Sunday, February 20, 2011

The injustice system

Here is the story of Peter Davy, in his own words. You can support him in his fight here, or try the Peter Davy Challenge.

My name is Peter Davy and I am 51 years old. I pleaded guilty in Timaru Court (New Zealand) to cultivation of cannabis and associated charges. The judge told me to expect a prison sentence on March 16th when I go up for sentencing because it is about the fifth time I have been convicted. I have cancer and I am 24 hour caregiver for my partner who has advanced Multiple Sclerosis. She is dying and will die without me. I am not trying to use her an excuse however... this is my crusade not hers.... just pointing out the facts... as in the complete lack of empathy and compassion in our present justice system.

This is about Medical Marijuana and a police force that continually lies to make themselves look good. Firstly I want to make it clear that I will be going on a hunger strike the moment I am given a prison sentence and I absolutely do not want to be force fed under any circumstances. I will also be refusing all cancer medication. I am 100% committed to continuing with a hunger strike until I am dead.

I want the opportunity to give my side of the story because I have been refused that right over and over. I always plead guilty so there is never a trial where I can present my side of things. At no time have I ever had a lawyer that even believes me.... let alone has the ability to give highly technical information to a court. I only started smoking marijuana ten years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer... before that I was one of the top computer engineers in the country and the IT Manager for the South Taranaki District Council. Since I started smoking cannabis I have been targeted by gangsters and police alike and already been to prison once where I attempted suicide.

My IQ has been tested by a Forensic Psychologist as being in the top 5% in the country... and that despite failing all the maths questions. So I am not a stupid man and would not willingly put myself through ten years of hell unless I truly had a good reason. I would be the first to admit that I have done some really stupid things in that ten years and paid the consequences... but my conscience is clear. I am obsessive about anything I truly believe in which is why I was such a good computer engineer. I research everything to death and am extreme in what I do. I have never been a dealer or a gangster as the police have continually tried to make out... and still are. The police like to make themselves look good and have never ever shown the slightest bit of interest in the truth.

The truth is that I genuinely believe in Medical Marijuana... not as an excuse for recreational use... but as a scientifically proven medicine for specific medical conditions. I have had to do all my own research and I have continually tried... on my own... to breed a better medical strain specifically for medical use. This is highly technical from a plant breeding perspective and a medical research perspective. I can stand up without notes and debate my science with anybody... to prove that I am not bluffing... I can explain what and why and how. I am willing to go up against any scientist anybody cares to put against me... or any Govt plant breeder.... just to show that I really do know my stuff and am genuine. I am willing to do that on live TV because I've had enough of all the lies and half truths. This is all about science... and always has been... and nothing at all to do with deliberate criminal activity.

I want the opportunity to tell my side of the story... on TV... or in the newspaper... before I get locked up. I want the public of New Zealand to know exactly why I am going on a hunger strike. Our so called Justice system has never ever given me that opportunity. If I'm wrong and my science is flawed... then so be it... but I want to go down for the truth... not a pack of lies. The sick and weak are being persecuted in this country by a police force that has become a law unto themselves and everybody is too scared to speak out. I don't blame them because everytime I've tried to speak out through the "appropriate" channels, I've been slammed. I can name over 20 politicians and Government Departments that I have approached over the last ten years and been completely ignored... or worse. You should see what happens in this country if you dare to make a complaint to the IPCA (Independant Police Complaints Authority). I have tried to talk to medical doctors (including my own endocrinologists) and they can't get rid of me fast enough.... yet at no time have I been trying to convince anybody that I am right. All I've wanted is expert opinion to add to my own research or just a chance to explain what I'm doing to somebody with enough technical, scientific or medical knowledge to understand. It's pretty lonely trying to fight the world by yourself.

Let me be clear that I hate confrontation and I hate publicity but I have nothing to lose anymore and somebody has to make a stand... or nothing ever changes. I have absolutely no experience at all at this sort of thing but all I know is that I want to give my side of the story. I truly believe in what I have been doing and in a just society I should be at least allowed to give my side of the story. I am frightened because I expect a smear campaign.... that is the way the system seems to work in this country and I have done some stupid things.... but like I said... I have nothing left to lose. My partner will die without me and it will be all because of a pack of lies.

I am also writing a book about my experiences and have currently written 100,000 words. I hope to have it finished by the time I go to prison so the whole country knows why I am going on a hunger strike. I am not a troublemaker and have tried everything I can think of to settle this matter without involving the media... instead I've just antagonised people and made things worse. Apparently one of the most serious crimes of all in this country is to dare to question the actions of the police or dare to suggest that politicians are making a mistake.

Please note that I have nothing at all against the police... other than my own personal issues. I am sure that overall they do a great job. This is really all about Medical Marijuana... not about the police. If they had been fair and honest then I would not even be mentioning them at all.

New Zealand could be leading the world in Medical Marijuana research... not following miles behind like a buch of sheep. We could be making social policy for the rest of the world to copy... instead of loading up our prison system with people who are victims not criminals. I want to be proud of my country and all I have ever done is try to make my contribution to a cause that needs champions or it will just end up in a bigger mess than it already is.

Below is just a tiny portion of my research to date:

Here are links to the medical information on the endocrine system and cannabis:


Please note that I am completely unbiased and the majority of information is negative... which I accept 100%. My particular interest is the use of Delta 9 THC cannabinoid to suppress prolactin production in a pituitary tumour. Somewhere I have research that actually shrunk a prolactinoma in rats till it could no longer be detected with an MRI, using only cannabis. Unfortunately I can't find that specific paper at the moment.

However here is links to scientific research that did shrink brain tumours in rats using externally administered cannabis. Note that one study used 50,000 rats which would yield a statistically significant result:

Links to all the best research can be found at this site... all proper research papers and done by some of the leading medical researchers in the world. You will note that the research is overwhelming:

Please note that I accept 100% that cannabis has a negative effect in many other areas... such as lowered fertility in males and possible shrinking of gonads... though there is still some controversy about that research while there is no controversy about shrinking cancer tumors with cannabis.

A much easier text to read (for non medical people) on cannabis and the endocrine system can be found here:

Please note that the applicable section (for me personally) is the reduction of prolactin secretion using cannabis.

As an interested observer I find glaring holes in all the research... both for and against. The main issue is that all the research focuses almost exclusively on Delta 9 THC which is only one of the cannibinoids found in cannabis. As an example... take any antipsychotic drug that is given with another drug to reduce side-effects... in other words the second drug blocks or inhibits part of the action of the first drug. So for all we know there are cannibinoids that block or inhibit other cannabinoids. I have always said... like most things in life... it is about the balance of these cannabinoids and different balances (which can be specifically bred into a plant) will have different medical effects... both negative and positive.

All my research to date has been on very rare cannabis strains containing THCV:

I went to enormous trouble to track down seeds for these strains (there is only a handful in the whole world... all tropical), many of which are now extinct. I was the only person in the world who had the original Thai THCV strain which became extinct in the wild in 1982. A researcher in Switzerland sent me his last ten seeds which I inbred and bulked up... all of which were seized by the Timaru police.

At no time have I ever said that cannabis is a safe drug or that it should be used recreationally. I fully agree that it has scientifically validated negative effects and my research and Plant Breeding has focused on trying to breed a variety that has reduced negative effects with an increase in positive medical effects. In particular, in addition to my own endocrine issues, I have concentrated on trying to breed a plant very narrowly targeted at alleviating Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. All my research in this area can be scientifically validated:

In the case of MS the negative effects of cannabis are not even scientifically relevant because people with MS (my partner who is dying) are suffering so much anyway and are in fact terminally ill. Most will die (including my partner) long before any negative effects of cannabis use manifest themselves. It is cruel in the extreme to prevent access to cannabis for MS sufferers. I challenge anybody to watch what my partner goes through on a daily basis and then look me in the eye and say she should not be allowed access to cannabis if it makes her life even a tiny bit more bearable. Easy to make these decisions about other people when you're perfectly healthy yourself... but try walking a mile in my partner's footsteps.

The research for cannabis and MS has been done over and over and the results are conclusive. I have simply been trying to extend that research into a more MS focused approach rather than just using the approach that "all cannabis is the same" because it isn't. This is my area of expertise and cannabis varieties differ enormously in effect. Most of the people in power making decisions about Medical Marijuana have absolutely no idea at all what they are talking about. They are not up with the latest research, they have their own political agendas which have nothing to do with true science and most of all they have no real world experience of what they are talking about.

As I have been saying for ten years... I am almost unique in that I have a pituitary tumour...

..... a high level of intelligence, experience in plant breeding and an almost exhaustive knowledge of cannabis... so I am ideally positioned to conduct trials and experiments on myself... which I have been doing for ten years now.  I have no wish to destroy my brain cells, that is just crazy and I was quite depressed to find out how much my brain reaction time has slowed down when I carried out an IQ test conducted by the Forensic Psychologist Dr Sue Galvin a few years ago. I have no issues with her findings and they worry me. That is the whole reason I think my research is important.

My brain used to be razor sharp and fast as lightning. You can ask anybody that knew me back then. I was one of the very top computer engineers in this country. The minute I started taking pituitary tumour drugs (Bromocriptine and Dostinex)...

.... I knew that I had lost my edge. Something was missing. My brain was all over the place and I couldn't focus on a single task anymore. I felt depressed for no reason all the time with a feeling of impending doom. I also had nausea, headaches and cold sweats. It was/is a horrible feeling. I miss my razor sharp brain. When I discovered cannabis it helped me a lot but I would be the first to admit that it still didn't give me back whatever it was I had lost. The benefits outweighed the disadvantages though. It worried me that I scored very high (top 5% of the population) on a properly conducted IQ test but Dr Galvin noted repeatedly that my reaction time (the time it took me to get the correct answer) was abnormally slow in many tests and that I displayed mental fogginess in the maths tests. Note that my score in maths tests was very poor (average to below average) yet my overall score was still in the top 5% of the population. If I had done better in the maths then my IQ would be in the genius to high genius range. Dr Galvin hypothesised that my use of cannabis may have been an influential factor in my terrible score on maths tests and I have no reason to disagree. That worries me a lot... so don't think I'm happy about needing cannabis... on the contrary I have been almost obsessive at trying to breed a strain that alleviates negative symptoms of pituitary disorder without such a negative effect on brain speed and function.

It is also important to note that I have been used as a guinea pig by a long selection of doctors who tried various prescription drugs (anti-psychotics, ant-depressants, tranquilisers, pain-killers... etc) which turned my life into a living hell. Not one legal drug had the slightest beneficial effect. They turned me into a zombie, slowed my brain to a standstill and made it feel like mush, made me suicidal, I felt half asleep all the time, I slept all the time, I had nightmares, I became impotent and my prolactin levels increased. Note that a pituitary tumour in a male causes impotence and dangerously high prolactin levels... so prescription drugs that did the same made me terribly messed up. I gave all these doctors a fair go because I wanted my life back as much as anybody.

What really upset me is that doctors hate being told that their treatment isn't working... even if it isn't. So as well as feeling like hell I had the additional stress of trying to deal with doctors who wouldn't even listen when I told them it was making me worse. Their usual reaction was to increase the dose until I no longer felt the slightest bit human at all. The adverse effects of cannabis have always been minimal in comparison to any prescription drug that I was encouraged to take. Let me make a point here... doctors go on about the "negative" effects of cannabis... but conveniently ignore the fact that the negative effects of precription drugs (especially anti-psychotics) are a thousand times worse. Severe nausea, depression to the point of suicide, mental fogginess, liver failure, heart disease, messed up white blood cells... those drugs can kill you. Cannabis has never killed anybody.

Everybody says to me "but medical cannabis is illegal." Well I know that obviously... but just because you make a law it doesn't somehow make cancer go away or cure Multiple Sclerosis. It doesn't do anything except make life even worse for sick people. If I go to court for growing Medical Marijuana and get a light sentence... then I come up a year later and the judge is angry because I offended again... I don't get it... the cancer didn't go away just because I got a light sentence the first time... nothing has changed... yet I have to present all the exact same medical evidence all over again... and invariably get a much harsher sentence and maybe go to prison. I just don't understand that. Either Medical marijuana works or it doesn't and the law has absolutely nothing to do with that. This is about science and medicine and tinkering around with the law doesn't somehow make the science more valid or less valid. If a law is unjust and inhumane then all the rhetoric in the world won't alter the underlying fact that it is a stupid law to start with.

To summarise Thoreau... "There are two types of laws: just and unjust. Every individual in a society has a responsibility to obey just laws and, even more importantly, to disobey and resist unjust laws."


An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. – Martin Luther King Jr.

or  (my personal favourite)

If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so. – Thomas Jefferson

If NZ does eventually legalise Medical Marijuana then we want the safest possible form of the drug, specifically targeted for medical use... not some generalised ad hoc form of the drug that will be abused by recreational users. I can stand up in any court in this land, without notes to refer to... and explain Mendel's theory of inheritance that I used as the basis for my Plant Breeding experiments... I can explain every single experiment I've ever done... I can explain the significance of the different alkaloids or cannibinoids and why it is the ratio that is important... rather than a single cannabinoid like THC. Non scientific people probably won't understand me but I am happy to do it none the less. I am happy to debate the matter with any scientist the court might wish to appoint if they want to try and say I am a fake.