Billy McKee, who hosts the GreenCross NZ medical cannabis users website, was arrested in 2010 on charges relating to his medical cannabis use.
Billy campaigns for legalisation of cannabis, and considers that it is one of the best medications to deal with chronic pain.
Supporters from Invercargill to Auckland converged on Palmerston North on September 3, 2012 outside the District Court to stage a peaceful protest in support of Billy Mckee.
Billy lost a leg below the knee when a drunk driver deliberately rammed his motorbike over 30 years ago. The incident resulted in him being confined to a wheelchair and in constant pain from nerve damage to the stump as well as suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
The pain medications he was prescribed by doctors caused intolerable side effects where even driving was considered unsafe. He found that the only thing that controlled his pain, depression, irritability and other symptoms, while still allowing him to function, was cannabis.
This led him to study the medical benefits of cannabis, become a counsellor and form GreenCross, an organisation devoted to helping sick people obtain relief through the medicinal use of cannabis.
McKee now faces jail time for running GreenCross and helping sick patients obtain their medicine.
He was entrapped by an undercover police officer posing as someone suffering from severe migraines. McKee said that migraines can indicate in the early stages of brain tumors and many people have found that cannabis relieves the symptoms of migraines and allows them to function normally.
McKee accepted the young man as being a genuine sufferer. The undercover cop appealed to his compassion in asking Billy to supply him with cannabis. Billy says, “I was really worried about him.”
As a result of trying to help someone, Billy is now facing charges that could see him sent to prison for up to eight years. Prison terms have also been imposed on other medical cannabis users due to a law that lacks compassion.
McKee, who is going to a jury trial, is calling for jury nullification of the charges of the grounds they breach his human rights.
The case continues on Tuesday morning, beginning at 10.00am in Palmerston North District Court.
Tuesday’s Court hearings were mostly held in closed Court, due to Police undercover investigators testifying. Evidence was not completed by the close of day and the hearings were adjourned until Wednesday morning.
Wednesday saw the end of evidence production and summing up by the Crown prosecutor and defense. The Jury retired at 11am to consider the charges, and came out with verdicts at 2.25pm after breaking for lunch.
Billy McKee was convicted on five charges. Sentencing has been set down for Palmerston North District Court on the 30th October, 2012. Billy has been bailed to his home address while awaiting sentencing.