EDITORIAL: Is it worth pursuing a dying man for pot charges?


THERE is strong medical evidence showing medicinal marijunana can benefit people with certain conditions, and many high profile people are vocal about their support.

Even former Member for Hinkler Paul Neville has said he would like to see more research done into the matter, after cannabis oil helped his grand-daughter.

Maryborough's Gordon Skippen, the president of the Cannabis Growers Association of South-East Queensland, may not have the political or academic recognition of some other supporters - and he admits he has a long history of drug use.

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But he does raise an interesting point: is it worth pursuing a dying man over what is considered by many to be a fairly minor offence?

Abuse of prescription drugs like morphine is a huge problem in Australia, and the side effects can be just as dangerous.

But it's legal, and marijuana isn't.

I can understand Mr Skippen's frustration, but in his shoes, I wouldn't be quite so open about my intention to break the law.

The law is unlikely to change before he succumbs to liver cancer, so police would only be following the rules if he committed another offence and landed back in court.

It may have the benefit of highlighting a cause he believes passionately in, but it would be a horrific ending to die while in jail - even if he says he is prepared to do so.