MOUNT ZION — A Mount Zion man hit with a more than $54,000 fine for growing cannabis and producing cannabis oil in his basement told the Herald & Review he relies on the drug to give him relief from the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle A. Fair, 31, was arrested the night of May 14 after Mount Zion police raided the home he shares with his wife, Jacqlin, and three children. A sworn affidavit said police seized 25 cannabis plants, 5 pounds of cannabis and the equipment used to extract cannabis oil, a more potent form of the drug.

Fair appeared in Macon County Circuit Court on Nov. 28 and pleaded guilty to one charge of possession with intent to deliver between 500 and 2,000 grams of cannabis, a Class 2 felony. Fair was represented by defense attorney Gary Geisler. Macon County Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Shelton was in court for the prosecution.

Fair had told police he supplied cannabis oil to other customers but refused to give up their names. In addition to the $54,230 street value fine, he was also ordered to pay a $1,000 mandatory assessment fee, a $100 lab processing fee, pay $250 to have his DNA indexed by the Illinois State Police and was placed on probation for two years.

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Fair told the Herald & Review on Sunday in a telephone interview he has a prescription for medical cannabis and said it’s a quality product that meets his needs. But he said he was tempted to grow his own because the cost is so high.

“I can produce an ounce of marijuana at home for less than $20; I would pay $280 to $420 for that at the dispensary,” he said.

Fair said his own use started after he was clubbed unconscious by burglars he confronted in his home when he lived in Springfield in 2012. He said he was beaten with a heavy flashlight, a gun butt and a crowbar and left with scalp wounds that needed 32 staples to close. He said he was later tormented by vivid flashback dreams.

“I’d wake up with the fight or flight response, and I could not calm myself back down or go back to sleep,” he said. “But I found that if I used cannabis (he takes the oil orally) before bed, I don’t dream at all and get a full night’s sleep.”

He said one person he was helping by supplying with cannabis oil was treating a “loved one’s non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,” a type of cancer. Fair said they reimbursed him for the cost of refining the drug.

“When I was raided, they had to go without or spend a lot of money to continue treatment,” he said. “A single gram of oil costs on average $50 to $60 in Illinois.”

But Fair has a simple word of advice for anyone in his position who is thinking of doing what he did: Don’t.

“It’s not worth it; don’t try to challenge the law. Just wait for the law to change,” he said.

State's Attorney Jay Scott echoed that caution. "The law is pretty clear on how you can get it (medical cannabis)," he said. "And it's not OK to grow it at home."

And the Fair family troubles are not over just yet, however. His 30-year-old wife was booked on the same charges he originally faced — manufacturing/delivery of from 2,000 to 5,000 grams of cannabis, possession of 2,000 to 5,000 grams of cannabis and the production of 20 to 50 cannabis plants. Her case comes up for a court hearing Dec. 17, and Fair insists his wife had nothing to do with the cannabis production.


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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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