ALARMING side-effects linked to legal cancer medication has prompted local sufferers to back a state-wide push for medicinal marijuana use.
Cindy Ridsdale, of Delacombe, said some of the medication she was on after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 was “almost what I would imagine speed would be like”.
Ms Ridsdale, who is a cancer survivor, said she was very anti-drugs, but after losing her brother and sister to the illness, she softened her stance slightly.
“You think when you are faced with something like this, then you’ll try anything,” said Ms Ridsdale, who has never tried marijuana but would consider it if she went through cancer treatment again.
The option of medicinal marijuana would have helped Ms Ridsdale through six months of gruelling chemotherapy and five operations, she said.
“I do know of people who use it for pain relief, it’s not a fact of getting high,” she said.
“It doesn’t make you an addict.”
Ms Ridsdale said marijuana would help combat the “sickness and tiredness” of legal medicines.
Belinda Scott, who was diagnosed with stage four bowel and liver cancer in May, said the nausea from chemotherapy can be “really bad”.
Ms Scott said the strong painkillers she takes to help with the pain make her feel sick and agitated.
“Once I take these drugs I’m sort of bouncing around the house...you don’t feel like you are inside your own body,” she said.
“It takes me two hours to do a job.”
Feeling hyperactive when her body was meant to be resting in between chemotherapy sessions was disconcerting for Ms Scott.
The pairs’ comments follow a recent survey of 3400 Australians, which showed almost two-thirds supported the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
However, the Napthine government and the Opposition recently moved to quash a renewed state-wide push to legalise the drug by saying neither had plans to do so.
“Drug companies and the government don’t want you to use marijuana because everyone makes a lot of money out of the (legal) drugs,” said Ms Ridsdale.
Ms Scott said all the drug companies would be “out of pocket” if the drug was legalised for a specific purpose.