Car crash altered life of pro-cannabis Whitsunday candidate
PAUL Hilder's life was forever changed when a serious car crash in 2013 left him with a crushed heel, chronic pain, exacerbated spinal disc degeneration and PTSD.
Having previously tried recreational cannabis and desperate for relief from his pain, Mr Hilder once again turned to the drug.
Now taking medically prescribed cannabis, he credits this treatment with helping himself wean off life-threatening opioids.
As the Whitsunday state election candidate for the Legalise Cannabis Qld Party, Mr Hilder has found a new purpose in raising awareness of the lack of medical support for cannabis and lobbying to reduce its expense.
The former singer, musician and teacher is now employed as a disability support worker.
The party described their Whitsunday candidate as being "an active voice in his local community".
In the early 2000s, he lobbied for the removal and extension of busking curfews.
He is a passionate environmentalist, having been involved in the Mackay permaculture movement and a member of the Mackay Community Garden foundation committee.
Mr Hilder has vowed to end the cannabis prohibition in Queensland and fight to secure affordable medicine for all Queenslanders, if elected.
He also wants to support a thriving hemp industry in the Whitsunday area, even as a crop rotation for ailing sugar farmers.
Mr Hilder has been proactive in his advocacy work towards legalising cannabis, having helped run a public campaign called Stand Up For Cannabis in Emerald.
He has joined and participated in cannabis related social media platforms, written submissions for inquiries and sought to destigmatise the issue by writing letters to MPs and editors.
Mr Hilder said he was passionate about addressing employment and sustainability, challenges in the sugar cane sector, anti-social behaviour, the ice problem, roads and public spaces, tourism and rebuilding the economy post-COVID.
Queensland Health medicinal cannabis advice:
Current Commonwealth and State regulations are designed to ensure the supply of medicinal cannabis is safe, and to protect and help patients.
Doctors must have confidence that any substance they prescribe to help treat a patient is safe. Doctors and their patients need to know that any medical product used for treatment has a predictable and reliable effect. Users of medicinal cannabis products deserve the same certainty.
Accessing a legal product
Medicinal cannabis use is only lawful when the cultivation, manufacture, prescribing and supply complies with all applicable Commonwealth and state or territory laws. Over time, the medicinal cannabis supply will be easier to access and the cost of legal products should reduce.
Medicinal cannabis is only legal if prescribed by a doctor with the necessary state and Commonwealth authority/approvals. Any use beyond the prescribed way of using the drug becomes an offence and may attract both administrative and criminal penalties.