Marijuana grower says medical trial is needed

A MAN who grows medicinal marijuana says he may end up back in prison unless a medical cannabis trial is approved.

New South Wales company inundated with demand

Mullaways Medical Cannabis founder Tony Bower delivers liquid cannabis from his farm in New South Wales to more than 400 customers around Australia - including the O'Connell family in Mia Mia.

Tara O'Connell, 8, has been using daily doses of liquid cannabis for the past year to treat her Dravet Syndrome - a rare form of epilepsy. Tara's walking and speech has improved dramatically since using cannabis and she has not had a seizure for nine months.

Mr Bower said hundreds of children and adults relied on the liquid cannabis treatment for their health and well-being.

He said he would rather go to prison than let those customers down.

"If we don't get this trial sorted with the government I have no problem with growing it and I'll probably go to jail again," he said.

"I don't see it as a choice. Especially when there's so many seriously ill kids and people out there.

"I always tell the government what I'm doing. I'll do it under their noses."

Mr Bower spent six weeks in prison in mid-2013 for cultivating cannabis.

He said he has about six months worth of cannabis supplies stockpiled but once that runs out he will have to break the law in order to grow more cannabis.

The alternative would be to get medicinal marijuana legalised, he said.

"That's what I'm trying to achieve.

"The research is there. Doctors are supporting us now because they've seen the results it's having in improving people's lives. 

"Really there's bugger all needed to be done, we just have to get  the government to stand up and say they'll do it."

Mr Bower said he has made dozens of formal submissions to state and federal governments since he started the Mulaways company five years ago.  

He said he believes Mullaways is the only company in the world producing liquid cannabis - which gives users no 'high' side effect.

He said the demand was growing all the time.

"It's at the point where we have to say no to people because we can't keep up."

"People get in touch and send their pictures and their life stories. It's hard.

"When Cheri (O'Connell, Tara's mother) was in the media I had 334 emails in one morning." 

Victorian Premier Dennis Napthine said the state government had no plans to legalise marijuana.  

He said any questions of approving medications “would be an issue for the Therapeutic Goods Administration Authority".

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