K2 takes away my pain: Amputee

By Kiri Gillespie

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An amputee says if it were not for synthetic cannabis he would have to take 27 pills a day for chronic pain.

The 63-year-old, who would only be known as Mike, said the Government needed to stop regulating against synthetic cannabis products like K2 because they could help with pain relief.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced this week any products containing EAM-2201, found in some tested K2 product, would be banned from December 6.

"I don't know what everyone is on about," he said.

"I used to be a heavy drinker before and I would drink and drive. I used to be really aggressive when I was drinking. A lot of the boys were aggressive, but not on this. It's beautiful."

Mike lost his lower left leg a couple of years ago and suffered a painful infection after surgery.

He said he suffered every day as a result and had been prescribed with different medications to help with the pain and side effects. However he had not needed to take the pills since he he started smoking K2, he said.

"It takes away my pain. I took a lot of tablets. I'm an amputee and I've had a rough time from the day they took the bandage off. I have a lot of trouble with pain."

The painful rashes that were a side effect of the medication he took had also disappeared.

He said he did not believe products like K2 were hurting anyone, despite reports of the substance sparking psychotic episodes and mental breakdowns.

David Gilmour, of Sorted, a youth alcohol and drugs service, did not agree that K2 could be used for medicinal purposes "because it has been banned for a reason".

"That reason is there have been a lot of reports all over the country about the drug K2. It's not been picked at random."

The youth alcohol and drug clinician said users were at risk because there was no knowing what effects the tweaked version of K2, without EAM-2201, would have.

Mr Gilmour and his team had already dealt with countless cases involving K2, including a 17-year-old who said the drug initially made him feel relaxed but he began having hallucinations.

"I've had an episode of psychosis and it was the worst thing I've ever experienced," the teen said.

While buying a fresh stash of K2 this week, a 21-year-old user said he enjoyed smoking the synthetic cannabis.

"The real appeal is because there's a lot of drug testing for jobs. It's quite easy because it's legal, you don't have to worry about that."

The dairy farmer, who would not be identified, said he sometimes worked 16-hour days and a smoke afterward helped him to unwind.

"I think if they legalised cannabis in general there wouldn't be any of these problems," he said.

The Government has now banned 32 substances under the temporary class drug notices.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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