Introductions from Members
My name is Bxxxxx Sxxxxx and I am now 43 years of age. For the past 13 years I have suffered continual pain because of a motorbike accident. On the 9th September 1993 I was working in a Butchers shop in Otaki 6 days a week. After work, I left to go home and when I reached Ohau, just past the passing lanes, a car turned in front of me, into Victoria Crescent without any warning. I had nowhere to go but through the passenger window and out the back window. I woke up 2 weeks later in Palmerston North Hospital, not knowing where I was.
The damage from the accident turned out to be devastating. According to the medical notes, I suffered from Contusion (Intact Skin) Including crushing Head, Fractured left upper and lower arm, fracture left chest. From I.C.U. I was transferred to Ward 22, from where I was discharged on the 18th November 1993 as a day patient. I was readmitted on 20th December 1993 till the 23rd December 1993, because my left arm had no feeling or movement. The nerves had been ripped out of the spine, I also had trouble swallowing. On the 16th February 1994, I was back in hospital where they added more medication: Tegretlo 200mg, Zantac 150mg, Surimontil 100mg, Flecamide and Paracetamol.
You pay a high price to get less pain. On 13th October 1994 until the 20th October 1994, I was admitted into Wellington Hospital for surgery on my spine. They got a red-hot needle and cauterized the nerves in my spinal cord. As a result my left leg and my penis, do not work as before. On the 16th February 1995 till the 31st February 1995 I was admitted into Palmerston North Hospital for the removal of my left arm which they said would never work again. They screwed my stump onto my shoulder blade. On the 11 June 1998 I had my plate removed from my shoulder in Palmerston North Hospital. A couple of months later my wife left me.
Immediately after my accident, I was taking prescribed medications as detailed earlier. The pain was excruciating as if my muscles were in a vice, I felt as if I had a burning ember in my wrist. Later in 1993, a Doctor suggested marijuana might help. I started taking it and it made my life easier, and the pain more bearable, it also helped me to relax.
On the 16th February 1999 my life changed yet once again. The Police raided my house, found some cannabis plants growing, and stopped me from smoking Cannabis. They laid charges against me.
After this, I could not sleep. The pain seemed to increase, and I got all uptight, sometimes really angry because the pain is so excruciating. I saw Doctor Axxxxxx Pxxxx, who is a Pain Specialist. He put me on the maximum dosage of Codeine. This only partly worked. After awhile I got severe stomach cramps and eruption of puss out of my face and body. I took Zantac and Rantidine for my stomach, which seldom worked, and then tried Kapanol. (A strong morphine slow release capsul.) It made me like a zombie, not knowing what I was doing, I could not urinate when I wanted to, I had stomach pains, did a lot of spewing up and slept ant the wrong times. Then we tried Tramadol, which made only a small change. Methadone and Severadol made me start spewing up again. I tried a few other prescribed drugs but nothing made that big difference like marijuana did.
I got sentenced on the14th November 2000 to 10 months imprisonment, with an 18 month suspended sentence, and Supervision, which is reporting to the Probation Officer, and attending Drug and Alcohol Programme. Because of the Suspended Sentence, this is now hanging over my head. I was hoping the Judge would allow me to have it but the law did not allow him to do so.
I never sold any of the cannabis that I grew; I grew only for my own personal use. Marijuana, I have found has been the only form of pain relief that has helped me to cope with my condition, and trying to live a normal life as possible. I had never smoked cannabis before my accident, and would rather stay up and drink all night, before the accident.
Dr Pxxxxxxx, who was also a witness for my side, gave evidence as a pain specialist working for Palmerston north Drug and Alcohol department.
I would like to be able to use marijuana again, as it is the only way I have been able to live with my pain, as prescribed drugs make me vomit and sleepy and I don’t know what’s happening around me when I’m on those. I would like the committee to consider making a law change for the use of Marijuana for Medical purposes.
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