Self med­i­cat­ing cannabis user told to find other pain reme­dies

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - KIERAN BANKS

A DRUG user who con­sumed cannabis as pain re­lief for se­vere in­juries has avoided an im­me­di­ate jail term.

Bren­ton Wayne Fus­sell, 58, was caught in pos­ses­sion of the plant, which was eight times the com­mer­cial quan­tity amount, on March 15 and was handed a nine-month jail term.

The NT Supreme Court heard Fus­sell sus­tained 176 frac­tures in a mo­tor­bike crash in Perth in 2009. He used cannabis to self med­i­cate the pain.

He was hos­pi­talised for three months and still suf­fers pain in his pelvis which also made walk.

Fus­sell’s nine-months jail sen­tence was im­me­di­ately sus­pended but Jus­tice Stephen South­wood warned him the use of cannabis would re­sult in a visit to prison. “So you are go­ing to have to rely on your doc­tor to come up with other it dif­fi­cult for him to meth­ods and treat­ment for the man­age­ment of your pain and you are not go­ing to be able to use cannabis un­til it is prop­erly le­galised,” he said.

Jus­tice South­wood said it was ap­par­ent Fus­sell was “self med­i­cat­ing. Only one large plant seems to have been grown with four seedlings un­der­way and two that do not seem to have got go­ing.”

He said Fus­sell’s GP was aware he was us­ing cannabis for pain re­lief.

“He still suf­fers pain from time to time and his pelvis frac­ture makes it dif­fi­cult for him to walk.”

Fus­sell also has been wear- ing a mor­phine patch.

“She (the GP) states that she is aware that the of­fender has been us­ing mar­i­juana for med­i­cal pur­poses and she is also aware of the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion’s grow­ing in­ter­est in this area in the man­age­ment of chronic pain. I find there are par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stances.”

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