Pubdate: Thu, 17 Mar 2011
Source: Timaru Herald (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2011 Timaru Herald


Supporters of a Timaru man facing jail over cannabis charges have
staged a peaceful protest for him outside the Timaru Courthouse.

Peter John Frances Davy, 51, is threatening to go on a hunger strike
if he is jailed for possession of cannabis, cultivating cannabis,
importing cannabis seed and unlicensed possession of a rifle.

Dakta Green, who founded The Daktory, which promotes the medical use
of cannabis, said NORML (National Organisation for the Reform of
Marijuana Law) supporters left Auckland last Friday and arrived in
Timaru to stage a peaceful overnight protest outside the Timaru Courthouse.

Supporters had come from as far afield as Auckland, Waihi, Wellington
and Dunedin.

"When we heard of Pete's plight, it wasn't too hard to say 'let's go
down and support him'," Mr Green said.

"We find it obnoxious and obscene for a medical user of cannabis to be
treated as a criminal."

Davy admitted the charges in February and was due to be sentenced
yesterday in Timaru District Court but the case was adjourned to April
20 so that his newly appointed counsel could receive disclosure.

Davy, who has cancer, said the cannabis was for medicinal purposes. He
also said he was the 24-hour carer for his partner who had advanced
multiple sclerosis.

"She is dying and will die without me."

In a protest against "the persecution of New Zealand's medical
cannabis users", Davy told The Herald he would go on a hunger strike
and would not take his cancer medicines.

Mr Green said the group hoped a judge would see reason and not
incarcerate Davy.

About 15 people camped outside the courthouse on Tuesday night. The
group, which grew during the day yesterday, held up placards, blew
bubbles and trumpets, and elicited toots from motorists until about
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.