since I have started using cannabis I have been able to do more and more and im now im even able to run every morning like I used to and get myself back into a healthy state physicaly and mentally. I do believe that choosing the medication you cope best with should not make you a criminal as I am still a functioning member of society and have a full time job as an Apprentice Electrician one of the top in my class at tafe and due to finish my apprenticeship late this year clearly breaking what the government says it does. Thats about it there is alot more i could elaborate but i didnt want to drag on if you have any further questions for me or some way I can help I would be glad to talk thankyou for what you are doing cheers,

Greg N.

Was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in May last year. Had surgery at the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital on the 4th June 2014 and the surgeon spent 5 hours inside me and finished up removing half my large intestine and part of my small intestine - most of the cancer was outside the colon. She declared all she could see was removed but as usual suggested I undertake chemotherapy to mop up any stray cancer cells. Under pressure from everyone I accepted the need for chemo and had my first 2 weeks of oral tablets in July last year. It was after the 2 weeks that the diarrhea started and wouldn't stop. Even a week back in hospital could not stop my uncontrolled bowel. I nearly died. I vowed never to submit my body to the chemo poison again. CT scans in December indicated secondary tumors has started in my liver and left lung and the Oncologist wanted me to start on chemo and I declined. Having now read extensively about the myriad cures developed using natural products over many years I decided that the way to cure myself was to make use of these alternatives. My wife and I were travelling to the USA to visit our daughter who lives in San Francisco in February so we decided to stay for some 8 weeks so I could take 5 grams of Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) which I was able to legally obtain. I did this and we returned in April but the new CT scan indicated the existing tumors had grown and new ones had developed in both my liver and left lung plus a new one in my abdominal cavity. (I just hadn't had enough unfortunately, to reverse the cancer growth) Unable to find a reliable source of RSO here on the Sunshine Coast I have resorted to trying a number of other cures. The crazy part of all this is that I feel absolutely fine with no pain anywhere. The latest scans that I had last Thursday indicate that the tumors have grown in size and what I've been trying hasn't worked. As I can't guarantee a reliable source here in Oz I will now return to the USA and just stay for 90 days and take at least 15 grams of RSO. I would rather be at home while I self administer my cure but that is not possible! If only cannabis oil was legal for those of us who have rejected the "big pharma" cancer cures. I am convinced that having at least 15 grams over 90 days of the right RSO will cure my cancer for good and I get on with my retirement. This is just one more story to hopefully add to the growing demand for a change in legislation, but by the grip that big pharma has on both our medical "industry" and politicians, I am not confident change will occur in my lifetime. They simply can't make any money out of a natural plant that anyone can grow!

Vicki P.

I am 47 years old and have lived with fibromyalgia for the past 25 years. I have been taking medication for this horrid illness for the past 5 years but have never managed to get the pain under control. The medication I take creates a whole heap of other problems - weight gain, high liver count, additional brain fog, stomach issues, etc. This then impacts on fibromyalgia in different ways. I haven't been able to work for the last 13 years and I want to be a productive member if society again. Not stuck at home being in pain every day with my husband being the sole income earner. It's not fair on him, my children and me. A one wage income isn't enough these days. Iam sick of being on medication that doesn't help much and creates other problems. From what I have read, cannabis is a successful treatment for this illness. I would prefer an all natural treatment rather than putting additional poisons into my body which will result in shortening my life due to the complications they present. I have the right to want to take cannabis to help my medical condition. Everyone should have the right to use this plant for their medical issues. The only thing that stands in our way are a handful of politicians deciding our futures and that should not be legal. People are suffering and the only thing being done is looking how big pharmaceutical companies can get in on the action to make their billions. I don't want to take anything made by these big companies. They have no interest in sick people - only how to profit from them. We are not dollar signs - we are human beings with the right to live as healthy people from something that nature has provided for us. In 25 years, I don't remember my last pain free day. I don't think I've had one. If I had access to this plant, my pain would be gone immediately. I'm not interested in getting high. I am interested in getting well, so why are you stopping me? Why are you stopping thousands of others? This plant needs to be legalized for all people to have access to it. Not in pill form, but as nature has allowed it to grow. Let sick people decide on what we put in our bodies, not government.

Helen.

Let me start this story with some background history about myself. I am 60 years old and worked for about half my life as an industrial chemist and later half as a science educator. I am the least likely person to be a cannabis user. In about 2008 I began to suffer unexplained body pain and chronic fatigue. My GP ran countless blood tests and the only results shown were repeated numerous viral infections, not surprising in a school environment. The onset also fit in the same time slot as two 3 month long topical chemotherapy treatments for skin cancer recommended by my skin specialist following the removal of a melanoma. By 2010 it was becoming impossible to maintain my teaching profession full-time and no valid explanation for my condition existed. I reduced my working week to 3 days per week in an attempt to stay in my job, one I loved and worked passionately in for young people’s future. By 2012 it became impossible to even get out of bed some days and the longest period of uninterrupted sleep I had had in 4 years was 90 minutes. I was in severe pain 24 hours a day, utterly exhausted all the time and no medications were even making a difference. I was prescribed and tried every pharmaceutical drug up to highly addictive painkillers with ghastly side effects and I was basically house bound and unable to do even the basics of living without family help. I was placed on disability income support through my superannuation policy. This was difficult to accept as I had always worked and contributed to society and had never been on any form of income support in my life. At this point my GP referred me privately to an endocrinologist for further investigation as he had exhausted all known testing and my condition was not improving. I was diagnosed with severe Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue post viral infection and was told quite bluntly that no cure existed and very few prescription drugs were known to work on the condition. All I could hope for was a miserable existence taking high level painkillers for the rest of my life. Living in a narcotic haze and still being ill seemed to be the only option available to me. Nothing prescribed even made a small difference to how I felt. In 2014 I failed the government and superannuation medicals and was forced unwillingly to resign from my work on health grounds. My life became abject misery; I had lost my chosen vocation, one I had studied hard to qualify for, I had lost my health and at 59 faced a miserable pain filled future that was placing huge demands on my immediate family. Every movement was agony. At this point desperation set in and being a tertiary educated person with a biochemistry background I began the serious research of finding any way to treat my condition. The first documented fact was finding that peer reviewed literature consistently found that no legal prescription medications had any success treating my condition. This was disturbing as I had faithfully followed both my GP and specialist medication regimes. The side effects were reducing me to a living zombie with no relief. Research into those with the condition in countries with medical cannabis access showed that it was highly effective in treating the symptoms of my condition and I then read 104 peer reviewed scientific articles in reputable journals before trying cannabis. The effectiveness and safety of the drug was definitely proven in the literature and I decided I had nothing to lose as life wasn’t worth living with the pain levels I experienced 24 hours a day. This was a huge step for a person like myself to take at 59 years old as I had previously volunteered with street vans with Drugarm within the community where I was teaching prior to becoming ill. The relief was immediate and nothing short of miraculous. No other medication had had such a reduction in pain levels and I had uninterrupted sleep for the first time in years. I have been ingesting the medical oil nightly at bed time for seven months now and have had a massive reduction in pain levels. I can now get up to 6 hours sleep without waking and I can once again do some basic life activities without every movement being a pain marathon. I no longer live in a mental fog from prescription pain medications. I was sceptical and deliberately stopped using the oil after 3 months to see if my symptoms returned. Within five days I was back to my original painfully ill self. The research I have done has led me to be convinced scientifically of the biochemical effectiveness of cannabis in treating illness. Over 2000 peer reviewed published trials have been conducted globally on the effectiveness and safety of cannabis. The scientific data is overwhelming for the properties of cannabis to treat a wide range of conditions more effectively than current approved medications. Surprisingly, I had never had the Endocannabinoid System raised in any biochemistry or biology studies at either of two university courses. I have gone from being surprised to angry that claims of unfounded harm leading to prohibition forces people like myself, already chronically ill, to live under the daily stress of prosecution for using herbal medication that is repeatedly documented as effective and safe in peer reviewed professional journals. Compassion and genuine data based research should have led to the removal of prohibition on all uses of this plant in any form. In a civil and humane society the situation I find myself in would not exist. The polling shows that the legal and governmental arms of our society are completely out of touch with global research and public opinion across all classes and political persuasions. While politicians vacillate and allow the current situation to continue, people suffer and become criminalised for treating themselves with a plant, treatment driven by utter desperation and with no harm to others or the wider society. Injustices take many forms and this one needs correcting rapidly as per the democratic wishes of the wider Australian community. Helen L.

Ally G.

our journey with that wicked thing they call Cannabis. In 2012 my 46 yr old husband received the bad news that his PSA reading jumped dramatically, he had a biopsy that said "oh shit, this is bad". Prostatectomy followed, we monitored with blood tests but that bastard PSA kept climbing. Blindly clinging to the indoctrination that doctors "know all", he had radiation to the prostate bed, 6 weeks radiation, isolation from our family and thousands of Kilometres driven back and forth to Sydney, his PSA continued to not just climb but spiral out of control. In Feb 2015 I got serious about telling him the things I had been seeing about cannabinol, actually I was dogmatic because his next step was hormone therapy and that has nasty, revolting side effects for a sexually active beautiful man like him. I insisted that we went to the cannabis forum at Rooty Hill and we met people that guided us and actually cared what path we took. He started the oil but couldn't stand the stoned feeling and could never get up to the recommended ml a day, so with the advice of wonderful people he chose to do it Back door method. No stoned effects but at his last oncologist appointment his PSA had slowed down enough, for the 1st time since surgery to post pone hormone therapy. It's still ongoing but it's the 1st time we have had good news since 2012.

Isabel H.

Being a 55 year old woman (nearly 56), I have used cannabis for nearly 40 years. I have used it to treat insomnia, anorexia, the pain of osteo-arthritis (which set in at 18, after my arm was crushed in an accident), and psychological problems like PTSD. Although I smoke, I have never used other drugs like alcohol, or any prescription medicines or painkillers. While sometimes I have been concerned that I am psychologically dependent on cannabis (I enjoy life more stoned), my health has not suffered significantly, from smoking pot often. I've never been sick, or had any illness! In the 40 years I've been smoking cannabis, I have raised a child, done 2 degrees (with Hons in Psych), bought a house, built another (myself, as an Owner Builder), done valued work in the community, and I have always gone to the gym, and been rather fit! The damaging part of being a pot smoker, comes mostly from it's illegality. It has forced me to mix with people who are breaking the law, and it's illegality has made me open to exploitation and even blackmail, as well as actual and potential harassment by well-meaning police. The illegal nature of this medicinal herb has, throughout my adult life, allowed people to stereotype me, victimize me, gossip about me, steal from me, criminalize me, stigmatize me and generally disrespect and de-value me. But I chose to live my life in a symbiotic relationship with this herb, and I have no regrets. I love what it does for me. And like everyone who wants to use this medicine rather that what the GP is offering, I am forced to deal with the black market - and that's not always easy! I live in Newcastle, NSW

Sue H.

I live in Western Australia. I was busted in Jan 14 for cultivation and possession. The cops dropped growing with intent to simple cultivation because I agreed to the charge of supply. Txt messages on my phone was the "evidence". Evidence of $225 sale. I have been done before for cultivation with intent about 10 years ago and got a $400 fine, so I wasn't too concerned. However this time, I was slammed with a 12 month "intensive supervision order" and I still have 2 weeks to go. So, basically, my punishment is to be straight for 12 months. If I test positive, I will go back to court. What a waste of taxpayer funds. I am not suffering terminal illness, but I do believe in the right of the individual to choose ones own poison. The double standards in our society is pissing me off. The wasted $$$$ in this case has made me incredibly angry and I don't believe I deserve a criminal record. I have started my own business because no-one will employ an angry, straight old lady with a criminal record.!! Impossible to get business insurance also if you have a criminal record. It makes me wonder how many people are out there, lying to get insurance and obviously not able to claim if the insurer finds out they have a record. Its a huge sinkhole that no-one seems to care about. The stress of being busted and given a record has affected my health. Another point I would like to make and bring to someones attention is the fact that when an illegal substance is required/wanted and not supplied or allowed by the govt...... anyone with access to the substance has power over the person who wants it. This means that the 'dealer', can and often does request any number of 'favours' from the person wanting the substance. Definitely time for a change.

Nicole D.

My name is Nicole I'm 44yrs old. Over the last 15+yrs I have suffered with chronic fibromyalgia depression panic attacks muscle spasms restless legs syndrome insomnia chronic fatigue & IBS. I have been treated with opiates antidepressants sleeping tablets antipsychotic & antiepilectic medication & ketamine infusion. In early 2014 i saw on Sunday night a segment on medical cannabis oil. It was helping people from babies to elderly. Terminal patient through to pain patients. So I decided to take a step into the unknown. Or so I thought for a plant that has been classed as a poison, a lot off people seemed to be using the extracted oil. With great success so what did I have to lose. When your in uncontrollable pain you will try anything. So I joined a group & posted my story. Not long after I received a message. I was very sceptical I had looked at the prices that this amazing oil was been sold for. As I read the message I was really shocked & surprise this man did not want money for this amazing healing natural cannabis tincture. So in October 2014 i took my first dose of medical cannabis tincture 4 drops orally under my tongue. The results were astonishing my pain that was never under a 7 as classed by the medical pain scale had dropped down to a 3. In less than a year I have come off over 95% off the medication I was on. Including being antidepressant free with no depression. My pain has not been over a 5 since I started taking cannabis tincture something never achieved with prescription medications. I have had no side effects from using medical cannabis tincture. Finally after 15yrs I'm starting to become the person I was before pain. So rather than trying to make Matthew & Elizabeth the criminals we should be giving them medals for being the two loving caring people they are. The only crime Matthew & Elizabeth are guilty of is helping people who are suffering everyday. The real crime here is keeping this natural healing herb illegal. It's well passed time that this herb is made legal. Let us the people off Australia chose what we treat our bodies with. It's time to stops the lies & see the truth. This herb is not dangerous deadly or even a poison. It's a perfectly safe cure not a bandaid. I think we have lined the pockets off those in charge for way to long. We don't need trials the trials have already been done. So it's time to stop the lies & let the truth come out. The truth being that this plant is not dangerous there have been no deaths caused by marijuana. The same can't be said about pharmaceutical medication. What it comes down to is money over people. There's no money to be made in marijuana but there's a lot off money to be made in pharmaceutical medication. Let us the people off Australia make the choice off what we put in our bodies.

John T.

I am a 32 yr. old male who takes cannabis for Stress, Anxiety, pain relief, and I also suffer alpha one (genetic disorder) body rejects lungs etc.. i tried to treat my conditions with many meds with my doctor and although worked for a short while I was not my self, I was yellow skinned tied, and could not do the things I enjoyed driving hunting working etc.I now use a little cannabis when I can get it to help manage my condition not had a serious fit or admittance to hospital or had to see my doctor for these conditions since I started using cannabis for these conditions for over three years now. I AM ALIVE AND WELL able to work, drive, and live, Better than I ever would have when I was on the poisonous medication that I was on I am also a lot easier to get along with as before my stress would always get the better of me not any more I will defy,I will continue to live a better life no matter what the cost (so far 9 months suspended licence,months of behaviour and over 2000 in fines) for just trying to live a better life with out pain or the fear of strokes fits etc. I also hate the fact I feel like an out cast because im doing the right thing by my body!!!!!!

Bec B.

my name is Bec, I am 42 yrs old and have been smoking pot since I was 15. I started smoking it to help with migraines that I started getting at age 5. I was on 9 blood pressure tablets a day and when I hit puberty they stopped working and my cousin introduced me to it. And it worked. Don't get me wrong I still get an occasional migraine but nowhere near the amount my mother and sister get. There is glicoma in the family and I'm the only one not on drops.And recently I got diagnosed with osteo arthritis, spinal degeneration and I need a new left hip. I am on pain killers but because of my smoking I get away with using only osteo panadol and on bad days a pain killer that has oxicodin. When I can't get any pot my days are a complete nightmare and the legalisation would be awesome I hope this helps the cause and feel free to contact me at anytime. Yours thankfully Bec Not a problem, they will finally legalise it and be like oh shit why didn't we do it year's ago just like the states has realized. And thanks I have been preaching it's benefits for years. My brother in laws mother had to have the valves in her heart replaced about 10 yrs ago and had to give up smoking cigarettes to have the op. When she went to her cardiologist 6 wks later he asked her how she was doing, she said I'd kill you for a cigarette the doctor went to his cabinet and pulled out an ounce and said if you have to smoke I prefer you to smoke this hope that helpsHe's now retired unfortunately, but 3 yrs ago my girlfriend that lives in woolongong is a pot smoker and got pregnant so she stopped smoking, a couple of months into her pregnancy her doctor picked up high blood pressure (he was an American doc) he asked her if she smoked green and she said she had stopped and he told her to start again before she killed herself and the baby cause smoking cured her high blood pressure condition

Mikey B.

I don't know how many people with my condition can be helped with MC. I have fibromyalgia, left my house maybe 36-9 times from January of 2014 to December 2014. Couple this with the agony of rheumatoid symptoms and massive fatigue. Talked to my doctor about cannabis and he was all for me trying and letting him know. Since that time I've managed to lose 40 kg, have energy to clean and play with my daughter. I still suffer the fatigue but it's more stable.

Shaun K.

Surgery and cannabis has Saved My Life I suffered from Hirschsprung's disease at birth. It's a disorder of the abdomen that occurs at birth, when part or all of the large intestine or antecedent parts of the gastrointestinal tract have no ganglion cells and therefore cannot function. Usually, shortly after birth, the inflamed area is cut out and an ostomy is fitted to give the bowel time to rest. After a few months the bowel is reversed to "normal" and the person should live a "normal" life. However it's often not that simple and most, just like me, end up having more than one reversal. I've had over thirty operations and procedures. I was at eight when remember having my last reversal have one last colostomy to get me through school. So I am left with a permanent stoma for life. Well I can go for another reversal but This really does not bother me as I have not really known life without one. And as I remember I had more problem they other way. As u may know Eating is my big issue. Not wanting to eat. Vomiting. Diarrhoea, lack of energy. Not gaining weight or growing. Some days are better then others as I struggle to put on weight and eat. I get seriously bad stomach pains and cramps, which turns me off eating. Pharmaceutical drugs and pain killers don't work because they don’t absorb and the greater majority of the time and make me feel worse. The human body requires energy – in the form of ingested food--to fight infection and heal cell or tissue damage. When one is constantly fighting the above symptoms eating is not my favourite thing. Since I began smoking cannabis socially and medically, I found it seemed to relieved my symptoms. (eating, sleeping, killing nausea,) Like most people pot-affected, I got the “muchies” and I found myself enjoying my food without experiencing the painful and bloating cramps of the stomach. As Research shows CB2 receptors are present throughout the gastrointestinal system and have an "immunomodulatory role as well as regulating abnormal motility, modulating intestinal inflammation and limiting visceral sensitivity and pain. Cannabis works effectively for Me. It is safe and has no side effects - except that it makes me a criminal As you can understand, depression goes hand in hand with my condition. When I smoked pot I found my mood and thoughts lifted as well. it started helping me feel a little more comfortable around other people and comfortable in my feelings, Not like with pharmaceutical drugs which did little to help. Over the years I come to notice that it helps me to release resistance. By affecting the brain like it does, it inhibits the brain from focusing on and translating the resistant, stressful thoughts that cause a negative emotional response within the body. This is why it is so effective at reducing stress,depression and anxiety. And this is also why it is so effective for the use of pain management. Pain is a symptom of resistance. By causing a person to release resistance and "flow downstream with life" a person is free to be who they really are. Because of weed I have had my life back and I will continue to try raise my kids and work for my family. I am so happy I get a real chance at life again and cannabis helps me through. I will also continue campaigning for the legalizing of weed and putting my case to the government. Cannabis has long been known to limit or prevent nausea and vomiting from a variety of causes. This has led to extensive investigations that have revealed an important role for cannabinoids and their receptors in the regulation of nausea and emesis. With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, novel ways to regulate both nausea and vomiting have been discovered that involve the production of endogenous cannabinoids acting centrally. The plant Cannabis has been used in clinic for centuries, and has been known to be beneficial in a variety of gastrointestinal diseases, such as emesis, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal pain. Moreover, modulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system in gastrointestinal tract may provide a useful therapeutic target for gastrointestinal disorders. While some GI disorders may be controlled by diet and pharmaceutical medications, others are poorly moderated by conventional treatments. Symptoms of GI disorders often include cramping, abdominal pain, inflammation of the lining of the large and/or small intestine, chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding and weight loss. Patients with these disorders frequently report using cannabis therapeutically.

Name withheld

Here's my story, I was diagnosed with Severe Refractory Crohn's disease 6 years ago. They have put me on the 2 strongest chemotherapies available in Australia (they never told me it was chemotherapy either, about a year or two later a nurse in hospital accidentally let it slip). I never got better and my disease won't stay in remission. I've been so sick I lost 20kg in 2 weeks and had to be fed by a picc line in a vein in my neck with TPN ( total parental nutrients). Although I haven't been able to try Cannabis Oil yet I want the right to TRY it so I can see if it will benefit me. Indeed studies from Israel and information from USA indicate very positive outcomes with treatment of Crohn's disease. Abdominal pain is my most severe symptom, so severe that I was told I could call an ambulance from anywhere in Australia and they would rush me to the nearest hospital.

Name withheld

story I'm only new to using medically (or at all) we found out 4 months ago that I had pcos and was told that it wasn't treatable and I also have pes anserine bursitis... So I've been taking the non-active one as I don't do well on even the general over the counter stuff as it plays with me head for a week tomorrow and the change as been almost instant I haven't had as many mood swings and my knee isn't hurting almost at all, only under heavy use ie at work... I have a knee brace that I use to wear all the time but haven't had it on for 3 days so for a week I think these changes are big and in 6 months I go for another ultersound and I'm hoping that my pcos will be down to almost nothing

Craig C.

hi i live in qld i suffer from ptsd i smoke cannabis because its the only thing that works relives anxity helps with regular eating [ i was to anxious to eat ] sleep and relax its the only thing that works please legilise it smile emoticoni work part time im on diability pension yes its improved my quality of live im not suciduial anymore

Jazmin O.

it's my mum and she has Neuralgia in her face from pharmaceutical's and alot of other health effects caused by the drugs he prescribed, i believe she has been poisoned by this so called Dr of physiology... let me get all her symptoms and drugs she is on so you can write an informed letter, i'm very emotional tonight i found us some hope today, first time in so long

Michelle E.

My reasons for wanting full plant cannabis re-legalised is not one reason but a few! I myself suffer complex partial epilepsy, which I believe has been greatly improved since I started smoking cannabis more often. I also suffer nerve pain & osteo arthritis which cannabis also helps maintain! But my main reason for wanting full,plant cannabis fully re-legalised is that both my parents suffer also. My mother is currently on approx 18-20 pills a day for osteo arthritis, chronic nerve pain, degenerated disc disorder & suffers SEVERE pain daily & I KNOW raw plant cannabis & cannabis oil could help her greatly. My father suffers nodules & an aneurism which could be fatal to him at any time as the aneurism just keeps growing in size & the nodules are from previous history working with/around asbestos! I don't know if cannabis/cannabis products could help my father - but I'd certainly be more than willing to try if it was legal & accessible!! I also will admit myself to enjoying a good recreational "smoke" of cannabis!! It relaxes me & is a quick self medication when aching or sore, as well as a pleasant source of recreational bliss! I don't drink alcohol, I'm fed up with not only costs of Pharmacuetical drugs but the side affects & the amount I'm taking - as is my beautiful, suffering mother!! Those are my reasons for wanting full-plant cannabis legislation & why I use & wish to continue using this herb as my pleasure, my pain treatment & my recreational source!!

Lou K.

My medical condition is not terminal but I have lived in pain for many years. I have lower back problems and pain caused by a work injury and also severe neck and should pain from past car accident. I was on pain killers for years and all i achieved was gaining loads of weight, became depressed ad couldn't function as a single parent to my three children. I started using marijuana suggested by a friend and i haven't looked back. Took myself off all my other meds and only use marijuana.

Luke B.

looking to personally treat depression, anxiety and Asperger's; as well as chronic pain management for my mother.

Name withheld

After 7 years of failed epilepsy medications a friend recently bought me some home grown marijuana. I was totally against smoking weed until I had 5 seizures in a row on Wednesday night. I smoked a tiny amount of Cannibis and no seizures for 24 hours 😀. Then Thursday night I smoked a small amount and no seizures for 24 hours again!!! Then family were visiting so for Friday and Saturday I couldn't smoke it and I had to deal with them again in the form of grandmal and cluster seizures. I totally forgot about the 10 grams of marijuana in my drawer until 3am and several seizures so again I rolled the smallest amount and smoked it and have had no seizures in 7.5 hours. I usually have at least 6 a day!!! I'm stoked it's working. Marijuana stops epilepsy in its tracks! I'm weaning off my epilepsy meds over the next few weeks and will continue to smoke of a night when my children are asleep and hopefully I will have my cure. Thanks for your reply. It's still working wonders. Seizure free Monday and today!!! I smoked a small amount before bed (literally a pinch of it in the end of a cigarette) and at 2am when I get up to go to the bathroom and I haven't had a seizure since. I was having grandmals every night in my sleep and had continence issues. It's great now that I haven't worn adult pull ups for a few days and my cluster seizures are non existent. I know I had a tiny absent seizure this afternoon because my son told me I was doing the weird stuff with my eyes again but I will be smoking again in 5 hours and hopefully remain grandmal free!!! Absent seizures don't bother me as they only last a few seconds and I'm fine. I know that the epilim alone has caused severe liver damage. My hair has thinned out so much I've lost half my hair from keppra and lyrica made me fat. The diazepam is like taking lollies now too after all this time. I don't even need them now!

Collene E.

My 9 year old daughter and I are watching my 52 year old husband suffer unbearable pain due to prostate cancer which has spread to his back and is strangulating his spinal cord. He is currently in palliative care, bed-bound as they are afraid he will become paralysed. He survives on morphine and several other painkillers but he is still in pain. He's tried surgery, radiation, hormone treatment, an alkaline diet and natropathic herbal formulas. He is currently getting a second round of radiation and chemo is likely, although we are very reluctant to go down this route due to the awful side effects and the damage this can do to healthy cells. I've emailed Mullaways in NSW but I guess due to fear of prosecution they haven't been able to help us source their tincture. I don't have any other contacts. We just want the chance to see if this tincture could help but the laws are so skewed towards big pharma and not towards people-centred care. It is so frustrating to know there may be a chance for some relief yet we are denied the opportunity to try it, when all the approved medication has failed to help him. I'd love to help get the laws changed.

Jaye N.

I have Hepatitis C and have unsuccessfully tried all mainstream medications available currently in this country. I also have an inoperable spinal injury and am allerigic to morphine and unable to tolerate oxycontin, Targin & endone.

Lisa K.

For me: major depressive disorder, fibromyalgia (pain is awful, and migraines. I also get anxiety. Especially if it rains for more than a few hours. Mental health abandoned flood victims. For hubby: PTSD, OCD. He tried to commit suicide after 2011 floods. Was diagnosed with Delusional Disorder. He is mostly housebound due to anxiety issues. Has panic attacks.

Deborah.

I wish to grow my own. This means I am not allowed to do so. Medical Cannabis is one of the few medications that is non toxic and is basically impossible to overdose on. To have this plant in the same category as opiates etc is ridiculous. I keep getting told there is not enough evidence based research to move forward with rescheduling Cannabis. That everything so far is anecdotal. How is that possible, when California is currently celebrating 20 years of use. 20 years of evidence. The largest medical Association in California, the CMA is now calling for it to be fully legalized. http://www.sacbee.com/.../marijuana/article57799473.html The American National Cancer Institute now recognises the medical benefits of cannabis. This plant is not dangerous nor is it without medical applications. http://www.cancer.gov/about.../treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq Patients should have the right to manage their own health. It is a basic right of the patient to do so. Vaping whole plant Cannabis flowers has saved my life. I no longer am fighting addiction of opiates, I no longer need Centrelink. My nerve damage is managed with minimal use of Medicare. All I need to continue doing this is to legally grow approx., 4 plants at a time. People who need oil may need a larger number, but for myself, that is enough. If you want to reduce expenditure on Medicare, legalize Cannabis. It has replaced 3 prescription drugs for me. What a blessing it has been. Deborah QLD FEB 2016

Martyn.

Hello all Here is my experience. Back in 1990, I was deliberately run over by a man in a car who left the scene, leaving me for dead. The medico's prescribed all kinds of schedule 8 pain relieving drugs for me to use! This is when the problems began, every single prescription drug has side effects, and for me, they created suicidal/homicidal thoughts, and did not really relieve the pain. I informed the medico's of this problem in 1995. They all suggested I utilize cannabis and stop the prescription drugs! After taking their recommendations, I found a Cannabis supplier, and began to utilize it. To my surprise Cannabis does relieve 99% of the pain making life that little bit more liveable. There was only one problem, it was the worry and paranoia that developed. I informed the medico's who ALL told me, "it was the laws creating this situation"! What? They explained it this way -: "Subconciously. You know you are breaking the law, and in turn, worry about that! You must stop thinking you are breaking the law, and the worries will disappear!" And they did! Until the government began road side testing, and now the worries have returned! All due to the introduction of Draconian laws! It has now been 20 years since I took up daily medical cannabis, and have never looked back, never had a driving accident in that time, and have never had any mental issue, at all. IMHO there is only one way to overcome these problems! Cannabis must be decriminalized ASAP! Martyn JAN 2016

Gail Fitzgerald Reed.

Gail Fitzgerald Reed. I will give you the short story, as with everyone else my story is so long so I will just stick with what people need to know. A dearly love brother in law with stage 4 brain tumour had chemo and radiation but just deteriorated daily. No sleep due to pain, could not talk or walk. Admitted to palliative care and death was immenent. We started him on cannabis oil and he had his first night's sleep in amost a year, approx. Every day something different would change, we started to see him come alive again...The nurses and doctors were baffled. At this stage they didn't know about the oil. This was months ago, and instead of dying his tumour completely disappeared, he still has to learn to walk again, but he is talking some and isn't in any significant pain. Cannabis oil gave us back a dead man...It is our right to have cannabis made legal, it is our right to save our loved ones no matter what the illness is. Cannabis needs to be legalized it can't be ignored any longer. Jan 2016