'Archaic laws' strand heartbroken sisters a world apart
WITH her sister unable to get approval for CBD oil in Australia, a Coast woman says she has been left heartbroken by the separation.
Cooroy's Michelle Worthington last saw her sister in 2016 when her husband was dying of cancer, and family visited to say goodbye.
Since then, her sister Fiona Duffel, who is now based in Britain, developed a severe neuropathic pain in both of her eyes.
She now depends on medical marijuana for pain relief.
"I've had Fiona on Facetime sobbing because she was in so much pain," Ms Worthington said.
"She tried many treatments to no avail, and then she found CBD oil.
"I can't do big trips any more to go visit her and she said she would come visit me but she can't, she's too scared to be without the CBD oil."
Ms Duffel said her condition left her in "absolute agony".
She was first prescribed Amytriptyline, found to help block peculiar nerve pain, and had punctual plugs inserted into her lower eyelids.
Her eyes and quality of life improved a great deal, but it didn't stop the pain entirely.
"I was told there was no cure,' Ms Duffel said.
"I couldn't accept this.
"I did a lot of research and visited a company in Suffolk here in the UK who produce CBD oil products."
After a consultation Ms Duffel was recommended a hybrid oil made from various plants.
She began taking two drops at night and increased the dose until she felt comfortable.
"I now take six to eight drops at night and, wonderfully, the pain is totally under control," she said.
"The frustration of now being well enough to visit my family in Australia but not being able to do so because of your archaic laws banning CBD oil is heartbreaking.
"My sister and friends are desperate for me to visit again but am unable to because of your laws."
Ms Duffel said she expected thousands of others to be in the same position, and that Australian tourism was losing out.
"I have been told by various offices in Australia that it might help if I had a prescription for CBD oil but I cannot get one because it is available over the counter here, and a doctor would have no need or reason to write such a prescription," she said.
In Queensland doctors require an approval from the Director-General of Queensland Health to prescribe medicinal cannabis, and without this approval medicinal cannabis is an illegal product.
Ms Worthington was told by her doctor that this approval was difficult to get for Australian citizens, let alone visitors.
"When will you allow me to return armed with my little bottle of pain-killing relief?" Ms Duffel said.