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Keen surfer Kiwi White eyes the waves from afar these days.

Debilitating pain and fatigue from mesothelioma — cancer of the lung from asbestos exposure — keeps him on the shore.

Diagnosed in May, the stoic 75-year-old from the Eyre Peninsula says he’s not afraid of dying, just “dying in agony”.

He says the pain can be fetal-position crippling.

“There are days where I just can’t take it anymore.”

Among the arsenal of pain killers including heavy-duty morphine, is medicinal cannabis oil from an unknown friend of a friend.
“It seems to help the pain without having to take the opioids,” he says.“There is still a little bit of pain but it’s tolerable.”

Like many who shared their experiences with the Sunday Mail for this special report, Mr White can’t understand why medicinal cannabis is so hard to get via legal channels.

“I think it’s ludicrous that there are not more doctors prescribing it — it’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Mr White says despite the support of his medical team to use medicinal cannabis, he was forced to look elsewhere after his GP said he was not licensed to prescribe it.

His case is not unique.

Ordinary South Australians — like suburban mums “Cleo” and “Nadine” — are driven underground to find pain relief, mostly for cancer or to end debilitating nausea from chemotherapy treatment.

The pain is so extreme they gamble the odds of a $2000 fine for possessing cannabis products in SA.

“Nadine” (not her real name) is recovering from breast cancer and says medicinal cannabis helped her complete a debilitating 16 rounds of chemotherapy three months ago.

“The pain doesn’t go away; the nausea doesn’t go away and you know there is no way out because the toxic chemo making you feel so rotten is saving your life,” she says.

Within 15 minutes of applying one tiny drop of yellow oil under her tongue, Nadine says her nausea symptoms were halved, within three hours her appetite was back, and after 24 hours she was in the kitchen cooking potato bake — she hadn’t eaten a good meal in days.

“I did not feel ‘high’ — that component was removed; it did not change my personality or function at all — it just subsided the nausea and the pain to the point that I could function like a normal human being again.”

Source The Advertiser