LOCAL medicinal cannabis advocates took to the steps of Taree Courthouse on Tuesday, March 1, to protest the arrest of two high-profile growers in Victoria.
The protest was led by Kundle Kundle man and noted medicinal cannabis advocate Craig Goodwin and followed the arrests of grandmother Heather Gladman and Liam Hotham on February 17 for cultivation charges.
Following her arrest Ms Gladman, 58, has undertaken a hunger strike, which as of February 29 had entered the tenth day.
Craig, who himself received a two year good behaviour bond in 2015 over charges of possession and supplying cannabis, said the protest was to draw attention to the plight of sick people denied the use of medicinal cannabis.
"We're asking the federal government to at least call an amnesty against the people who blatantly are filling the gap for medicinal cannabis that the government has created," he said.
"It's just about a fair go, it's not about politics, we just want people who are sick to have a fair go."
Mr Goodwin said after his sentencing last year that he would partake "in the political side" of medicinal cannabis legislation, something he has undertaken by founding the Cannabis Embassy with his wife Rachel.
The Cannabis Embassy is a project designed to provide support for medicinal cannabis users.
"I'm contacted all the time by people looking for medicine but we're living in fear now because of the constant persecution," Craig said.
Craig said that recently introduced legislation which would allow the government to cultivate medicinal cannabis created a "gap" for patients wanting to use medicinal cannabis.
With the government still some time off providing medicinal cannabis products, and with private production of the products still outlawed, patients were often going without.
"We're not happy at all with them. I don't think we need big pharmacy involved," he said.
"We're tired of government mismanagement."