Port Stephens doctor seeks expressions of interest to show cannabis documentary, High as Mike, in Nelson Bay

A Tanilba Bay doctor has organised to screen a documentary about medicinal cannabis in Nelson Bay next month but the film will only roll if enough interest is shown.

Dr. Marie Shieh from Tanilba Bay Medical Centre said she is interested in the subject of medicinal cannabis, which is why she wanted to show the documentary called High As Mike in Port Stephens.

"I have been interested in the use of medicinal cannabis for some health issues and I recently attended a symposium on medicinal cannabis in Tweed Heads called United In Compassion," Dr Shieh said.

"UIC is a symposium put on by a nurse who's son died of colon cancer in his 20s and fought to get medicinal cannabis legalised.

"Scientists, doctors, researchers, nurses and patients from Australia and around the world presented on a myriad of topics related to medicinal cannabis."

Dr Sheih, who has a Chinese/Taiwanese background, said that her eyes were opened to the world of medicinal cannabis through her time living in the US with her acupuncturist husband, Barry Disch.

"I have always had an interest in natural therapies and had spent two years in China in 2010-11 and worked in California where medicinal cannabis is legal before opening my practice in Tanilba Bay three years ago," she said.

RESEARCH: Dr Marie Sheih from Tanilba Bay Medical Centre, who is qualified to dispense medicinal cannabis in Port Stephens.

RESEARCH: Dr Marie Sheih from Tanilba Bay Medical Centre, who is qualified to dispense medicinal cannabis in Port Stephens.

"It is now legal for doctors in NSW to prescribe cannabis but doctors must be prepared to do the research before registering. It is my hope that more doctors in Port Stephens come on board.

"Medicinal cannabis can help people having cancer treatment, with anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy and other conditions but there are side effects including dizziness, tiredness and users cannot drive any form of vehicle.

"So it is important that doctor and patient do their research before deciding to go down that road."

Dr Sheih recommends people log onto medicinalcannabis.nsw.gov.au.

The documentary is about a man named Mike Gallagher who has brain tumours and wonders if he should try medicinal cannabis.

He rides his bike around Australia to talk to people about cannabis.

Along the way Mike chats with patients that have already embarked on the same life changing journey, politicians, a former Australian Federal Police commissioner, a lawyer, a neurosurgeon, doctors and suppliers of medicinal cannabis, including one that is facing an 18 year gaol term.

The documentary uses patient testimonies with a broad range of medical conditions and expert opinions from all sides of the medicinal cannabis debate.

To gauge whether there is enough interest in making the venture worthwhile, expressions of interest are being sought through website FanForce.

FanForce is online platform for fans to get the films they want to see in cinemas.

Dr Sheih and Mr Disch need 40 more people to buy tickets, which cost $22, by May 3 in order to the film screened in Nelson Bay.

If enough interest is shown, the film will screen at Nelson Bay Cinema on May 13 from 7pm.

Afterwards, Dr Sheih will be available to ask questions and will share her experience with medicinal cannabis.