Too late: 'I’m expected to be dead by Christmas.'

WITH cancer riddled throughout his 57-year-old liver, Gordon Skippen smokes marijuana to ease his pain.

But the cost to improve his wellbeing and boost his hunger in a "more natural way" has been huge.

"I can't afford it anymore and it's not like I can just grow it like I did in my younger years," he said.

Gordan said it could cost up to $400 for just one ounce of black-market cannabis.

But draft changes to the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 may soon change all that.

If approved by federal parliament later this year, the changes will make the regulated cultivation of cannabis for medical and scientific use lawful and allow state governments to decide whether to decriminalise home cultivation of the plant for pain-relief.

But the state and federal parliamentarian change in attitude has come a little too late for the terminally ill Maryborough man.

"I'm expected to be dead by Christmas," Gordon said.

Every time Gordon lights up a joint, he risks being carted to jail for breaching a suspended sentence handed down to him at the Maryborough Magistrates Court in September.

Gordon pleaded guilty to charges which included the publication of instructions for dangerous drugs and possession of dangerous drug utensils.

"But the dangerous drugs are the man-made drugs... and it really takes a man's freedom away," he said.

"Everyone who is sick should be able to grow their own plants in their backyard."

He said both the cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol chemicals helped to restore his appetite, to become restful and to relieve his pain.

Gordon, who is also the president of the Cannabis Growers Association of South-East Queensland, said anyone who had used marijuana would know more about its medicinal uses than any government bureaucrat. "But we've always known about its benefits," he said.

Now he hopes the wheels are in motion for people to decide whether to grow at home.



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