Towradgis Ben Oakley wants less talk, and more action, on medicinal cannabis.
The 20-year-old, who suffers from a rare and debilitating neurological disorder, was among the crowd at a workshop on the issue at Wollongong Hospital on Wednesday.
He welcomed the talk by leading medicinal cannabis researcher Dr David Allsop, who is using research to introduce safe and effective cannabinoid therapeutics into mainstream medicine.
Dr Allsop outlined his research, which will target a range of conditions including paediatric epilepsy, cancer, chronic pain, obesity, dementia and mental health disorders.
However while state and federal goverment moves are enabling access to legal cannabis-based medicine in some cases, Mr Oakley is among hundreds of patients still forced to source it on the black market.
His father Michael, a nurse, said medicinal pot had eased his sons chronic pain and stopped the constant, and life-threatening, body spasms caused by stiff person syndrome.
If a doctor can prescribe opiates for pain, if they can prescribe benzoids for any form of spasticity, theres no reason they shouldnt be able to provide medicinal cannabis an as option if not as the preferred drug for Bens condition, he said.
People who are sick want to be well, not high.
Dr Allsop, associate clinical director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, will talk with patients like Mr Oakley as part of his research.
Hes also conducting workshops to give community members, health workers and service providers the most up-to-date information on research and legislative movements.
Im conducting workshops like this to start a conversation because patients and doctors dont know enough about cannabis-based medicine and the regulatory route to get it, Dr Allsop said.
It is possible to access it, but its hard to access and I sympathise with people with serious medical conditions who are forced to source it illegally.
We need change and we need it fast, and through our research were trying to push it along faster by providing the evidence base thats necessary for the medical profession and legislators.
Dr Allsops teams research is funded by Barry and Joy Lambert, whose four-year-old granddaughter Katelyn suffers from a life-threatening form of epilepsy.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Medicinal Cannabis On Agenda At Wollongong Hospital Workshop
Author: Lisa Wachsmuth
Photo Credit: Adam McLean
Website: Illawarra Mercury