MEMBERS from the Medical Cannabis Users Association of Australia took to the steps of the Taree Court House on Monday morning, August 17, rallying in support of Kundle Kundle man Craig Goodwin, who is facing court on medicinal cannabis related charges.
It was the third time Craig had been to court after being charged with the cultivation, possession and supply of cannabis in March this year.
Craig, 51, said he had been involved with the production of medical marijuana since, he claims, it aided his own miraculous recovery from liver cancer in 2012.
After being diagnosed in 2011, Craig undertook a 32-week medical trial the following year.
In conjunction with the trial he also used cannabis oil, and he claims within eight weeks he was cancer free.
"I believed it was our Christian duty to share it with others, there's too much evidence for us not to use it."
Craig has already spent 10 months in jail in 2013 and 2014 on the same charges.
Craig said part of the issue was the large amount of plant that is required to produce oil.
With roughly one pound of cannabis producing 45 grams of oil, and a single treatment of oil usually requiring a minimum of 120 grams, producers were vulnerable from receiving more serious charges relating to production and cultivation.
Craig's case comes at a time when national debate about the role of medicinal cannabis is more robust than ever.
A recent survey by Palliative Care Australia found more than two-thirds of Australians now back the use of medical marijuana, while just nine per cent of people oppose it.
Craig, who is a deacon at the local River City Church, said that he would remain committed to the movement no matter the outcome of the case.
"I'm fully committed to this cause," he said.
"It's a mission I feel like I've been put on by God, I feel like I have a duty to help others."
The case also comes after a businessman with ties to the Taree area, Barry Lambert and his wife Joy, donated $33 million in June to help fund medicinal cannabinoid research at the University of Sydney.