Bid to free Dr Pot: 'There will be a lot of sympathy for him'

Katelaris makes cannabis oil for sick patients.
Katelaris makes cannabis oil for sick patients.

MEDICINAL cannabis workshop will be held at Nimbin this weekend despite one of its leading advocates sitting behind bars.

Deregistered Sydney doctor Andrew Katelaris, dubbed "Dr Pot'', is in custody after being arrested on December 5 and remanded until January 24, when he will have a bail hearing.

Mr Katelaris was previously arrested after his home was raided in May and he was charged with the supply and manufacturing of cannabis.

Police alleged they had found cannabis and cash suspected as being the proceeds of crime at the 62-year-old pro-cannabis campaigner's house.

Mr Katelaris was also ­referred to police in 2016 after injecting two women suffering from ovarian cancer with ­cannabis oil and previously lost his licence in 2005 after giving medicinal marijuana to sick children.

The outspoken campaigner has been to every Medicinal workshop at Nimbin and nearly every MardiGrass festival for the past 25 years, according to Australian HEMP Party president Michael Balderstone.

"He's in jail because he ­refuses to stop helping people," Mr Balderstone said yesterday.

"I would say he's been a pioneer in teaching various ways of how to use cannabis.

"There will be a lot of sympathy for him."

Mr Balderstone said a Go Fund Me page was set up to raise $500,000 to help with legal representation costs for Mr Katelaris.

Mr Balderstone said the medicinal cannabis workshop would include international medical practitioners and local healers, solicitors and patients.

Australian doctors trained in extracting medicinal oil from cannabis would demonstrate the method with legal herbs. There would also be lawyers' advice on how ­cannabis can be used legally.

"We're getting doctors and healers together, it's really popular," he said.

"There will be a few hundred people. We get so many inquiries.''

He said although it was still very difficult to obtain medicinal cannabis legally, he was confident there would be easier access to the product for those who needed it.

Advocates believed cannabis could be used to treat conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Chrone's disease, depression and anxiety.

Currently those who want to use medicinal marijuana need to apply through a TIC Scheme and be suffering a ­terminal illness.

The workshop begins at 11am each day and will be held at the Bush Theatre at the northern end of Nimbin.

Topics:  andrew katelaris marijuana

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