Southwest drug user drives 670+km for supplies, defends use

A southwest Queensland man suffering through severe pain has wound up in court after travelling to the Sunshine Coast to buy illegal drugs, including meth, to help him feel better.

Police found five grams of marijuana at a Little Mountain address that belonged to 64-year-old Barry Phillip Hales, the Roma Magistrates Court heard on February 3.

Police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting said another bag of substance was also found during the raid on September 17, 2020.

“The defendant stated that he wasn’t quite sure what it was but he purchased it off an acquaintance some time ago,” sergeant Whiting told the court.

Hales assumed it was speed or an amphetamine, according to sergeant Whiting.

A glass pipe, electronic scales and less than one gram of methamphetamine were also found.

Solicitor Leslee Reed said he went up to the Sunshine Coast to buy some weed and attend a podiatry appointment.

Ms Reed told the court Hales suffered from many medical conditions which causes him extreme pain.

She said he came all the way from Morven for the court hearing.

“He states he’s on the highest level of painkillers that have been prescribed to him, but he still doesn’t feel any relief from the pain,” Ms Reed said.

“He found that cannabis assisted him with his pain relief.”

Magistrate Peter Saggers told Hales that meth won’t help with his medical conditions.

“I can understand the reason for cannabis, but it’s illegal,” he said.

Magistrate Saggers queried Hales whether he had taken steps to get a prescription for medicinal marijuana.

Hales told the court it was very hard to find a doctor with a licence to do that “out here”.

Hales pleaded guilty to five charges relating to possessing marijuana, meth, and property suspected to be used in relation to committing a drug offence.

He was fined $1000 and ordered to forfeit the illegal items, but escaped having his conviction recorded.

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