Date set for drug trial of Nimbin's Peter 'The Rock' Till
CANNABIS crusader Peter "The Rock" Till has been ruled fit to stand trial over serious drugs charges in relation to the alleged seizure of 500 cannabis plants near Nimbin last year.
Lismore District Court Judge Laura Wells handed down her decision in the matter on Tuesday this week after an earlier hearing held on November 22 to assess whether Till, 50, was mentally fit to face a trial.
The Mountain Top resident will represent himself at the trial, something he has done at most court appearances since his March arrest.
It is listed to start on March 19 in Lismore District Court and run for five days.
Till remains in custody on remand, where he has been since breaching strict bail conditions shortly after his arrest nine months ago.
Last month District Court Judge Dina Yehia refused to grant Till bail after a hearing, despite Till giving evidence that he suffered from a long-term gut problem and poor eyesight which was getting worse in jail.
Judge Yehia found granting bail an "unacceptable risk" in the November 3 hearing due to a "strong" Crown case and Till's "history of non-compliance with bail conditions".
Till has repeatedly told the court he uses cannabis to cope with chronic pain.
The outspoken cannabis advocate was arrested on March 22 after allegedly Facebooking himself at an outdoor bush cannabis plantation.
Police subsequently raided the property and allegedly seized more than 500 plants worth an estimated street value of $700,000.
Till stands accused of one count of cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis and one count of supplying an indictable quantity of the drug.
The maximum penalty for commercial cultivation of cannabis is 15 years' jail.
At a prior District Court mention on August 23, Till told the court "the law does not apply" to his case because his actions were a "medical, political and religious protest".
He cited at least five sections of the Australian Constitution to argue the Crown case was "useless" and "irrelevant" because there was "good intent" when he committed the alleged crimes.
He also claimed the land on which the plants were growing was "community space".
The trial is listed to start on March 19 next year in Lismore District Court, with an estimated duration of five days.
It is also listed for a preliminary mention on March 15.