Hervey Bay Court. Photo: Tracey Joynson
Hervey Bay Court. Photo: Tracey Joynson

Woman forced to break law or live in pain, court hears

BREAK the law or live in pain.

That is the decision a Booral woman says she was forced to make when the high cost of medicinal marijuana left her unable to purchase her prescription.

Growing a marijuana crop to manage her suffering landed her before Hervey Bay Magistrates Court.

Sally Maree Nola Alderton, was sentenced alongside her husband Simon Edwin Alderton for a number of drug offences relating to the production and supply of marijuana.

Suffering from chronic back, neck and shoulder pain, Alderton had been prescribed medicinal marijuana to manage her suffering.

But at a cost of $512 a month for the correct dosage, the couple were financially unable to sustain the treatment.

It was then they set about growing their own crop in an effort to help Alderton self-medicate.

On October 3, police executed a search warrant at their Booral home.

They found 39 cannabis plants and cuttings up to 60cm in height as well as cannabis seeds and 9.9 grams of cannabis.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Sonia Edwards said the couple had been very co-operative with police.

The court heard when Mrs Alderton had been prescribed expensive medical cannabis the couple was unable to afford, her husband had tended the crop and supplied his wife with the drug.

The court heard the couple couldn’t financially sustain obtaining that particular product and had made the ill-advised decision to grow it.

Her husband was fined $1000 for his part in growing and supplying the marijuana and a conviction was recorded.

When she was sentenced, Alderton stood and addressed the court, telling Magistrate Stephen Guttridge at a cost of thousands of dollars a year, the treatment she needed was out of reach.

“I produced and used a dangerous drug because I could afford it,” she said.

Mrs Alderton was given a good behaviour bond with a surety of $600 and no conviction was recorded.

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