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Medical Cannabis Grower Non Conviction Applauded


Norml Applauds No Conviction For Medical Cannabis Grower

The National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML NZ) applauded last week's decision by a Judge not to convict a Christchurch businessman who was caught growing cannabis for medical use.

NORML's South Island Coordinator Stephen McIntyre said the decision was fair and called it a victory for justice and commonsense; but added that there was a disturbing lack of consistency in judgments of cases of adults who use medicinal cannabis with the consent of their doctors.

"At sixty a day, New Zealand has the highest rate of cannabis arrests in the world, and I'm thrilled that Mr Jackson's name won't be added to the growing list of pot convictions. But some of the reasoning behind Justice Panckhurst's decision raises serious questions about the fairness of the justice system, especially when it comes to medicinal cannabis cases."

"The crux of the decision seemed to be that Mr Jackson is a man of status on a good income, with employees and the prospect of cementing a lucrative business deal in the near future. Of course this is all reasonable, but do medical marijuana users on a benefit get the same consideration? Past experience shows that they do not!", Mr McIntyre said.

On trial this week in Christchurch is Neville Yates - another medical marijuana user who's been charged with cultivation. This isn't his first arrest for medpot though. Mr Yates - a one-legged invalid who uses a wheelchair and who turned to cannabis as a way to successfully deal with chronic pain and get off the prescription methadone and valium he was given by his doctor and heavily addicted to - has already spent 18 months in prison for growing his own medicine at home.

"It'll be interesting to see whether this time around Mr Yates gets the same degree of consideration that Mr Jackson was awarded. A recent survey has shown that doctors in this country would permit their patients to use medical marijuana were it not illegal to do so. NORML says that all medical users who have their doctor's approval should be excempt from arrest and prosecution for cannabis possession and personal cultivation", Mr McIntyre said.

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