The excruciating pain felt by Ben Oakley each time his body induces life threatening spasms is horrendous.

Ben was diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome at 18, only finding relief from the symptoms of this rare neurological disorder since being treated with medicinal cannabis oil.

Despite Ben’s vast improvements on medical marijuana, a negative stigma still surrounds the treatment.

“It’s not just about me,” Ben said. “It’s just absolutely crazy that something so beneficial, for so many people, can still remain illegal.”

Stiff Person Syndrome attacks the muscles in Ben’s body, seizing and stiffening them, sending him into spasms similar to epileptic fits.

Medicinal Cannabis Oil reduces muscle tension, reduces pain and therefore, reduces the severe muscle spasms. In the past, Ben suffered multiple spasms a day. He has only suffered three spasms in the past 11 months.

Michael Oakley, Ben’s father, is campaigning with his son, setting up the charity “Drop a Dollar for Rare Diseases” and organising an event in Wollongong to inform people of the benefits of medical marijuana.

A Life Of Its Own – The Truth about Medical Marijuana’ will be screened at the UniCentre on November 21 to raise awareness for the controversial treatment that is widely misunderstood.

The film, produced by Helen Kapalos, explores many stories of individuals using cannabis to treat other conditions such as epilepsy and cancer. Ben will speak on the night, exactly four years on from his diagnosis, to reveal the benefits of the drug.

While acceptance and awareness within the community is a goal, the Oakley family are setting their sights higher.

“We are hoping to open the eyes of our politicians as to the benefits of Medicinal Cannabis use for much more than the limited arrangements that they have allowed,” Mr Oakley said. “Medicinal Cannabis needs to be a first option not a last resort.”

For more information on Ben and his campaign to make medical marijuana legal, go to