Stop smoking pot or move overseas, magistrate warns
A MAGISTRATE has warned a Northern Rivers woman not to flout NSW's strict medicinal cannabis rules.
Lismore Local Court heard the Nimbin woman, who had pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge, lived with various serious health conditions not covered by medicinal cannabis legislation when she appeared on Monday.
The court heard the woman's doctor was "seeking to formalise" a situation in which she could access cannabis legally as medicine.
In sentencing her, Magistrate David Heilpern said NSW was in a "twilight zone" in respect of legislation.
He said the woman's criminal record, involving prior cannabis offences as far back as 2003, was "not helpful" but acknowledged her array of conditions.
"(She) is not using cannabis so she can go out and party," he said.
He warned her, however, that NSW's strict medicinal cannabis legislation did not mean you could simply use the drug without any consequence.
"If you want to use cannabis without (coming before the court) you can do so in most of the United States for medical reasons," Mr Heilpern said.
"You can do so in most of mainland Europe."
He told the woman the same was the case in Canada, while New Zealand also had broad medicinal cannabis laws.
"You can't live in Nimbin and ... continue to smoke cannabis despite the legislation," he said.
"If you want to move somewhere you can continue to use cannabis ... you can do so.
"Unless you stop using cannabis in NSW in time you'll go to jail.
"If you're not happy with the drug laws being as they, are then that's something you need to take to your parliamentarian.
"I cannot assist you by anything other than applying the law."
The same day, Mr Heilpern warned another woman caught with a small amount of "magic mushrooms" during Nimbin's Mardigrass of potentially fatal consequences of seeking that drug.
He warned her instances where the coroners court had dealt with matters in which people had mistakenly eaten deadly mushrooms which they thought were either ordinary, edible, mushrooms or the hallucinogenic variety.
Both women received 12 month good behaviour bonds.