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February 3, 2023

Cannabis medicine man Tony Bower escapes jail

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A tribute to Tony Bower in the Nimbin Hemp Embassy. (Darren Coyne)
A tribute to Tony Bower in the Nimbin Hemp Embassy. (Darren Coyne)

Darren Coyne

Medicinal cannabis advocate Tony Bower has escaped a 12-month jail term for growing cannabis plants for medicine.

Instead he has been placed on a six-month good behaviour bond, and has vowed to continue making his tinctures by legal means.

Mr Bower appeared in the Port Macquarie District Court yesterday to appeal the severity of the 12-month jail term, handed down on August 28 by retiring magistrate Thomas Hodgson.

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 for a previous cultivation offence.

A police helicopter spotted his crop of 76 plants, each marked with a patient’s name, just days before his 12-month good-behaviour bond was due to finish.

Judge Conlon agreed with Mr Bower’s legal team – barrister Jason Todman and solicitor Jamie Whitehead – that the 76 plants discovered by police were not being grown to make money, but rather for altruistic reasons.

Mr Whitehead told Echonetdaily that everyone supporting Mr Bower was ’over the moon’ with the Judge’s decision to place Mr Bower on a six month good behaviour bond.

‘Judge Conlon said there was no way in the world Tony should be sent to jail,’ Mr Whitehead said.

Judge Conlon also noted that numerous politicians, including NSW premier Mike Baird, had recently been vocal in their support for medicinal cannabis.

Barrister Jason Todman had told the court that a child somewhere would be harmed if Tony Bower was sent to jail.

The court also heard numerous submissions in support of Mr Bower’s work, including testimony from respected drug and alcohol specialist, Dr Alex Wodak, who had been instrumental in setting up a needle exchange in Kings Cross in Sydney.

‘We are most appreciative of the extraordinary efforts of Dr Wodak in assisting Tony,’ Mr Whitehead said.

Meanwhile, Mr Bower has vowed to continue supplying his medicinal cannabis tincture, but doing it in a legal way.

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  1. Medical cannabis is NOT the same as ‘pot’. The THC has been removed – this is the ingredient that gives the ‘high’ or can cause psychotic effects. Medical cannabis tincture should be made readily available for treating chronic pain, it is far less toxic than opioids or codeine. Australia needs to join the 21st century and demand it’s government listens to common sense and legalise this immediately. Forcing sufferers to become criminalised if they seek marijuana for pain relief is an absolute disgrace.

  2. Well he hasn’t actually “escaped” has he – he is not an escapee and not on the run.

    Regarding “medical” cannabis – actually exactly the same plant as “ordinary” cannabis except that it may have been grown under strict secure and hygienic conditions indoors and irradiated, like the UK GW Pharmaceutical business and Bedrocan in The Netherlands.

    The oil is extracted by GW, using alcohol and sold at extortionate prices as an oral spray. Chemically the oil itself is the same as the oil extracted by others, without the alcohol and massive profits. Bedrocan is simply standardised and irradiated cannabis bud, much like as sold in Dutch Coffeeshops cheaper.

    The Pharmaceutical industry have been studying how to make massive profits.

    The only way is to keep it illegal for people to grow their own plants and make their own oil, produce their own “medicine”, even in their own homes.

    And we may well ask what it is good for.

    Apparently, amongst other things, a possible cure for cancer: certainly often it relieves pain and stress (imagine relieving stress!); it reduces spasms in epilepsy and MS; it helps with Chrones disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus; it can even cure Herpes; and for hundreds of millions of people it simply makes them feel better.

    So what are the risks: there is not risk of death from overdose; the only risk of any form of addiction is for people prone to become psychologically addicted to almost anything; the risk of Dearing to mental health is minute and again only for those vulnerable teenagers with existing mental health problems; and no it does not cause sterility or baldness!

    It seems like the possible benefits outweigh the risks many times.

    And what of punishing growers and users even when they have done no harm to anyone?

    It does not make sense to punish people that benefit from cannabis use and it does not make sense to punish those that don’t.

    In the name of Justice, stop the punishments – where there is no victim then there is no crime.

  3. The last sentence is very wrong. Tony will continue to supply tincture illegally. And you have spelt Alex WODAK’s name incorrectly. Moderate the comment and fix the errors in your article. Be more responsible in your interpretation.

    H.J. Lovechild – Joint Vice President
    Nimbin HEMP Embassy

  4. Tony Bower!… I will be the” Wind Beneath Your Wings”… & you will fly higher than the highest mountain.
    God Bless… You are a Hero… An Angel in Disguise. This controversy has gone on since the beginning of time…Look how cruel Jesus was treated & false accusations made against Him. He was only trying to do good for people.

    Tony always Remember… exactly what you are doing was on the Blue Print of Creation & nobody on this Earth can alter that.Nothing belongs to anyone. It’s only on loan for people to inherit & enjoy until death do us part.

    Tony… Don’t fear the Winds of Adversity… Be like the Kite…Face Them & Rise above Them.

    No matter what… always Remember God Loves You.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  5. To do what you are doing Tony I think you are a brave and decent man to put your future on the line to supply this medicine to children to make them better, the medical people have got no idea the pain these kids have to endure, there is no relief for these children to beat their pain, I am a cancer sufferer, and there is no pain reliever they can administer to get rid of the pain, chemo, definitely not, radiation, no, pain killers, don’t work, I have a fun gating Tumor on my neck, all they want to do is radiation, which I refused, but this not just about me, it’s about all people with pain, I hope your quest gets off the ground, best of luck


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