Fight to save wife ends in court

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS - Elyse Wurm Elyse.Wurm@war­wick­dai­lynews.com.au

WHEN Yas­min McKil­lop was bat­tling a deadly brain tu­mour that claimed her life, she was pre­scribed en­done and oxycon­tin, which left her so lethar­gic she was slumped in chairs and robbed of the en­ergy to en­joy time with her fam­ily.

Her hus­band, James, was des­per­ate to re­lieve her pain, clutch­ing at any straw he could grab to give her the qual­ity of life she de­served.

“Her qual­ity of life was re­ally di­min­ished be­cause she was re­ally dosed up and would just sit in a chair,” Mr McKil­lop said.

After reading about the potential can­cer-fight­ing and pain re­liev­ing af­fects of mar­i­juana, they ven­tured onto the wrong side of the law in a des­per­ate plight that landed him in court.

He couldn’t bear the guilt of be­ing un­able to help his wife, de­spite wrestling the guilt of supporting the black mar­ket, so they be­gan grow­ing their own mar­i­juana plants. The Stan­thorpe man is now ad­vo­cat­ing for the drug to be le­galised so oth­ers do not have to suf­fer the same tur­moil when try­ing to help loved ones.

In Sep­tem­ber, six weeks after his wife died, po­lice raided his home.

He led of­fi­cers into his front room where they found more than 5kg of mar­i­juana, in­clud­ing 51 plants, as well as “so­phis­ti­cated” hy­dro­ponic equip­ment. He was charged with pro­duc­ing and pos­sess­ing dan­ger­ous drugs, as well as pos­sess­ing equip­ment used in the com­mis­sion of a crime.

Mr McKil­lop, a mu­si­cian who of­ten per­forms for free, ap­peared in Warwick District Court this week, plead­ing guilty to three drugs charges.

Judge Kop­penol said he would not usu­ally con­sider pro­ba­tion for the of­fences but, due to Mr McKil­lop’s back­ground, it was more ap­pro­pri­ate than a fine or jail sen­tence. Mr McKil­lop was con­victed and sen­tenced to 18 months pro­ba­tion.

After re­ceiv­ing his sen­tence, Mr McKil­lop said he hoped the tide would turn and Aus­tralia would have a plebiscite or ref­er­en­dum to le­galise mar­i­juana use.

PHOTO: LIANA WALKER

James McKil­lop is ad­vo­cat­ing for medic­i­nal mar­i­juana which his late wife Yas­min McKil­lop used to re­lieve pain.

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