A 49-year old man who grew three kilograms of cannabis for his own use was like a person who collected different vintages of wine, the Launceston Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.
Defence counsel Greg Richardson made his submission on behalf of Marcellus Anthony Smith, now of Tunnack.
Smith, formerly of Kimberley, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis, possession of cannabis, possessing a glass smoking pipe, possession of an unregistered firearm, fail to comply with firearm storage requirements and fail to comply with ammunition storage requirements committed on May 1, 2018.
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Crown prosecutor Virginia Jones offered no evidence on a count of trafficking remitted from the Supreme Court and Magistrate Sharon Cure dismissed the charge.
The court heard that Smith’s rented cottage was raided and police found six-month-old cannabis plants in the front yard, two clothes racks of cannabis in a bedroom being dried by an oscillating fan, a guitar case full of cannabis and eight ziplock bags weighing a total of 2.6 kilograms.
In the living room was cannabis and seeds and the hallway held six ziplock bags and more seeds weighing 400 grams.
Smith told police that the different amounts of cannabis were different ages.
Ms Jones said a .22 rifle and an air rifle and ammunition were also found.
Two firearms safes, one of which was wooden, failed to comply with requirements.
A Lasaude 12-gauge shotgun, which was a family heirloom handed from the defendant’s grandfather to Smith’s father and then to Smith, was also found.
Mr Richardson said that Smith had been using cannabis since he was 16 but that his last conviction dated back to 1991.
“He has only ever grown for his own use,” he said.
Mr Richardson said that some of the cannabis had been weighed wet and was not yet usable.
“Cannabis users are like artists, they use different seeds, different amounts and have different vintages.
“It’s illegal but they are like a person who collects wine.”
Mr Richardson said Smith had become sloppy in his firearm storage after the death of a son in a motorcycle crash in early 2018.
He asked Ms Cure for an order that the seized Lasaude shotgun be returned to a properly licensed person nominated by the defendant, which turned out to be Smith’s brother.
Ms Cure said there were sufficient mitigating circumstances to allow the matter to be dealt with by way of a fine.
She fined him $1200 and ordered the forfeiture of the smoking device.