Stories of hope from the Nimbin Medical Marijuana Workshop 2017

Writer John Kitchen on his experience at the 2017 Nimbin Medical Marijuana Workshop

J Kitchen

Michael Lambert took to the stage of the 2017 Medical Marijuana workshop that I attended in Nimbin last weekend (Jan 21) by asking how many people in the audience were “illegally healthy”.

Chuckling, he began walking up and down the stage of the Town Hall pointing them out: “You, you… oh look at you! You’re definitely illegally healthy!”

The father, husband and recent media lightning rod took his seat in front of us. Lambert’s daughter Kaetlyn, now 5, began suffering potentially fatal seizures at seven months old. As a victim of a rare form of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, Lambert’s little girl faced a one in six chance of death before the age of 18 and a 46% percent chance of mental incapacity. Kaetlyn’s sickness was so severe that some days she would suffer a seizure every 15 seconds – over 1,000 life-threatening seizures a day.

“We’re poor parents and here we had this beautifully healthy daughter,” he said, “and then at seven months old we had a very sick little girl.”


Lambert then recounted the desperate bid to try to save Kaetlyn’s life and his moving story finds its culmination in success. After 18 months of failed pharmacological experimentation, he began illegally feeding his then three-year-old with a homemade hash tincture. Now Kaetlyn has been seizure-free for a year, with emergency hospital visits having decreased by 87%.

This tale was followed by a procession of pro-pot activists, doctors and natural therapists, each one attesting to the curative power of the strictly regulated schedule 8 medicant through both personal journeys of healing and years of study.

The conference ended with the story of Steve Strong and his wife’s recovery from a very advanced primary liver cancer.

“According to the experts, my wife was supposed to be dead 19 months ago… her cancer blood count was 667,000. Basically, they told us to go home and get comfortable. My wife was given three months to live,” Strong told the crowd.

After the oncologists refused his wife chemotherapy treatment, claiming that the aggressive therapy would prove fatal, Strong began secretly feeding her CBD oil. Within five days she was discharged from the hospital, defying the understanding of the doctors who were unaware of the remedial treatment. “The oncologists told me that the cancer had compacted my wife’s stomach to the size of a match-head. She weighed 48 kilos, she looked anorexic and they couldn’t work out why she had gotten better, but I knew why.”


Within three weeks of Strong’s undercover therapeutic methods his wife’s blood count had dropped to 170,000. Putting that number into perspective, when he asked the overseeing oncologist if he had ever seen such a decline in numbers the doctor responded, “No. Honestly, Steve, this is supposed to be a cancer that no one has ever survived from.”

As of today, Steve’s wife’s cancer count stands at two.

Against the backdrop of the new legislations recently passed legalising marijuana Australia-wide for medicinal purposes, stories like Steve’s and Michael’s are showcasing to the world the healing power of the world’s most misunderstood plant.

Is it a miracle cure for everyone? That is uncertain, but to steal from Strong’s closing statements, ”Whether or not it will work for you, I do not know. What I do know is that it worked for my wife.”

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