A WOMAN who admits supplying cannabis oil for medicinal purposes has criticised delays to her court case, accusing the State Government of “torturing” people who need chronic pain relief.
Jenny Hallam, who has been charged with possessing and manufacturing a controlled drug, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday but prosecutors sought a further adjournment.
Outside court, Hallam said prosecutors were “dragging it out” and it was “horrific” for her having to watch people die because accessing medicinal cannabis products remained difficult.
“A year ago we were told there’s access to medicinal cannabis and that we just have to wait for the state to sort it out,” she said.
“A year later we still have people dying … one of them is my mother-in-law and another person I was treating. This isn’t acceptable.
“Let’s let everyone see what the government is doing and how they are torturing people and how they are deliberately manipulating the system.”
South Australian doctors have been able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients for short terms without State Government approval since April, but it remains an offence to possess medicinal cannabis for personal use.
Ms Hallam called for the State Government to give amnesty to medicinal cannabis users.
“I’m not saying that they should give immediate amnesty for everybody making … and selling medicinal cannabis but please give immediate amnesty for those using medicinal cannabis who are desperate for it to keep themselves alive,” she said.
“People shouldn’t be dying still when we know there is something to help them and we still can’t get access to it.”
Ms Hallam said she intended to plead not guilty when her case returned to court next month.
“If I was doing what was best for me, I’d be pleading guilty and make it go away like everybody else has done,” she said.
“But I’m not going to plead guilty, I’m not going to roll over like a dog, I’m going to fight it as far as I have to take it because this is wrong.”
Hallam faces a maximum of seven years imprisonment after police raided her Hillier home in January.
The lengthy court case had destroyed her financially, emotionally and mentally, she said.
“(I am) watching people die around me that I’ve spent the last few years trying to keep alive,” she said.