A WELL known Tralee businessman has launched a national campaign calling on the government to legalise cannabis and allow users grow their own marijuana.
Thomas O'Connor, an ex-marijuana user who runs a successful business from his farm on the outskirts of Tralee, argues that he should have the right to grow and consume cannabis, a herb that, he says, can help keep people 'healthy and happy'. He believes that cannabis has potentially major health benefits and that its trade should be taken out of the hands of criminal gangs.
Thomas launched the 'Free My Weed' campaign after he was prosecuted for growing a small number of cannabis plants on his farm. That case was eventually settled when the State accepted that the plants were for his own use and he received the benefit of the Probation Act. He said: 'The State tried to say I was growing it to sell it. I wasn't. I was growing an amount that would last me the year and would mean I wouldn't have to go and buy it from some gang."