Euvil Smith from St Pauls was arrested in February at his home in Byron Street for the second time in three years after police executed a search warrant. He pleaded guilty at Bristol Magistrates Court on Wednesday but was given a conditional discharge after the court heard about his medical condition.
In other words, if Mr Smith uses the cannabis plant to ease his pains and gets caught by police again (in his own home), he risks prison.
So, instead, to secure his continued freedom from prison if not freedom from the pain, he is going to have to use doctors and expensive pharmaceutical alternatives - which may or may not be as effective - and which may well be considerably more dangerous with unpleasant side-effects.
So who pays and who profits?
The taxpayer pays - both for the arrest and court procedure and criminal justice system employees and for the pills from the doctor.
Who gains - well of course the police and court officials that get paid - and then the shareholders of the drug companies.
Who loses? Mr Smith and the taxpayers.