A couple who allegedly supply cannabis to dozens of chronically ill children and adults have been charged with cultivating the drug on their East Gippsland property.
Police throughly searched Heather Gladman and Liam Hotham’s Bradley Road home in Sale, just after 9am on Thursday, seizing 70 plants.
Ms Gladman and Mr Hotham have been active in the fight to legalise medical marijuana across Victoria.
Heather Gladman and Liam Hotham say they are “shattered” by the criminal charges against them.
“The quality of life of those who we supply to is now in danger”, Heather Gladman said.
“Im not a criminal. I’m trying to help these families. I don’t charge them anything.”
One of the cannabis plants seized was a seedling a Victorian family sourced from Canada that was meant to help their eight-year-old son cope with an inoperable brain tumour.
“When (the seedling) has kept (the) boy with an inoperable brain tumour alive and people have said to me it’s the first time in eight years they haven’t felt pain, it brings tears to my eyes we won’t be able to supply it to them”, Matthew Hotham said.
Heather Graham and Liam Hotham say they will not only fight the charges but continue to grow and supply to those in need.
“(I won’t stop growing) not on your life. I will plant more seeds.”
“I’m nearly 60 years old and I want the laws to change before I die.”
In October, the Andrews Government announced it would move to legalise access to locally manufactured medical cannabis for children with cancer or epilepsy.
However, a spokesperson for Mr Andrews said despite newly introduced legislation, aimed for early next year, the current law must be respected.
Mr Hotham and Ms Gladman will appear at the Sale Magistrates Court March 15.