Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

A Little Too Late for Gordon Skippen

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

A Little Too Late for Gordon Skippen

Article excerpt

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. …

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