A man in New South Wales, Australia was just found guilty of possessing cannabis oil and cultivating cannabis plants. He was using them to treat his five-year-old sick daughter, who has a severe form of epilepsy.
Arrested For Helping His Sick Daughter
Michael Lambert’s sick daughter Katelyn has a form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. This disorder leads to high numbers of seizures. In many cases, the seizures can cause further damage, especially brain damage.
When prescription meds did not help Katelyn, the family turned to other forms of treatment. They soon found that cannabis oil was effective. It cut back on the number of seizures Katelyn experienced and helped reduce the severity of her disorder.
Lambert initially began ordering CBD-rich oil from sources located overseas. Worried that his supply might run out or that it might become too difficult to order more, he began stockpiling cannabis oil. Additionally, he started growing his own cannabis plants. He told authorities the plants were so he could make his own oil to give to his sick daughter.
Eventually, authorities raided Lambert’s property. They found seven cannabis plants and a bunch of oil. Lambert was then arrested on two counts of possessing an illegal drug, one count of possessing an illegal plant, and one count of cultivating an illegal plant.
A Protracted Battle
Lambert’s experience quickly grew into a long battle with law enforcement and legislators. He was first arrested back in 2015. After his arrest, he entered a plea of not-guilty.
At the same time, he also began advocating for changes to Australia’s cannabis laws. In particular, he called on lawmakers to make medical cannabis and medical cannabis products more accessible to patients like his sick daughter.
Now, two years later, a court magistrate finally found Lambert guilty of possessing and cultivating an illegal plant. The two charges of possessing an illegal drug were dropped.
Despite ruling against Lambert, the magistrate ultimately chose not to record a conviction. Instead, he gave Lambert a “Section 10 bond.”
Under this ruling, courts can find a person guilty without recording a conviction. That means the charge does not go on their criminal record. Similarly, a Section 10 ruling means that the person will not lose their driver’s license or suffer any other penalties.
The Final Hit
Despite the mixed ruling, Lambert continues using his experience to push for legislative change. Although he won’t face an official criminal record, Lambert insisted that the country’s anti-cannabis laws wrongfully turned him and his family into criminals.
“She’s got brain damage, she’s permanently disabled, but she’s smarter than the Health Minister of NSW,” Lambert told local sources. “The states should declare a register where people like Katelyn can register and they can test the oil to make sure there’s nothing harmful about it.”
He added: “The problem in NSW is confusion with marijuana. . . . The fact is hemp extract is wonderful for various conditions, in particular epilepsy.”