“I WILL stand in that courtroom proud and I will tell people that what I did was the right thing to do — the morally right thing to do.”
These were the words that medicinal cannabis oil producer Jenny Hallam said from the steps of the Adelaide Magistrates Court, moments after pleading not guilty to possessing and manufacturing a controlled drug.
She will now face a District Court trial and will elect for a jury to decide her fate.
“I pleaded not guilty because I don’t think what is happening is right,” she said on Thursday.
“I am a good person, a good decent person. I am not a criminal and I refuse to be treated like a criminal.
“I will stand in that courtroom proud and I will tell people that what I did was the right thing — the morally right thing to do.media_camera
“If I know that I can do something to save a person’s life, then I am a piece of s*** if I don’t do that. I feel like a scapegoat.”
Ms Hallam said her defence case would be mounted on the basis that providing the cannabis oil was a “medical necessity”.
“We need to prove there is no access for people who are trying to get medicinal cannabis in this country,” she said.media_camera
Ms Hallam said she was “nervous” about facing a District Court trial.
“I’m not looking forward to it but if that’s what happens, then so be it,” she said.
“Someone has to stand up and say, ‘enough is enough, we will not take this anymore and we will stand up and fight’.
Ms Hallam said she had been hopeful prosecutors would drop the charges since medicinal cannabis became legal.
“This isn’t something that anybody wants to go through but if they don’t want to drop the charges then I am happy to take this through and fight it,” she said.media_camera
“I’m going to be very happy for all the people I’ve helped, to stand up and give evidence to say what I have done for them and what I’ve done for their medical conditions.
“I’m hoping the jury will find me not guilty on the grounds of medical necessity — that I was providing a medicine to help keep people alive.
Ms Hallam said she receives up to 100 messages a day from people seeking cannabis oil for medicinal purposes.
Supporter Sharon Pickard stood by Ms Hallam outside court, saying: “I will support her until my last breath.”
Medicinal cannabis made legal for Australian patients 2:41
The exportation of medicinal cannabis will be made legal from today, in a major boost for Australian producers.
Medicinal cannabis made legal for Australian patients