Elderly man’s bumper dope haul ‘purely for personal use’
A WATTLE Camp man began growing his own weed to “self-medicate” with, as he did not want to associate with drug dealers.
Police discovered eight large cannabis plants in the man’s home during a search warrant which lead to the elderly man facing court on drug charges.
Andrew Michael Cope, 61, had an exemplary record before he was charged with production and possession of cannabis as well as possessing a pipe and bong for use of smoking cannabis, possessing two water cans used in the production of cannabis and possessing tainted property, namely a stolen street sign.
The Jobseeker recipient fronted Kingaroy Magistrates Court on July 13, after police executed a search warrant on his home on December 22 last year.
Inside they found eight cannabis plants about 120cm in height which he had grown from seeds.
A bong and pipe were also found, along with watering cans and a street sign from the Banana Shire.
Defence Lawyer Tom Carr told the court the plants were “purely for personal use”.
“He uses cannabis to self-medicate … for PTSD, depression, and anxiety,” Mr Carr said.
“He decided to grow his own from seeds that he had received, because he did not want to associate with the people who would be selling those sorts of things or get involved in that sort of community.”
Mr Carr said Cope had since begun to self-medicate with alcohol since the plants were seized and was attending Lives Lived Well drug and alcohol counselling sessions to overcome this issue.
The tainted property Cope was charged with possessing was a street sign he was given as an engagement present some years ago, which had his at-the-time partner’s name on it.
Mr Carr said Cope didn’t give it “a second thought” as to where the sign had come from.
Cope pleaded guilty to the five charges.
Magistrate Andrew Sinclair accepted Cope’s explanation for his possession of the drugs.
“I accept that these plants were not grown for a commercial purpose, in fact quite the opposite – to stay out of the drug trade,” Mr Sinclair said.
He took into account Cope’s guilty plea and his engagement with Lives Lived Well in handing down his sentence.
“There isn’t too much more I can ask of you,” he said.
Cope was fined a total of $500 on all charges, referred to SPER.
No conviction was recorded.