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Medical-cannabis hero jailed, then released pending appeal

Tony Bower (left), Director and founder of Mullaway's Medical Cannabis holds a vial of cannabis tincture. (AAP image)

Tony Bower (left), director and founder of Mullaways Medical Cannabis, holds a vial of cannabis tincture. (AAP image)

Darren Coyne

North coast medical cannabis producer and campaigner Tony Bower was sentenced to 12 months jail yesterday on a charge of cultivating cannabis.

Mr Bower appeared in Port Macquarie Local Court before magistrate Thomas Hodgson, who set a nine-month non-parole period to the full-time custodial sentence.

Mr Bower’s lawyers immediately lodged an appeal against the severity of the sentence, and he was released on bail after 30 minutes in custody.

Solicitor Jamie Whitehead said the appeal would be heard in the Port Macquarie District Court on 7 October.

The appearance in Port Macquarie Local Court comes as other states and territories explore ways to make medicinal cannabis available to people suffering life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

Mr Bower, whose company Mullaways Medical Cannabis supplies tincture to more than 150 people, many of them children, was arrested this year for cultivating plants while still on a good behaviour bond from the District Court.

A police helicopter spotted his crop of 72 plants, each marked with a patient’s name, just days before his 12-month good-behaviour bond was due to finish.

He appeared in the Port Macquarie District Court on August 14 for the breach of the bond, and was sentenced to 12 months jail but released immediately on parole.

At that appearance he was described by the judge as ‘not your standard criminal’.

Meanwhile, despite his legal issues, Mr Bower has continued his battle to have medicinal cannabis recognised as a legitimate treatment, and it would appear some jurisdictions are listening.

‘I just wanted to let everyone to know that Mullaways has been contacted by the ACT government to help organise medical cannabis for the suffering in their state,’ he said in a statement.

‘I would like to congratulate the ACT government for their courage to ask for help.’

Other states are also investigating possible trials of medicinal cannabis, as is the federal government.

Just this week Queensland federal MP Warren Entsch announced he is drafting a bill which he hopes to introduce to parliament in the coming fortnight.

The bill would pave the way for legal trials of cannabis to treat people with cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

Mr Entsch told ABC radio on Tuesday that if the trials are successful, he would introduce further legislation to fully legalise the drug for medical purposes and make it available ‘like any other life-saving or life-enhancing drugs’.

In NSW, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson plans to introduce a private member’s bill in support of medical marijuana possibly at the next state parliamentary sitting in September.

NSW premier Mike Baird, deputy premier Andrew Stoner and opposition leader John Robertson have all given their provisional support for the bill.

In Victoria, Labor wants to legalise cannabis oil for the treatment of conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and Parkinson’s disease.

Opposition leader Daniel Andrews said this week that cannabis should be available for people who needed treatment in exceptional circumstances, but he ruled out legalising marijuana for recreational use.

The Australian HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition) Party has also announced a plan to run in the Victorian state election on November 29.

A series of rallies is being organised across the country on September 14 in support of making cannabis oil available for treatment of life-threatening and terminal illnesses.


10 responses to “Medical-cannabis hero jailed, then released pending appeal”

  1. l Mannix says:

    ITS ABOUT TIME THE GOVERNMENT GET WITH THE TIMES AND LET US CANCER PATIENTS HAVE ALTERNATIVE TREATEMENTS TO CANCER AND OTHER DISEASES. ITS PROVEN TO CURE DISEASES AND AMERICA AND OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE THE EVIDENCE. MEANWHILE THE SICK IN AUSTRALIA ARE DYING WHILST THE GOVERNMENT WASTES ENERGY ON LESS SIGNIFICANT ISSUES. LOOKING AT THE FACTS.. THEY NEED TO GET OVER THE STIGMA… THE PUBLIC HAS…. AS ONE DAY YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MAY TO TURN INTO A CRIMINAL JUST TO BEAT OR COPE WITH A DISEASE.

  2. John Ward says:

    I live in the Australian Capitol Territory. Whilst I have previously smoked canabbis for pain relief when needed, as no drugs provided by pain management centres in the ACT could deliver the ability not only to relieve the pain, but without medicinal canabbis I was not able to enjoy a decent sleep. As I am in less pain I ceased to smoke pot with no withdrawal or side effects.

  3. John Ward says:

    I agree with the use of medical cannabis in the Australian Capital Territory.

  4. Jett Mason says:

    When is the government going to stop this failed war on drugs and especially cannabis? It’s a plant with many medical qualities. Why do the police get made to waste so much money, time and resources in trying to stop people growing plants? It’s insane.

    The government should be banning alcohol and tobacco, not weed. Clog up courts with people growing, dealing and using a plant, what a stupid idea.

    In the ACT you are allowed to grow a couple for personal use, why not here in NSW too?

  5. Sandra Fowler says:

    Jett – it isn’t legal at all. It is decriminalized. There are still penalties for it and it may not be grown hydroponically at all either – which is the only way to grow significant amounts of cannabis year-round.

    http://www.police.act.gov.au/crime-and-safety/drugs-and-alcohol/drugs-and-the-law.aspx

    This is a topic that is very dear to my heart. I was on highly toxic medications for years before I finally opted to try cannabis for my depression, anxiety and severe arthritis. It completely changed my life for the better.

  6. Nathan says:

    The real criminals here are the police and
    the politicians. How dare they waste tax payers
    money enforcing unjust and outdated drug laws.
    Tony Bower will be judged by history as a
    Pioneer and a hero, not a criminal. The community is with u Tony! Fight on!

  7. Andy Holm says:

    now we have to wait for pending trials to prove it works???? Its like having trials to find out that meditation reduces stress….good morning Australia..the time is 5 min. to 12….again…….yep, the power of the dirty Pharma industry,nothing new here……..

  8. Diana Z says:

    If terminally ill people feel some relief from their constant pain by smoking a little pot or taking a little tincture then what is the problem? Seriously? How can that be a criminal act? Wake up Australia!

  9. This is exactly why our government needs to “Legalize, Regulate , Educate and Medicate”

    We all need to get behind and support our Government in legalizing Medical Cannabis Oil and that’s just the start.

    Please follow for lots of information.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Legalize-Marijuana-Australia/139688636218731

    among ekedonat

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