Cancer survivor pleas Government to let him grow marijuana
CHRONIC pain sufferer Reggie Rickett is pleading with the State Government to let him grow marijuana plants for personal use and to smoke the drug at his Maryborough home.
"And if they say no, I'm going to do it anyway," Mr Rickett said.
The 76-year-old spends most of his days bed-bound, aching in pain.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and leukaemia more than 20 years ago and since then, excruciating pain has become the normality.
Chemotherapy destroyed Mr Rickett's cancer but caused other negative effects to his body.
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Mr Rickett said he is pleading with Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick in a letter to allow him to grow cannabis plants for personal use and to smoke the drug to replace much of the pain medication he takes daily.
As part of his daily routine, Mr Rickett takes numerous medications including Oxycontin which he worries are doing further harm to his body, particularly to his kidneys and liver.
"I believe I can reduce the number of medications I take with marijuana," he said.
Three months ago, he illegally sourced marijuana and he said within a few puffs, the pain started to disappear.
"It was like a miracle," he said.
The former musician said he was able to suddenly do basic life tasks that he struggled with before.
"My appetite developed and I wanted food - I had more food that time than I'd eaten for a month," he said.
"Then I watched Cops, my favourite show, and a movie."
A tube inside Mr Rickett has to be changed every six weeks. He said the pain of that was unbearable.
"Tissues grow over the tube, and you have to bite your teeth on something while it's taken out," he said.
But Mr Rickett said he had a few marijuana puffs before a tube change, and said that became the easiest change-over he has ever had.
He plans to set up a small tent with a LED light in his unit to grow the plants.
Though medicinal marijuana is available in Queensland now, Mr Rickett said the oil extract would not have the same pain relief effects.
Mr Rickett's neighbour Garth Summerville, also a chronic pain sufferer with a spinal cord injury, has been trying to get hold of the medicinal marijuana but has not been able to yet.
"They're running us around," he said.
"I've been to Brisbane and Bundaberg and haven't made progress."