Durban - The man dubbed “the Robin Hood of cannabis oil” is waiting to hear whether he faces prosecution after a Hawks raid on his operation in Richards Bay, while Parliament continues to look into the issue of legalising the narcotic weed for medicinal purposes.
Police spokesman Brigadier Vish Naidoo said certain explanations a man raised in his defence after a drug raid a week ago in the port town still needed verification.
“He was not charged. An investigation needs to be finalised,” he said, without confirming whether the person in question was Sheldon Cramer, whose Bobby Greenhash Foundation provides the oil to cancer sufferers and other patients free of charge.
People who use his oil phoned in on Friday singing its praises.
“Thank God for the oil and that we have ‘Bobby’, that we have a man who cares about people. It’s so sad what they’re doing to him. It’s because of him that my daughter is alive,” uMhlanga resident Charmaine Sinclair said in floods of tears.
She said her daughter Sinead, 18, suffered from an undiagnosed condition, and for years had vomited and coughed constantly. She had “looked at death half her life” until she found “Bobby” on Facebook four months ago. He had provided her with the oil.
“Since then, Sinead doesn’t vomit at all, unless it’s a bug, and certainly not for 18 hours at a time, like she used to.”
A further relief is that “Bobby” provides the oil free to Sinclair, who said she had exhausted her medical aid for her daughter after she had incurred medical bills of R7 million in seven months – without doctors arriving at a diagnosis.
Another Durban beneficiary said “Bobby” contacted her after hearing about her when she was at stage four with lymphoma and dying.
“I had also been a heroin addict and had been to eight rehabs, and every single time I relapsed. I was caught with drugs and spent time in Westville Prison, where I was raped.”
She said “Bobby” had assured her he would get her out of depression and off all medication, both prescription and narcotic.
Today, a year later, she says she takes “not even a Panado”. She also claims her illness is in remission and she is ready to go out and find work.
“He said he would build me up,” she said.
That involved him sending her money every week to live.
“And I’ve never met him personally. He just wanted to help.”
Tracey du Plessis, a business manager in Joburg, told of how she endured one session of chemotherapy after being operated on for ovarian cancer.
“Twelve days later, my hair fell out.”
She switched to “Bobby’s” oil. At just R600 for 30ml of oil, she was able and willing to pay for it.
Five months later, Du Plessis said her hair was back, she had regained the weight she had lost, and she was looking good. “A CAT scan last month showed no further (cancerous) growth.”
She called cannabis oil “amazing” and “so pathetically simple” as a cure. That police had raided him was horrific.
Sarah-Jane Brown, a multiple sclerosis sufferer and cannabis oil lobbyist who used his oil, has decided to give her state disability pension to help “Bobby” with his legal costs.
Meanwhile, in Cape Town the IFP’s chief of staff in Parliament, Anthony Mitchell, said the process for cannabis to be legalised for medicinal purposes was in the hands of the portfolio committee on health.
“Until they have interrogated everything, they are unlikely to come up with a decision,” he said, adding that he did not know whether the Medical Innovation Bill would come up again shortly.
“The good news is that it has not been dismissed out of hand. They still want to interrogate it.”
Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, who had been an MP for the party before he died, had campaigned for the oil to be legalised and admitted using it to treat his lung cancer.
His appeal found an ear in the country’s top office.
“I was touched to see the man I’ve known and worked with for more than 20 years in this condition. I’ve asked the minister of health to look into this matter,” President Jacob Zuma said in Parliament.
Cramer – “Bobby’s” real surname – lashed out at the slow progress that had been made in making cannabis oil legal.
“I can’t wait for those okes to get off their ar**s while people are dying. So many patients have been cured.
“They say it needs more research. They always say it needs more research.
“The whole system is engineered to stop this from getting out.”
He said every single one of his patients was being criminalised when they were “just trying to live”.
“If I risk incarceration, so be it,” said Cramer, a qualified lawyer. “I can’t stop now.”
He said that all around the world, about 500 people depended on it to live, and the number increased daily.
“Ninety percent of them are in South Africa. These are people, not just ‘stoners’.”
Police said the raid on the Richards Bay house was part of a larger operation to bring drug dealers to book.
Naidoo said the man at its helm was a former policeman who had once been dismissed after a disciplinary hearing had found he had stolen funds.