Mother tells court of 'miraculous' medicinal cannabis

By Sam McKeith

A MOTHER who allowed her daughter to be treated with medicinal cannabis has told the NSW District Court of the substance's "almost miraculous" effect.

Struck-off medical practitioner Andrew Katelaris is on trial in Sydney accused of manufacturing and supplying a large commercial quantity of marijuana and dealing with the proceeds of crime after police raided a cannabis-oil "lab" in 2017.

Mr Katelaris is defending himself at the trial, which is in its third week, on the basis of medical necessity.

The former medical practitioner has previously told the trial that medical cannabis can transform the lives of sick children, especially those with "intractable" forms of epilepsy.

On Monday, it heard evidence from a woman whose daughter Mr Katelaris treated with medicinal cannabis to help alleviate seizures.

The mother, called as part of the defence case, recalled a pediatrician in 2014 stating that her daughter's condition had been transformed after being given cannabis oil.

She described the change in her daughter as "quite amazing".

"In her case it has been almost miraculous," she said.

The witness said it took a year to "wean" her daughter off conventional medicine and that she was now "swimming, doing karate, doing dancing (and) thriving".

She said her daughter took cannabis oil twice a day, had not experienced any side-effects, and was now even enrolled in a "normal high school".

"I can't speak highly enough of medicinal cannabis," she said.

She agreed with Mr Katelaris's suggestion that he never charged her for the treatment he provided to her daughter.

Under cross examination from Crown Prosecutor Mark Hobart SC, the witness admitted not having a prescription for the cannabis oil she gave her daughter.

"Is the cannabis oil you're giving ... on prescription or not?" she was asked.

"No, it's not," the witness, who appeared by video link, replied.

Mr Katelaris has previously described himself at the trial as a "leading authority" in treating severely ill children with cannabis and as an opponent of "draconian" drug laws.

The charges against him flow from a police search that allegedly unearthed 8kg of cannabis oil, 10kg of cannabis leaf and $10,000 cash in a Sydney attic.

Mr Katelaris has previously told the jury trial he could face life in jail if found guilty.

The trial continues before Judge Clive Jeffreys.

News Corp Australia


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