New Gympie councillor Jess Milne provided a character reference for the defendant, who had previously volunteered with the council.
New Gympie councillor Jess Milne provided a character reference for the defendant, who had previously volunteered with the council.

Pot grower given character reference from councillor

A GYMPIE region woman busted with marijuana plants in her backyard said she decided to “experiment” with growing the drug during the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Police searched Jennifer Maiyeng Wu’s Cooloola Cove home on July 2 and found 6.63g of marijuana, an electric pipe, nicotine and a restricted drug imported from Vanuatu.

The police prosecutor said there were four plants found in the backyard, in plain view from the house, and there was also a small amount of the drug found in containers inside.

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The 44-year-old mother was not home, but her partner and 12-year-old son were there for the search, and her partner denied knowing about some of the items and drugs seized.

Wu attended the Maryborough Police Station where she said she was fully responsible for growing and possessing the drugs.

Wu pleaded guilty to producing marijuana, possessing marijuana, possessing an electric pipe, unlawful possession of nicotine and unlawful possession of a restricted drug in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday.

Wu’s lawyer said her client, a casual bakery worker and volunteer with the Gympie Regional Council, had decided to experiment with growing the drug for personal use during the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

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She also said Wu did not realise it was illegal to possess the nicotine, which she was using to try and stop smoking, and said she had forgotten about the drugs from Vanuatu, which were brought back in 2015.

She said Wu was deeply apologetic and had since stopped using marijuana.

She also gave Magistrate Chris Callaghan three character references, one written by new Gympie councillor Jess Milne.

The court heard Wu had made positive changes to her life.

Mr Callaghan fined Wu $500. No convictions were recorded.