Cannabis user discharged

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Ann Vernon has chronic intractable pain and had been charged with cannabis cultivation after police found cannabis at her house.

Last Friday she was discharged without conviction when she reappeared in Waihi District Court.

The charge of cultivation was not proven, so the charge was amended to permitting premises to be used for cultivation, and when the judge heard mitigating medical evidence (as she has support from her doctor) so she was discharged without conviction.

Ann has been suffering chronic pain for many years after being trampled by horses when she was quite young.

"I received back injuries.

"Then later on I had an unrelated surgery [private] and severe emotional trauma which caused post traumatic stress disorder.

"I have pain pretty much throughout my whole body. Back, joints and shooting pains down my legs.

"Panadol doesn't even touch the edges."

Over the years, Ann has used and been prescribed many different pain killers. She has been in pain for 12 years and is often bedridden.

Two and a half years ago, a medical specialist (gynaecological) and an osteopath suggested she try cannabis to help relieve her painful symptoms.

"Initially I thought it was a crock," said Ann.

But she tried cannabis and it made sleeping easier.

"It didn't cut the pain out completely but I was able to get up and get moving. It took my focus off the pain.

And her nausea disappeared when she was using cannabis.

Since using cannabis Ann has stopped using most of her conventional medication. She still takes some opiates but has reduced her use by two thirds.

Ann uses a herbal vapouriser to release the active cannabis ingredients but with no smoke. It is a handheld device which allows her to inhale the cannabis vapour directly.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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