Article by Holly Conners, CBC News
A Sydney, N.S., man is fighting to have the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services cover the cost of his medical marijuana.
Abvhiael (Abel) Stuart has what he describes as “severe, chronic and uncontrolled” epilepsy and has found marijuana significantly reduces the frequency of his seizures from between one and three times a day to once a month.
“It gives me a quality of life, which is something I’ve lost a lot of with the epilepsy getting bad,” he said. “And I’d like to be able to get back to life.”
Over the past 12 years, Stuart has tried seven different anticonvulsants. “I’ve had the side effects from them,” he said. “Dilantin makes my bones itch from the inside out.”
Other medications caused beet-red skin, big purple bruises and difficulty moving.
Stuart worked at the Convergys call centre in Glace Bay but worsening seizures forced him to quit in 2014, he said.
“Grand mals, I have one of those and I’m pretty much done for the day … Generally an hour, an hour-and-a-half after the seizure I’m completely unconscious.”
He started collecting social assistance in 2015.
Last November, Stuart obtained a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana with help from the Marijuana For Trauma clinic in Sydney. His prescription of three grams a day of high-cannabidiol-containing medical marijuana from a federally licensed supplier would cost $540 per month, which Stuart said he can’t afford.