Chronic pain sufferer slams ‘draconian’ cannabis laws
"THERE are heaps of us out there in a lot of pain and can't deal with it."
A Laidley chronic pain sufferer has spoken out about "draconian" laws keeping marijuana illegal and the medicinal product unaffordable.
Mark David Phillips, 57, told a Gatton Magistrate he had been creating his own medicinal marijuana to self-medicate, which he said was no different from the legal cannabidiol (CBD) product available by doctor prescription.
Gatton Magistrates Court heard Phillips had been caught growing marijuana illegally at his Lockyer Valley home when police came to search his property on May 16.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Alister Windsor said Phillips co-operated with police and helped them find clipseal bags of marijuana weighing 1.16 kilograms in total as well as oil, butters and balms.
"(Phillips) advised it had been produced during the extraction of cannabis oil," Sgt Windsor said.
The court heard Phillips had also told police he had sold a small amount of the product, from which he earnt a bit of extra money.
"In his vernacular, he didn't sell a lot," Sgt Windsor said.
During the search, police also found 820 grams of tablets containing Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and two bottles containing liquid nicotine.
"He further admitted he had used cannabis oil to rub as a body oil for medicinal purposes - those items were seized," Sgt Windsor said.
Phillips, who suffered a workplace injury 13 years ago, pleaded guilty to a string of drug-related charges.
Duty lawyer James Ryan told Magistrate Peter Saggers that his client had been making a product equivalent to the medicinal product legally available.
"If you do some googling, it's hard to pin an amount on what a legal product would cost but there is reference to it being up to $1500 a month … and there are no government subsidies," Mr Ryan said.
The court heard Phillips had shared his product with people in a similar position to him.
Mr Saggers told Phillips he should seek CBD through a legal method, but Phillips said his doctor "didn't agree with it" as a medication.
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"And there's also the financial side of it - I'm on a disability pension and I can't afford to pay the price to buy it," Phillips said.
"They need to hurry up and change the system to help us out a bit - there are heaps of us out there in pain … A lot of people are threatening suicide because it gets that bad."
He told Mr Saggers he understood he was breaching the law by making it himself.
"Some of the laws are draconian but we'll get there one day," he said.
"It's the cost - the government isn't helping us at the moment."
Phillips was served a $2500 fine and a conviction was recorded.
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