Medical cannabis trial adjourned

IMPORTANT:  Medical marijuana has helped Tara, 8, pictured with dad David O'Connell.

IMPORTANT: Medical marijuana has helped Tara, 8, pictured with dad David O'Connell.

Politician advocates decriminalisation

THE man who supplies medical marijuana to Mia Mia child Tara O'Connell, 8, has had his court trial adjourned.

Tony Bower, who owns Mullaways Medical Cannabis, faced a New South Wales court on May 28 charged under the Drugs Misuse and Trafficking Act.

His case was adjourned for three months.

Cheri O'Connell, whose daughter has a severe form of epilepsy and relies on medical cannabis to survive, said she was pleased Mr Bower wasn't jailed.

But she was concerned Mr Bower would face court again in three months.

She was worried about Mr Bower's other customers, who had reduced their use of marijuana in anticipation of Mr Bower being jailed, she said.

"We want to get (medical marijuana) legalised," she said.

"I know people who are on it who are reducing doses - I'm not prepared to do that."

The issue of medical marijuana has been taken up by NSW MP Kevin Anderson, who last week announced he was preparing a private member's bill that would decriminalise medical marijuana in the state.

The bill was a "step in the right direction", Mrs O'Connell said, but she was disappointed with Mr Anderson's push to decriminalise cannabis specifically for people who were "terminally" ill.

"How terminal is terminal?" Mrs O'Connell said. "For me it's very disappointing because of the word terminal.

"It's not going to help the majority of epilepsy patients."

Mr Bower said the word "terminal" should not be included in the bill.

"How do you prove if it's terminal?" he said.

"(Doctors) can't even tell you what a lot of diseases are so how can you determine whether it's terminal or not?"

Tara O'Connell has Dravet Syndrome and suffered more than 200 life-threatening seizures a day before she started taking medical cannabis in 2012.

She has not had a seizure since.

Mia Mia is a small town in Central Victoria but Mullaways Medical Cannabis is based in NSW.

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