Man found with 5kg of cannabis claimed he was making cakes
A MERINGANDAN West man found with more than 5kg of cannabis told police he was using the leaf to make cannabis oil which he used to cook cannabis cakes and biscuits.
Ordinarily, being caught with that much "green leafy material" would have a person appearing before the Supreme Court, however, because police accepted Joel Andrew Doherty's explanation that the drug was for his own personal use and there was no commerciality alleged, the matter could be dealt with by the Toowoomba Magistrates Court.
Police prosecutor Catherine Nielsen told the court police had searched the 51-year-old's home in Meringandan West on August 31 and had found two "grow rooms" in a shed at the back of the residence.
One of the rooms had three cannabis plants growing inside it while the other had five plants, all growing under a sophisticated hydroponic system with irrigation, grow lamps, ventilation, power boards and fertilizer, she said.
A ''grow cupboard'' which had no plants had also been found.
In total police found 5.167kg of marijuana, a glass jar of cannabis oil, a glass water pipe with the smell of cannabis and a small amount of residue and a small amount of magic mushroom powder as well as the equipment for growing the plants, Senior Constable Nielsen said.
Doherty made full admissions to police and pleaded guilty before the court to producing and possessing cannabis and possessing drug related utensils.
His solicitor Chelsea Saldumbide told the court her client instructed that he had suffered significant back and shoulder pain due to old motocross injuries and he used cannabis cake and biscuits to ease the pain.
Her client said it took about 1kg of cannabis to make a jar of cannabis oil which he used to make cakes and biscuits.
Doherty was a forklift driver and was regularly tested for illicit drugs but he hadn't returned a positive test, claiming he only had a small amount of cake or biscuits over some days, she said.
Her client instructed he thought it would be legal in Queensland by now but he had gone back to more mainstream medication to manage his pain since his arrest.
Magistrate Kay Ryan said the growing system was sophisticated and warned Doherty that he had three teenage sons at home.
She found the fact that he was growing cannabis to make oil to bake cakes and biscuits "extraordinary".
"If you're going to go down this track get yourself registered," she told him.
Ms Ryan placed Doherty on the maximum three years probation to include random testing for illicit drugs.