After facing charges of cultivating and possessing cannabis, following a police raid on his home that yielded over one hundred cannabis plants, Stephen Taylor pleaded not guilty. The 64-year old, father-of-two says he was pleading guilty “on the grounds of medical necessity.” He told the media outside the courthouse that it was the first step in his courtroom journey but that he felt confident going forward.
But why on earth would this mid-sixty-year-old man be getting caught up in the murky world of cannabis? Those two things hardly go hand in hand, so why would it have happened?
The answer, of course, couldn’t be more straightforward family.
Mr Taylor’s problems began more than five years ago when his two daughters, Morgan and Ariel, began to suffer from the auto-immune disease known as Crohn’s Disease, also known as IBD. This is an inflammatory disease of the intestines, that affects the colon. As a father, he had to watch as Ariel had her colon removed and then Morgan was fitted with a stoma bag to her small intestine. After half a decade of this, it’s not hard to empathize with how one would take action. Mr Taylor acted by growing his own cannabis products to help his daughters. He was good at it too as you can see how many plants the police removed.
In recent years we’ve learned how beneficial CBD (cannabidiol) can be for helping to alleviate pain and for its anti-inflammatory benefits. While the benefits are apparent through multiple studies, cannabis as an industry faces a lot of stigma at large. Coupled to that it’s also banned in many places or on controlled substances lists. If it weren’t for these factors its likely doctors would have recommended it to Ariel and Morgan Taylor. Popular opinion is changing as exemplified by Greg Barns, a leading barrister in Australia, taking Mr Taylor’s case with no fee.
It’s about time that the legal system recognized that there are serious benefits to be gained by some people from medical marijuana. Drastic medical conditions like Crohn’s disease demand drastic, powerful medicine. Cannabis and CBD are largely unexplored avenues of medical exploration and it seems like there may be no end to its uses.
While no official decision has been made it is hoped that it will turn in Mr Taylor’s favour. What could be a better result for this coming Father’s Day?