PERTH (AAP) -- New laws in the ACT which allow possession of marijuana for medical purposes were today warmly welcomed by a Perth man who claims he uses cannabis to prevent severe vomiting attacks.
Gordon Huntley, 43, of the Perth suburb of Balga, said the ACT initiative was wonderful news which heartened him in his own campaign for the introduction of similar laws in Western Australia.
He said he knew of hundreds of people in WA who used cannabis to relieve the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions including multiple sclerosis, cancer and asthma.
"I'm currently forming a group called the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics to push for marijuana law reform," he said.
Mr Huntley has a complex medical condition which includes multiple sclerosis.
He said today he used cannabis about three to four times a day, usually in the form of a tea, because he found it prevented vomiting attacks and helped stimulate his appetite.
"If I don't use it, over a period of time I start getting these severe vomiting attacks," he said.
"I stopped using it for about six months and my weight dropped two and a half stone and I ended up in hospital."
Mr Huntley said he grows marijuana plants for personal use and has had his home raided by police seven times in the past four years.
He said he had been fined a total of more than $1,000 after being convicted six times and was due to face court again on January 5 on the seventh charge.
Mr Huntley said the raids were very stressful for him, particularly in view of his deteriorating health.
He said he had tried other medical treatments to relieve his problem with vomiting, but they had either failed or had serious side effects.
"With one I lost total bowel control and it was just really difficult for me to go out," he said.
Mr Huntley said he had used marijuana for 25 years and had not suffered any side effects from it.
He staged a five-day hunger strike in October as part of his campaign to press the state government for laws which provided legal access to cannabis for those with serious medical conditions.
The ACT's Legislative Assembly passed legislation yesterday allowing people to grow up to five marijuana plants or possess up to 25 grams of marijuana for medicinal purposes under certain conditions.
· 1 decade ago