Giving weed to a dog might seem like the premise of a cheap gag in a lost ‘Van Wilder‘ movie but, despite the snail’s pace at which Australia is crawling towards legalising marijuana, apparently some folks in the country are already using it as a way to help their special pupper overcome its ailments.

In what is possibly one of their most on-brand stories yet, SBS Viceland‘s ‘The Feed‘ have delved into the murky world of medicinal marijuana for dogs, chatting to an Aussie vet who is recommending medicinal marijuana as treatment (despite the nightmare required to get your hands on it) and two pet owners who use pot to treat their dog’s arthritis.

Cue Little Mate – an adorably named 15-year-old Jack Russel who, in addition to his arthritis, has some heart problems the poor dear. Little Mate’s doctor, “holistic veterinarian” Dr Edward Bassinghtwaite, reckoned that maybe getting him on that sweet kush would put a spring back into this step and, apparently, it did:

“He’s gone from being unwilling to go for a walk at all to being happy and excited to go for quite long walks. A really unexpected thing was that his heart murmur improved which is something I had not seen before in 20 years of practice.”

His owners, Maureen and King, say that giving their dog the devil’s lettuce has given him a “second lease on life“. In case you were thinking Little Mate’s owners were Nimbin-style hippies who would have probably tried giving the dog weed regardless of what a vet said, apparently neither of them have gotten high before:

KING: Cannabis? No, it’s never been in our world. Yeah no, no. Wrong generation to have cannabis in our world.

MAUREEN: Neither of us have smoked.

Because weed is still almost entirely illegal and the processes for doctors to prescribe and import cannabis oil are each themselves lengthy and complicated, Dr Bassingthwaite takes a more legally dubious approach of recommending it as a treatment and allowing patients / pet owners to seek it out for themselves (read: buy it illegally).

For Maureen and King, this means (of course) going to Nimbin:

KING: It took us about 2 months before we picked up courage to go over to Nimbin.

MAUREEN: It’s wrong that it should be made illegal like it is and that we should have to worry about driving along the strip with our supplies although they don’t seem to think that two oldies like us would be picked up but you never know.

You can watch Little Mate’s heartwarming tale below:

Source and photo: The Feed