In 1991 New Zealander Danuiel Clark was on holiday in Europe when a road accident trashed his trip and his life. It left him confined to a wheelchair with severely limited use of his arms, constant pain and muscle spasms.
The legal drugs he was prescribed had unacceptable side effects, and he found marijuana far superior for relieving pain and controlling spasms. In 1993, with the help of New Zealand NORML, Danuiel began trying to get legal permission to use marijuana. Despite meeting all the existing criteria, and support from his doctor and a spinal specialist, the government repeatedly turned him down.
In the meantime police busted him six times and took his indoor growing equipment. Burglars have walked into his house and stolen his stash while he lay helplessly in bed, but police took no action in that case.
Danuiel gained national prominence last year after the latest bust, when he was sent to jail for 21 days for cultivation of six plants. He refused to pay a fine or do community service, as a protest against the law that would not allow him to use cannabis to relieve his pain.
While in jail, he suffered a muscle spasm while trying to change his excrement collection bag and spent several hours lying on the floor of his cell before guards finally tended to him.
His stretch in jail made him more determined than ever to fight for legal recognition of medical marijuana. He will keep smoking the herb ? he uses about 30 grams a month ? and is quite willing to go back to prison.
“I get treated just like a rapist or murderer,” he says. “Justice hits everyonewith the same stick.”
Danuiel Clark is a member of New Zealand NORML’s Board and its leading medical marijuana campaigner.
– Danuiel Clark, Medical Marijuana Coordinator, New Zealand NORML ph 025 863630