Lifestyle

Medicinal cannabis trial too slow, rebel doctor tells crowd

David Stevens and his eight-year-old daughter Deisha Magic-Stevens, who has been taking cannabis oil to treat chronic seizures for one year at the Nimbin medicinal cannabis workshop on Saturday. Deisha’s quality of life has been vastly improved through the use of the drug.
David Stevens and his eight-year-old daughter Deisha Magic-Stevens, who has been taking cannabis oil to treat chronic seizures for one year at the Nimbin medicinal cannabis workshop on Saturday. Deisha’s quality of life has been vastly improved through the use of the drug. Hamish Broome

A MAVERICK Sydney doctor who sacrificed his career to treat epileptic kids with cannabis oil has warned the NSW Government's trial of medicinal cannabis will progress too slowly to save hundreds of sick children.

Andrew Katelaris was deregistered in 2005 for refusing to stop supplying cannabis oil to the families who had turned to cannabis in a last hope to treat their children.

He spoke to a packed Nimbin Town Hall at Saturday's medicinal cannabis workshop - the second event in as many months.

Dr Katelaris said the lives of dozens of children had been transformed through medicinal cannabis.

One of his patients was eight-year-old Deisha Magic-Stevens, from Coffs Harbour, whose chronic seizures were being treated unsuccessfully by a cocktail of eight different pharmaceuticals until her father David tried cannabis oil a year ago.

"She's been seizure-free for over 10 months now," Mr Stevens said.

"Before this she couldn't read, she couldn't write, she couldn't function … she can now read, write, she's enjoying life; she's doing things a normal eight-year-old should be doing."

 

The Stevenses went public and had support from Coffs MP Andrew Fraser and Liberal MLC Catherine Cusack, who helped bring Deisha's case to Premier Mike Baird, paving the way for children to be included in the trial.

But Dr Katelaris said the NSW Government's overly bureaucratic approach to the trial risked letting red tape get in the way of saving lives.

"They have failed to appreciate the clinical urgency; if someone's having a cardiac arrest, you don't call a government inquiry… you give them the best treatments available at the time.

"We want to stop those illnesses which are life-threatening."

Dr Katelaris said he had submitted a "firm" Expression of Interest to the Government to grow clones of hundreds of plants to supply the trial - so he has a personal stake in a local supply industry going ahead.

"We could be doing it in three months."

"The concern is (government) will go to Europe to have some manufactured or even some synthetic (cannabis) issued ... that they're not really serious about a local large-scale industry."

Nimbin-based hemp farmer Andrew Kavasilas has also submitted an EOI for supplying cannabis for the clinical trial and said he was working jointly with a Queensland university in the bid.

He said pressure needed to keep up on the trial, citing an older inquiry into medicinal cannabis by former NSW premier Bob Carr that went nowhere.

Nimbin HEMP Embassy president and organiser Michael Balderstone said the embassy had been "flooded" with inquiries since the trial was announced and more regular workshops were planned.

Topics:  cannabis medical cannabis



Our world's plastic problem: How you can help

A fisherman walks on the shores of the Arabian Sea, littered with plastic bags and other garbage, in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. India is scheduled to deposit the ratification instruments of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change with the United Nations on Sunday, the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birth, who believed in a minimum carbon footprint. India accounts for about 4.5 percent of emissions. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Have you pondered what happens to plastic after you throw it "away"

Lismore mayor in court over AVO bid

Mayor Isaac Smith is seeking an AVO against a Lismore business owner.

Isaac Smith seeking AVO against Lismore business owner

War Memorial funding now available before Anzac Day

The wreaths laid at the Mafeking Lamp in Casino for Remembrance Day.

"This is a great program to preserve our local military heritage”

Local Partners

Tweed light rail could lead to all Northern Rivers one day

THE planned light rail connection into Northern NSW from South-East Queensland has been identified as a big step forward in cross-border transport.


Tubular Bells are coming

TWO-MAN BAND: Danny Holdsworth and Aidan Roberts juggle two dozen instruments in Tubular Bells.

"What really works about this show is that it's full of tension”

Damien Leith follows Roy Orbison's music path

Singer Damien Leith. Supplied by Hot Off The Press.

Singer brings the music of his idol to the area

'Goodnight City, I'm Martha'

COMING SOON: Martha Wainwright is a Canadian-American folk-rock singer-songwriter.

Singer songwriter brings her latest tour to NORPA

Tubular Bells are coming

TWO men, two dozen instruments, kilometres of cable and one progressive rock album to perform - what could possibly go wrong?

Damien Leith follows Roy Orbison's music path

Singer Damien Leith. Supplied by Hot Off The Press.

Singer brings the music of his idol to the area

These chicks are cooking up a creative crafty storm

Lismore Country Women's Association members taking part in a handicraft and cookery competition show off their aprons entered in the display category.. L-R Maureen Murray, Bev Payne, Robyn Stewart, Annie Law, Dayla Mills and Larraine Wallace.

Chicks with attitude are baking and crafting all over

'Goodnight City, I'm Martha'

COMING SOON: Martha Wainwright is a Canadian-American folk-rock singer-songwriter.

Singer songwriter brings her latest tour to NORPA

Liddiard brings his solo show

Australian musician, Gareth Liddiard.

Liddiard is an Australian musician and founding member of The Drones

'I wasn't naked': Blanca Blanco speaks out

Blanca Blanco arriving at the 89th Academy Awards. Picture: Ian West/PA WireSource:AAP

"It was a nude colour, it matches my skin, so I wasn’t naked.''

‘IT’S A LITTLE SAD’: Trump makes Oscars bungle all about him

US President Donald Trump claims Hollywood's elite were too busy mocking him to pay attention on Oscars night.

Donald Trump ‘explains’ Oscars stuff up.

Casino boss loses $4m on waterfront Sunshine Coast home

The owner of this stunning Noosa home accepted much less than he had initially wanted for the home.

When illness struck owner forced to try and cash out of property

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!