The HEMP Party is overjoyed with the decision of a Jury at the Downing Centre District Court who found Dr Andrew Katelaris Not Guilty of all charges in relation to the supply of medical cannabis to patients, including critically ill children.
HEMP Party President Michael Balderstone said, “This decision has been a long time coming for the courageous good Doctor. We’re seeing the Courts ignore the strict rule of law of cannabis when it comes to its medical use. Dr Katelaris has put his life into bringing to light the potential of healing with Cannabis and it’s heartening to see him finally get some success.”
The momentous court ruling is a strategic win for medical cannabis advocates around the country who are incensed by the media and federal government continually reporting that medical cannabis is legal in Australia.
Mr Balderstone added, “The new call will be for the medical profession, police and the judiciary to stand aside and allow governments and the citizens to develop a meaningful medical cannabis regime that addresses the needs and concerns of over 100 000 Australian using illicit cannabis every day for medical purposes.”.
This particular case against the outspoken cannabis law reform advocate was sparked by an interview in which Dr Katelaris invited a journalist to film inside a secret cultivation and production room in a suburban house. Within days of the story being aired police arrested Dr Katelaris who was eventually jailed, bailed, re jailed, re bailed and now has been found Not Guilty of any criminal acts. In it’s wisdom, the jury found the defense of medical necessity appropriate and the Judge abides by the decision.
HEMP Party secretary Andrew Kavasilas said, “it appears the Courts have removed the medical profession, the need for scientific proof and police from the debate. This is exactly how it started in Canada in 2002 which caused the government to initiate a medical cannabis regime, within a year.”
High profile medical cannabis advocates like Lucy Haslam have been sceptical of recent medical cannabis announcement and continue to push for fair and reasonable access to conventional medical cannabis rather than expensive and hard to get cannabinoid medicines which are only available by an Authorised Doctor’s recommendation.
While there’s an increasingly significant number of Australians turning to the black market for their medical cannabis supply, HEMP Party statisticians are now making the assertion that Australians use between 420 to 750 kilograms of Cannabis every day.
“This could very well be a turning point, I can’t see how police can continue to enforce laws that the public and judiciary simply do not support. It’s now time for the Federal Government to listen very carefully and do whatever it takes to acknowledge and bypass UN Drug Treaties, as Canada has now done, which have hindered scientific research and medical use of cannabis at the international level,” added Mr Kavasilas.
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