Tony Bower from Mullaways Medical Cannabis Co was fined $1000 in Lismore Court on Friday for cannabis found by police in the famous Mullaway bus.
Mr Bower travels from town to town, offering patients with terminal illnesses or in extreme pain free access to his tincture made from marijuana that he grows himself.
He maintains that his tincture contains no psychoactive ingredients and therefore should not be caught up in the state’s law against the use of marijuana, but the court did not agree.
‘It was a small amount of somebody’s personal medicine and such a heavy fine seems very unfair,’ Mr Bower said. ‘Everybody should be free to find the medicine that works for them and the evidence is well and truly in about the healing properties of cannabis.’
Mr Bower brought an expert from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Canberra to testify but he was unable to help Mullaway.
He was, however, very helpful and supportive in post-discussions after court about Mullaways TGA approval process, according to Mr Bower.
There are now 18 states in the US with legal medicinal cannabis and Mr Bower has been fighting for the same here since he began his service.
‘Why isn’t it legal here? When is our government going to have a fresh look at this issue? Why are they arresting me for trying to help people who are sick and dying?’ he said.
Michael Balderstone, HEMP Embassy president, said it was appalling that Mr Bower was so heavily fined. ‘He’s a community-minded Aboriginal with a heart of gold who can’t stop himself from helping others. We have watched him helping people for years and his medicine certainly works. This fine is a real disgrace! Where is a pensioner like Tony going to find $1000? Magistrates sometimes appear to not live in the real world!’
World Aids Day December 1 is the third anniversary of Mullaways free legal medical cannabis tincture service and he plans to celebrate in Nimbin that weekend. His free medicine has seen him flooded with requests beyond his capacity to help, especially as his entire crop was taken by police earlier this year just as it was ready to be harvested.
He is still endeavouring to help anyone with cancer and can be contacted through his website www.mullawaysmedicalcannabis.com.au or Nimbin’s HEMP Embassy.