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Hell will be unleashed across New Zealand if a Timaru man is jailed on cannabis charges today, protesters have warned.
Peter John Frances Davy, 51, unemployed, will appear in the Timaru District Court this morning. He previously admitted charges of possession of cannabis, cultivating cannabis, importing cannabis seed and unlicensed possession of a rifle.
Davy, who has cancer, said last night he would go on hunger strike if jailed today.
He maintains the cannabis he grew and smoked was for medicinal purposes and he "never shared a joint with anyone". He was also the 24-hour carer for his partner who had advanced multiple sclerosis.
If he was jailed, Davy said his partner would have to sell everything she owned and go into a rest home.
A former computer technician and journalist, he said he would sooner not have to use cannabis, but it was the only thing that helped fight the pain cancer caused.
"People are crazy if they think I don't miss my old life.
"I would love to be that person again."
He did not want people to think he wanted cannabis freely available to everyone. His cause was the use of medicinal marijuana.
"People get it all mixed up in their heads. They don't understand it at all, they think it's all about pot heads."
Davy said he was stunned at the support that had come in.
"I've had two months [of support] from people all over the world. It's great. I would have probably fallen apart it it wasn't for those people, I was so stressed."
His scheduled sentencing in March, which drew a crowd of protesters, was adjourned until today so his newly-appointed counsel could receive disclosure.
Dakta Green, who founded The Daktory to promote medical cannabis use, said protesters would be outside the Timaru court and courts around the country this morning.
"Peter Davy's story will be out. It is already a worldwide story. The whole world is watching this judge."
Asked what the reaction would be to a prison sentence, Mr Green responded: "One of extreme anger and we would rally the troops".
Members of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML) would also find other "unique and wonderful ways" to "rise up" in protest, Mr Green added.
Jasmin Hewlett was one of several NORML members travelling to Timaru today for Davy's appearance.
She had spent $500 on airline tickets to fly from Auckland and said protesters would be outside the courthouse from 9am.
Ms Hewlett said they wanted Davy to get a term of community service or get convicted and discharged. "That's the ultimate hope we're looking for. At the end of the day we don't want Peter to serve prison time."
That way, he could continue to care for his partner, she said.