LEGALISATION BID: Marijuana legalisation campaigner Margaret O'Rance (third from left) outside Gympie Magistrates Court with supporters (from left) Fergus McCrohan, Deb Lynch, Debbie Waldron and Grace Sands.
LEGALISATION BID: Marijuana legalisation campaigner Margaret O'Rance (third from left) outside Gympie Magistrates Court with supporters (from left) Fergus McCrohan, Deb Lynch, Debbie Waldron and Grace Sands. Arthur Gorrie

Goomeri's legal dope campaign goes to court

CRIPPLED former nurse Margaret Therese O'Rance struggled with chronic pain and immobility as she hobbled into Gympie Magistrates Court this week

There, she announced her defiance of Queensland drug laws, which she said would turn her into a morphine addict rather than let her take "harmless” marijuana.

"I'm practising civil disobedience,” the 66-year-old retiree and invalid pensioner told the court on Tuesday.

She pleaded not guilty to unlawful marijuana production and possession charges from July 4, when Tactical Response Group police, Gympie detectives and Goomeri officers raided her home.

Her plea was based on the defence of compulsion as outlined in Section 31 of the Queensland Criminal Code.

She unsuccessfully argued that she was compelled by constant pain and depression to take a drug which she said was safer than morphine.

She told the court society had no right to force her onto morphine and stop her choosing marijuana.

She said she was compelled to continue using marijuana because her suffering would drive her to suicide without it.

From a city of millions to a Gympie region town of a few hundred, O'Rance said she had left her nursing work at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, only to find herself at the wrong end of Queensland's marijuana laws.

She accused Queensland Health of threatening any of its doctors who wanted to prescribe medical marijuana and said many specialists resisted prescribing it out of prejudice.

It was also more expensive than the black market product and that was why she was attempting to grow it under lights at her Goomeri home.

Magistrate Graham Hillan said the compulsion referred to in legislation meant being compelled by a person.

He convicted her of the production and possession charges and two other charges of possessing implements and equipment, but ordered no further punishment and no recorded conviction.

Gympie Times


‘Come outside b---h’: Man shoots gun at 67yo mum

Premium Content ‘Come outside b---h’: Man shoots gun at 67yo mum

The Warwick court heard the man was so ‘grossly intoxicated’ he had no memory of...

Game-changing $175m entertainment precinct for Wellcamp announced

Premium Content Game-changing $175m entertainment precinct for Wellcamp...

WAGNER Corporation and the Queensland Government will today unveil plans for a $175...

Labor electorates scored double the funding

Premium Content Labor electorates scored double the funding

“Sports rorts” scandal has rocked the Palaszczuk Government