Community comes out for cannabis oil case defendant

2014-12-17 00:00

A MAN faces 15 years in prison for harvesting cannabis oil, which he claims alleviates the symptoms of cancer.

Men and women waving “Save the Humans” signs gathered outside the Howick Magistrate’s Court on Monday to support Lions River cannabis farmer John Lawrence Strydom.

Pre-school teacher Cassie Janisch questioned why Strydom had been ­arrested when there were so many dangerous criminals.

Strydom was nabbed under the drug-trafficking act in Lions River last month.

According to the charge sheet, Strydom was arrested on November 12 and was charged with the possession of almost five kilograms of dagga plants.

Strydom said he had been growing the plants and harvesting cannabis oil for the treatment of family and certain community members’ arthritis and cancer.

Strydom said his plants were of a high quality strain and claimed the oil extracted from the plants had been tested and proved by a scientist known to Strydom to be an apt treatment for cancer.

“My arrest highlights how unfair the law is on the people. If the community hadn’t rallied and supported me, I would have been branded as a common criminal,” he said.

Strydom claimed the cannabis oil he grew had healing properties not only for cancer but for depression, anxiety, pain and arthritis.

“Its healing properties are tremendous without any side-effects … but instead the law forces us to get expensive and toxic medications.”

Strydom said cancer patients who had had chemotherapy were 80% more likely to develop leukemia than those who used cannabis oil to treat cancer.

Strydom said cannabis not only had healing properties but was extremely environmentally friendly as he claimed one hectare of hemp produced five times more paper than one hectare of wood.

Howick local and friend of Strydom, Kaley Symons said alcohol was still legal but had destroyed so many lives, including those of her parents.

“I have seen first-hand the damage of the legal drug, alcohol,” she said.

Symons said her grandmother (93) was in a lot of pain: “She is taking so many painkillers, she has no idea whether she is coming or going, when she could be taking cannabis oil and be pain free with no side-effects,” she said.

Strydom’s case was remanded to March 6, and he has opted to defend himself.

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