Jenny Hallam – one of Australia's most prominent compassionate suppliers of medicinal cannabis – has been charged by South Australian Police with manufacture and supply of a controlled drug.
Hallam's house was raided in January this year. Police removed cannabis plants and the equipment she used to make cannabis oil. The removal of the plants meant the 100 or so seriously ill people Hallam supplied cannabis to free-of-charge were left without a guaranteed supply.
Hallam is contacted daily by dozens of people seeking medicinal cannabis. While medicinal cannabis is technically legal in Australia, there are complicated processes in place that change from state to state.
Many have been left with a choice when it comes to accessing medicinal cannabis: begin a government process that could take more than six months, or source it themselves on the black market. In March, Hallam discussed the toll of having to deny people access had taken.
"I'm disappointed that police would charge me for something that has saved people's lives," she told BuzzFeed News on Friday. "But I will continue to keep fighting for it.
"I won't be silenced and I will not go away. If they think this will shut me up they are very wrong."
Hallam said the January police raid and subsequent charges laid out by police on Friday would only galvanise the community.
"If I go to jail... so be it. I knew the risks, and every life saved was worth it."
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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