MEAGAN DILLON | March 28th, 2013
A TERRITORY man who believed radiation and chemotherapy treatment killed three loved ones started growing cannabis because it was a "major benefit" to the immune system and "cured" his mother of cancer.
Michael Bede Dooley, 59, was given a six-month fully suspended jail sentence in the NT Supreme Court for cultivating 81 cannabis plants.
The Batchelor service station owner had been growing the crops for up to seven months when police raided his property in May last year.
The court was told that Dooley was growing the plants because he believed cannabinoids were beneficial to the human immune system and could cure his sick mother.
Justice Peter Barr was told his belief stemmed from the loss of his wife, grandmother and friend who were all undergoing radiation or chemotherapy when they died.
His wife died at 22, leaving the then-26-year-old with three children aged one, two and four in 1978.
Justice Barr said: "You use cannabis to treat your own health ailments and to treat your mother's cancer.
"You believe, and I accept that you sincerely believe, that you cured your mother's cancer by administering to her cannabinoids."
He said Dooley was not a recreational user but took the drug solely for medical purposes.
"This case is a most unusual one,'' he said.
Justice Barr said Dooley was a well-respected member of the Batchelor community and had no previous convictions.