An 82-year-old Cornwall man twice found cultivating cannabis plants in their dozens in his garage doesn’t regret it at all and has spoken out in support of a petition aiming to make the drug more freely available on the NHS. Philip Antony Bevington, known as Tony, began to grow the plants to alleviate the symptoms of kidney disease – to “save [his] life,” as he put it.

He has a terminal condition

In 2018, Bevington was found to have stage 3 kidney failure, which is incurable and terminal. Rather than receive dialysis until his life ends and not believing he would receive a kidney transplant at his age, Bevington, who was a paramedic in London for a decade prior to moving to Cornwall to take up farming, conducted some online research and elected to grow cannabis plants himself when he bought CBD oil and it didn’t work.

The law is an ass

Bevington admits to lawbreaking but declares that, in its current form, the law “is an ass.” He protests that he doesn’t deal drugs. He made no secret of his activities and confessed when two police officers called at his house investigating a “strong smell of cannabis” and asked him if he grew the stuff; he led them to his 30 cannabis plants. He doesn’t “fiddle the electrics,” as cannabis farm owners so often do. But “when I said it was my medicine, the police officer didn’t care.” To anyone who grouses about the illegality of cannabis, his response is: “[i]s it better to be illegally alive or legally dead?” When his crop was confiscated, Bevington felt he had no option other than to grow cannabis again, but his home was raided once more six months later in January 2020.

He’d do it again

Bevington would happily do it again because his health got better in “leaps and bounds.” His blood readings improved, his pain went, he was eating better, and he was sleeping very soundly: “Essentially, I went back to normal.” But he lived permanently in fear on account of his lawbreaking, always expecting the police to pay him a visit. He felt no guilt because he was saving his life. He is “just scared and angry” that the law doesn’t recognise how “this amazing plant” is benefiting him.

His punishment

Bevington was hit with a two-year suspended sentence at Truro Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis plants. He could have stated his case had he requested a jury trial or appealed against his sentence, but he preferred to avoid the years of stress this would entail. He wrote to Robert Buckland, the secretary of state for justice, a few times. He now gets cannabis on the NHS, although few people get it on prescription, but describes its quality as “abysmal” and laments the cost.

He’s in the news again

Bevington is in the news again now that TOWIE star Amy Childs is

An 82-year-old Cornwall man twice found cultivating cannabis plants in their dozens in his garage doesn’t regret it at all and has spoken out in support of a petition aiming to make the drug more freely available on the NHS. Philip Antony Bevington, known as Tony, began to grow the plants to alleviate the symptoms of kidney disease – to “save [his] life,” as he put it.

He has a terminal condition

In 2018, Bevington was found to have stage 3 kidney failure, which is incurable and terminal. Rather than receive dialysis until his life ends and not believing he would receive a kidney transplant at his age, Bevington, who was a paramedic in London for a decade prior to moving to Cornwall to take up farming, conducted some online research and elected to grow cannabis plants himself when he bought CBD oil and it didn’t work.

The law is an ass

Bevington admits to lawbreaking but declares that, in its current form, the law “is an ass.” He protests that he doesn’t deal drugs. He made no secret of his activities and confessed when two police officers called at his house investigating a “strong smell of cannabis” and asked him if he grew the stuff; he led them to his 30 cannabis plants. He doesn’t “fiddle the electrics,” as cannabis farm owners so often do. But “when I said it was my medicine, the police officer didn’t care.” To anyone who grouses about the illegality of cannabis, his response is: “[i]s it better to be illegally alive or legally dead?” When his crop was confiscated, Bevington felt he had no option other than to grow cannabis again, but his home was raided once more six months later in January 2020.

He’d do it again

Bevington would happily do it again because his health got better in “leaps and bounds.” His blood readings improved, his pain went, he was eating better, and he was sleeping very soundly: “Essentially, I went back to normal.” But he lived permanently in fear on account of his lawbreaking, always expecting the police to pay him a visit. He felt no guilt because he was saving his life. He is “just scared and angry” that the law doesn’t recognise how “this amazing plant” is benefiting him.

His punishment

Bevington was hit with a two-year suspended sentence at Truro Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis plants. He could have stated his case had he requested a jury trial or appealed against his sentence, but he preferred to avoid the years of stress this would entail. He wrote to Robert Buckland, the secretary of state for justice, a few times. He now gets cannabis on the NHS, although few people get it on prescription, but describes its quality as “abysmal” and laments the cost.

He’s in the news again

Bevington is in the news again now that TOWIE star Amy Childs is campaigning to have cannabis more readily available on the NHS. Bevington is lending his support.

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