An advocate for medical marijuana spent only a few hours on home detention before his monitoring bracelet was removed while the Supreme Court decides if it will hear his appeal against drug convictions.
William "Billy" Duffield McKee, 58, started a six-month home detention sentence on Friday.
But after only a couple of hours, he told the Manawatu Standard, his bracelet was taken off while New Zealand's highest court considers whether to grant him a hearing.
After a trial in the Palmerston North District Court last year, McKee was found guilty of four charges of selling cannabis and one of cultivating the drug.
He was sentenced to 12 months' home detention but this was halved by the Court of Appeal, although that court refuse to quash McKee's convictions.
Now McKee has asked the Supreme Court to consider the matter. He is appealing both his convictions and sentence.
"I seek a judgment that legalises the medical use of cannabis," he said in his submission to the court.
McKee is appealing on the basis that the judge did not instruct jurors of their right to judge the validity of a law and that the undercover police sting targeting him amounted to entrapment.
McKee had a leg amputated more than 30 years ago after he was hit by a vehicle and he uses cannabis for pain relief. He hosted the GreenCross website, which promoted cannabis use for treating medical ailments.
Between February 2010 and May 2011, McKee was targeted in a police operation. On four occasions, he sold small amounts of cannabis to an undercover police officer claiming to suffer from migraines.
In a subsequent raid, officers found 66 cannabis plants at his house.
McKee's appeal application also said provisions of the Bill of Rights and Magna Carta allowed juries to overturn decisions they did not think were right.
McKee said his own rights under the Bill of Rights had been breached, as taking away his personal cannabis supply effectively amounted to cruel treatment.
"The use of medicinal cannabis is necessary medicine for me and I consider it to be tantamount to my right to life and security."
McKee has asked the court to interpret the law to allow medical cannabis users to possess the drug and supply it to other medical users.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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