Tony Bower (Mullaway) says medicinal cannabis can change lives
AS the Health Minister Susan Ley throws her support behind the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes federally, the Mid North Coast also has its supporters.
Tony Bower is perhaps the most vocal voice behind the push in NSW.
Mr Bower is the owner and operator of Mullaways Medical Cannabis Pty Ltd which is a federally registered company under Australian law.
Mullaways is the first medical cannabis company established and registered in Australia for the purpose of scientific research, cannabis education and the development and delivery of medicines derived from cannabis/cannabinoids for the management of chronic pain, nausea and appetite.
Mr Bower is extremely passionate about the cause, firmly believing that nothing but good can come from legalising medicinal cannabis.
He has previously been charged under the Drugs Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, (23)(a), for the cultivation of a commercial quantity of cannabis at his Crescent Head property.
He was sentenced Mr Bower to 12 months jail back in August of 2014 but he appealed and had his sentence overturned.
Mr Bower has since been working with local politicians and believes a result is imminent.
"I see every day with the people I help that this treatment works," he said.
"It's doesn't work 100 percent for everybody but I have seen some really strong evidence for it."
He said medicinal cannabis is just another drug that will help people and can't see a downside to its use.
"If it helps people, like any other drug, then what is the problem?" he said.
"The fact is that any drug can be abused and misused. I can't see where cannabis can be overly abused and cause an overdose.
"No one has ever been recorded as dying from cannabis use. I think we will start seeing some movement this year and at the end of the day the whole idea is simply to help people."
Mr Bower looks after 130 families with a range of different conditions. One of those families treated by Mullaways is the Whitelaws in Brisbane.
Andrew and Michelle's 11-year-old son Jai suffers from three rare forms of epilepsy: LKS (Landau Kleffner Syndrome) CSWS/ESES (Continual Spike Wave Syndrome) and PLS (Psuedo Lennox Syndrome).
Jai was diagnosed in January 2010 and was suffering up to 500 crippling seizures a day, with no medical expert able to help.
"I took him home and they said there was nothing else they could do for him," Mrs Whitelaw said.
"He has now been taking liquid cannabis for the past 312 days and in that time has only had four seizures. You can't argue with these results."
Jai is now walking, talking, attending school and able to write.
"It's just amazing. This is all because of medical cannabis and Tony Bower from Mullaways," she said.
"Tony has saved our son. He has done more for us than any medical professional has.
"We will continue to use this. It has given us a quality of life back in under a year."
While Victoria is in the box seat to lead the country in providing a legal and sustainable supply of medicinal cannabis the NSW Country Women's Association gave medical marijuana its stamp of approval at the annual state conference in Tamworth in May.
This follows on from the efforts of a Tamworth family to legalise medicinal cannabis. Lucy Haslam lost her son Daniel in February to terminal cancer but has been constant in her campaign to legalise the treatment. http://www.portnews.com.au/story/3445654/medicinal-cannabis-campaign-ramps-up/