Prison sentence for man who grew hemp seeds is a ‘miscarriage of justice’ say Hertfordshire Cannabis Club

Cambridge Crown Court.

Cambridge Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

The 18-month prison sentence handed out to a Stevenage man who grew hemp to manage his arthritis pain has been called an “appalling miscarriage of justice” by a pro-legalisation group.

Anthony Loftman, 54, of Church Lane, planted hemp seeds he took from a bag of bird seed and then used the flowers to take away his pain.

He was given an 18 month prison sentence at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday for production of a class B drug.

Hertfordshire Cannabis Club has expressed outrage at the sentence, saying the drugs are ‘not illegal’.

Club spokeswoman Rebecca Walters said: “This is simply an appalling miscarriage of justice.

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“Mr Loftmann has been imprisoned for treating his own pain in the safest, cheapest, and most effective way possible.

“The sentence handed down to him by the judge was utterly disproportionate and showed a truly shocking lack of compassion.

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“He was harming nobody, in fact he was doing the opposite.

“The fate that has befallen him at the hands of the criminal justice system in this country should shock and appal in equal measure, and be a timely reminder of the absurdity of a drug policy which punishes the sick and vulnerable as if they were hardened criminals.”

She added: “It is high time we moved away from a system of criminalisation for cannabis users and towards a more compassionate, logical and evidence based approach, before anyone else falls victim to this insane, ideological war on some people who use drugs.”

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