CRESCENT Head's Mullaways Medical Cannabis proprietor Tony Bower will find out today if he will spend 12 months in jail.
Mr Bower is a vocal advocate for the legislation of medicinal cannabis.
He was sentenced to 12 months jail for the cultivation of a commercial quantity of cannabis at his property near Crescent Head, with the sentence under appeal.
Mr Bower told The Macleay Argus he distributed medicinal cannabis to people with chronic health problems.
He has developed a way of extracting the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the plant and producing tinctures that can be taken orally.
“I make a non-psychotropic THC that doesn’t get you stoned,” Mr Bower said.
“Because of my knowledge of the plant I was asked if I could make an extraction that helped with pain relief.
“I basically worked out a way to extract different cannabinoids which can help people out in different ways and I made the medicine from there.”
Mr Bowers actions have raised the awareness of not only the NSW police, but also the NSW government and the Australian government, as well as causing controversy across the country.
“When I began I contacted the NSW government and NSW Health but they were not interested,” Mr Bowers said.
“However, now that the medicinal benefits are starting to be reported by the media the NSW and federal governments are beginning to take notice.”
Legalisation of medicinal cannabis in NSW looks increasingly likely, with Premier Mike Baird and the Deputy Premier and Member for Oxley Andrew Stoner indicating provisional support for legalising the drug for medicinal purposes, so long as key concerns over regulation and supply are addressed.
The federal government has also recently moved forward with new legislation to make the drug available to patients with chronic pain.
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker told The Argus he supported the medically supervised use of cannabis.
“I support the medically supervised use of cannabis-derived products where they are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for a specific purpose,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“There is already one such product approved in Australia for the treatment of symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis.
“I do not support a free-for-all approach where people can use marijuana of uncertain origin, without medical supervision, for the treatment of all manner of self-diagnosed ailments.”
However, the legislation will most likely be too little too late for Mr Bower as he will be in jail by the time the legislation, if successful, passes through both the state and federal parliament.
“I’m not very confident and I expect to be going to jail next week,” Mr Bower said.