Hell will be unleashed across New Zealand if a Timaru man is jailed on cannabis charges today, protesters have warned.
Peter John Frances Davy, 51, unemployed, will appear in the Timaru District Court this morning. He previously admitted charges of possession of cannabis, cultivating cannabis, importing cannabis seed and unlicensed possession of a rifle.
Davy, who has cancer, said last night he would go on hunger strike if jailed today.
He maintains the cannabis he grew and smoked was for medicinal purposes and he "never shared a joint with anyone". He was also the 24-hour carer for his partner who had advanced multiple sclerosis.
If he was jailed, Davy said his partner would have to sell everything she owned and go into a rest home.
A former computer technician and journalist, he said he would sooner not have to use cannabis, but it was the only thing that helped fight the pain cancer caused.
"People are crazy if they think I don't miss my old life.
"I would love to be that person again."
He did not want people to think he wanted cannabis freely available to everyone. His cause was the use of medicinal marijuana.
Having a cause is one thing. We don't have a strong opinion one way or the other with regard to medicianal marijuana; it's not an issue which we've ever taken an interest in. We don't use drugs though, other than those prescribed to us.
But making threats is another thing altogether. Davy has admitted breaking the law, and he must now face the consequences. He would earn far more sympathy from the public and possibly from the Court if he presented his circumstances as a plea in mitigation, rather than threatening petulant action should he be imprisoned. By going public in the manner in which he has, he has quite possibly increased his chances of being jailed today, even if that is only so that the Court can show that it does not bow to threats.
Our greater criticism though is reserved for Dakta Green and his pro-cannabis activist friends.l Remember the threat that "Hell will be unleashed across New Zealand" if Davy is jailed? Read on:
Dakta Green, who founded The Daktory to promote medical cannabis use, said protesters would be outside the Timaru court and courts around the country this morning.
"Peter Davy's story will be out. It is already a worldwide story. The whole world is watching this judge."
Asked what the reaction would be to a prison sentence, Mr Green responded: "One of extreme anger and we would rally the troops".
Members of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML) would also find other "unique and wonderful ways" to "rise up" in protest, Mr Green added.
Dakta Green and his cannabis activist mates need to pull their heads in. This has nothing to do with them. They are, in our humble opinion, exploiting Peter Davy's situation to get some free publicity for their cause.
We live in a city where some 50% of 15 year olds have experimented with cannabis. Many had their first taste of the drug at intermediate school age, and many got their first taste courtesy of their parents or family members. One can only speculate as to the damage that cannabis use at this age is doing to young, immature bodies and brains.
Cannabis is an illegal drug, and we hope that it remains that way. There is plenty of medical evidence as to the harm caused by repeated cannabis use. If Dakta Green and co choose to break the law let them do so at their own peril. But to threaten civil disturbance as a result of a court case of no personal interest to them is self-serving in the extreme. We hope that the police in Timaru today take a zero-tolerance approach to any illegal behaviour.