GYMPIE COURT: Marijuana was a factor in the court appearance of two people on separate drug matters this week.
GYMPIE COURT: Marijuana was a factor in the court appearance of two people on separate drug matters this week. Queensland Police Service

New drug defence in Gympie court

Marijuana a 'medical necessity' court told

A SEVERELY crippled 66-year- old Goomeri woman has announced her intention to set what may be a new medical marijuana legal precedent in Queensland. Margaret Therese O'Rance was supported by a wheeled walking frame when she struggled to the bar table at Gympie Magistrates Court this week. "Medical necessity,” she pleaded after magistrate Chris Callaghan asked her for her plea to charges, laid on July 4 last year, of producing and possessing marijuana.

Mr Callaghan invited her to remain seated during her court appearance. Mr Callaghan saw Ms O'Rance's plea as a novel defence to a criminal charge.

"I've never heard of the defence of medical necessity,” he said.

Ms O'Rance replied: "There are precedents in New South Wales.”

"I look forward to reading them,” Mr Callaghan said, adjourning the case to April 23 for trial.

Clean record keeps man out of jail

A SUNSHINE Coast man was placed on probation this week for multiple drug offences after the lack of any drug history on his record was noted by Gympie magistrate Chris Callaghan.

Clynt Frederick Ellis, 43, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of methylamphetamine, a drug pipe and the opioid painkiller buprenorphine on August 14 last year. Ellis, of Mooloolah, also pleaded guilty to possessing a knife when police stopped him on Exhibition Rd, also on August 14, and to possession of marijuana, a pocket knife and $5515 in cash suspected to be the proceeds from a drug offence. Police told the court that Ellis was found with the two knives, as well as the drugs and money. Ellis said one of the knives, a black-handled pearling knife, had been his uncle's and had sentimental value.

Mr Callaghan noted a "serious criminal history of assaults, but a lack of drug history”. "If you had a serious drug history you would be going to jail,” he told Ellis before placing him on 18 months' probation with therapeutic drug testing and medical or other treatment as required.

Mr Callaghan ordered the return of the pearling knife on the basis of its sentimental value.