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Court Appearance Sparks Protest
Posted by Gold FM on 10/08/2012
A Waihi woman facing charges related to cannibis cultivation has said she's humbled by the support she's receiving from people pledging to protest against her charges next Tuesday at the Waihi Court House on Kenny Street. Supporters are rumoured to be coming from Auckland and Wellington to attend the protest.
Ann Vernon, who is a medicinal cannabis user and activist for cannabis reform, was busted when an Armed Offenders Squad was called out on the 26th of July, after the Waihi Police received reports of a gun being fired in Clarke Street. Two youths who were preparing to go hunting had loaded a high powered rifle which went off and went through three walls in a neighbouring house causing major concern. The young hunters went off on their hunting excursion oblivious to the damage they'd done and only realised what they'd caused when they returned from their hunting trip the next day.
During the course of the AOS call-out several houses in Ann Vernon's street had their doors kicked in and were searched, including hers. The police had received information that a firearm had been discharged in a residential street and mobilised an urgent response to protect the community. As a result of that cannabis was discovered on her property.
The 39 year old says she "uses cannabis for a number of health issues, including chronic intractable pain and post traumatic stress disorder".
Ann's supporters are asking for anyone who supports the use of cannibis for medicinal purposes to take placards to the Waihi Court House next Tuesday and use the court appearance as a chance to send a strong message to the government to change the laws and allow for it's use under certain conditions.
They say "their desire is to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society and also raise the issue that it is a human right for people to choose what goes into their body".