Drugs charges dismissed against medicinal cannabis pioneer
AFTER two years of painstaking court proceedings, serious drugs charges against a leading figure in the Australian medicinal cannabis community have been dismissed.
Langdon Brown was charged with two counts of large commercial drug supply in 2016, offences which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years' jail.
Five years ago Mr Brown left a lucrative career in financial planning after watching a documentary on medicinal cannabis, and began treating others with cannabis oil at virtually no profit to himself.
But police had him in their sights.
The 2016 charges forced the closure of his young enterprise which saw 200 inquiries a day from chronically ill patients.
However last week a magistrate dismissed the charges due to a number of documented failings in police processes.
Mr Brown said Magistrate Joan Baptie, who discharged the matter last Thursday in Sydney Downing Centre Local Court, declared "no reasonable jury would convict me".
"It was a relief but I knew it was coming," Mr Brown said.
"It would be an absolute travesty to put a person in jail who did not make a profit and had been helping sick and dying people.
"To me it's like locking up an ambulance driver."
Mr Brown said police had crucially failed to property handle, store, and test the cannabis oil.
They had made the same error after he was charged the first time in 2014 with similar offences. Those charges had also been dismissed.
He said improper storage and delayed testing meant the oil was exposed to heat, causing a process known as decarbyoxylation which inflated the THC levels.
"They didn't calibrate the machines, they didn't have certification for the machines.
"They actually confiscated non-THC tincture.
He said if police had property stored and handled the vials in the first place, the charges would have been dropped two years ago.
"When they confiscated the medicine I also had the appropriate paperwork.
"That medicine was for three people under the NSW Government Terminal Ilness cannabis scheme."
The dismissal of the charges was bittersweet conclusion to Mr Langdon's effort to produce and distribute medicinal cannabis.
He said he was forced to cease producing cannabis oil immediately and wait in limbo for two years while the court proceedings slowly unfolded.
Two of his patients with cancer died soon after police confiscated the medicine.
Originally from Sydney, Mr Brown spent 18 months while on bail living in Nimbin with the support of the Nimbin Hemp Embassy.
He said he wanted to thank the people of the Nimbin and the Northern Rivers for supporting him during the court proceedings.