Police raid "accredited" pot grower
A MID North Coast cannabis grower, raided by police during the latest drug operation, claims he's an accredited producer of medicinal cannabis.
Tony Bowers, 56, of Crescent Heads runs a business called Mullaways Medical Cannabis Pty Ltd, which he says provides pain relief to more than 300 terminally and chronically-ill patients across Australia.
Extracting so called "non psycho-active THC" from marijuana plants, he produces 25-millilitre vials of his therapeutic cannabis tincture, which is taken orally under the tongue by a dropper.
Last week police moved on Mr Bowers' property and confiscated 200 plants.
As the polair helicopter circled above, he said he stated his case to drug squad detectives, but to no avail.
Officers pulled up his plants and took his collection of marijuana extracts.
"The police didn't take my plants off the street they took them off sick people, who need them, people don't get stoned off my tincture," Mr Bowers said.
Police confirmed the search warrant and said Mr Bowers has been issued with a court attendance notice for cultivating an indictable quantity of a prohibited plant and supplying a prohibited drug to appear before a magistrate on April 16.
No stranger to the legal system, Mr Bowers was charged with cannabis cultivation 12 years ago and faced Kempsey court.
Since then he's been embroiled in a longstanding campaign with the Therapeutic Goods Administration and NSW Health to have his synthetic cannabinoid tested, legalised and made available for mass production.
Mr Bowers says his pain relief remedy is used by cancer patients, AIDS and HIV sufferers and people with diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
"I am not worried about police charges, the only thing that worries me is that people need my products and can't get them because of this setback.
"It's time for the health departments State or Federal to intervene, as I have a product that works."
A police spokeswoman said Mr Bowers can apply for an exemption from the charges if he can prove in court he grows cannabis for medical use, but there's no law in Australia for the use of medicinal marijuana.