Townsville veteran Lee Donnollan suffers from PTSD and will be the first veteran in Townsville to be dispensed medical cannabis. Picture: Zak Simmonds
IN a historic moment for Townsville a Defence veteran has been dispensed medical cannabis to medicate post-traumatic stress syndrome for the first time.
Lee Donnollan will be given the medication for the first time in Townsville under the special access scheme which gives patients access to drugs not included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
It’s the culmination of a long campaign for Mr Donnollan who has struggled for access to medical cannabis.
He has spent thousands of dollars, months visiting doctors and dealt with regulatory agencies — even driving a 900km round trip to Mareeba to access the medication.
Although he now has access to the drug, the fight continues for Mr Donnollan who is now battling with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs which has refused to pay for the medication.
Mr Donnollan said he should be entitled to assistance as a Gold Card holder.
“It will cost me $1850 each month to pay for the medication, which is equal to a house payment,” Mr Donnollan said.
“I have two options, either come up with the money or go to the black market and be at risk of arrest and jail.
“That should not even be an option on the table.”
Mr Donnollan said 43 veterans had already died this year from suicide.
He said medical cannabis was an alternative to other medications.
He uses it to alleviate symptoms linked to PTSD.
“This is a garrison city and I want Townsville veterans to know they don’t have to take those pills anymore,” he said.
To be eligible for the medication, patients must have exhausted all other options including hospitalisation
Mr Donnollan descried medical cannabis as a miracle drug.
“It’s saved my life and that’s a miracle,” he said.
“This is a historic moment for veterans across Australia.
“Veterans now have access and I have a path way for them to get there.”
Medical cannabis can treat
Originally published as Historic moment for medical cannabis
Originally published here: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/historic-moment-for-medical-cannabis/news-story/ed26071a28bcdd33b5a45f0c499741c9