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Queensland man busted for growing cannabis as oxycodone replacement

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A Queensland father has appeared before the court after he was busted growing cannabis as a replacement for his oxycodone medicine.

The 36-year-old father was arrested after police raided his Wattle Camp property on Monday, April 12th, 2021. At his home, police found a small crop of 14 cannabis plants. Seven of the plants were mature and reached up to one metre tall. 

Police also seized a water pipe, scissors, scales, and 217 grams of cannabis. The dried cannabis would be worth roughly $3,900 on Brisbane’s black market. 

The Wattle Camp man was charged with producing dangerous drugs, possessing dangerous drugs (their words), and possessing drug utensils. He pleaded guilty to all three charges in Kingaroy Magistrates court. 

According to the man’s lawyer, he had grown the cannabis as a natural replacement for his oxycodone medication. Oxycodone is an opioid commonly prescribed for pain, something the Wattle Camp man suffered from as a result of bursitis in his shoulder and a bulging disc injury. 

His lawyer told the court that he was prescribed oxycodone last year by his GP, but experienced strong side effects. He then turned to cannabis, which “quietened his mind” and improved his life considerably. 

He found that cannabis significantly reduced his pain, quietened his mind and ultimately decreased his levels of anxiety.

Though the man had been using cannabis for roughly twelve months, he had only been growing cannabis for four months. In court, Magistrate Andrew Sinclaire accepted that the Wattle Camp man was growing cannabis for personal use only. He did not record a conviction against the amateur gardener, though he did give him nine months of probation. 

Although growing your own medical cannabis is illegal in most of Australia, it could be safer than buying black market cannabis that could be synthetic and funds criminal enterprises. In all likelihood, the Wattle Camp man was in a no-win situation. Growing your own cannabis is illegal, medical cannabis can cost hundreds of dollars a month and many pain sufferers report that cannabis simply works better for them. 

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