Cannabis regulations robbing users of pain relief
AFTER working for 67 years, one day Tom Donald woke up and couldn't get on to his quad bike.
Osteoporosis had left his muscles worn away and his body in unbearable pain.
After trying various medications to little success, a friend suggested he try hemp seed oil.
Within 15 minutes, he was pain free.
Those results were what launched the Yelaborn man's second career as a hemp seed provider and cannabis oil (CBD) advocate.
While hemp seed oil is completely legal to buy and sell, its closely related neighbour has much tighter regulations.
CBD oil for medical purposes has been legal since 2016 when federal laws were changed to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis products to patients suffering an array of conditions.
However, Mr Donald said only a few corporations are permitted to sell the CBD oil at an exorbitant cost, leading many to head to black market dealers instead.
Mr Donald himself used to sell CBD oil alongside the hemp seed oil, but was forced to stop when regulations changed.
He argued the monopoly was leaving many Queenslanders missing out on chronic pain relief.
"It can be used for anxiety, PTSD. I had one chap with no legs, who is ex-army," he said. "He was in hospital with a superbug and I sent him down some oil and within three days, the scale of pain went from 50 down to five."
Mr Donald argued the oil, which does not contain the psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, was a more natural way of pain relief but that pharmaceutical firms cared more about their pockets than people.
"Most over-the-counter prescription is addictive, and have that many side effects that you need medication to stop the side effects," he said.
"Our line is we just want to see it legalised.
"Suppliers will lose money but so many will benefit from this," he said.
"I had a woman crying on the phone because she couldn't afford to buy it."
Despite the experiences of people like Mr Donald, there is currently limited scientific evidence that medicinal cannabis is effective against chronic pain.