Cannabis eater sentenced

TWEED Valley landholder and cannabis muncher John Heston Trim was given a suspended 18 month jail sentence after admitting he grew 205 cannabis plants in his overgrown fruit orchard at Farrants Hill near Condong to eat in self-medication for his chronic back pain.

Trim, 49, from Double View Road, appeared in Lismore Local Court yesterday charged over the $400,000 crop, saying the cannabis was for his own personal use - a defence accepted by the Crown.

Magistrate Robyn Denes ordered the immediate suspension of the jail sentence after consideration of Trim's circumstances including medical evidence. It was also his first offence.

Trim pleaded guilty to the cultivation of 205 cannabis plants at his property on March 5 last year; along with charges of possessing an unauthorised 12 gauge shotgun; and possession of ammunition for a firearm without a permit after Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah detectives raided his property.

Defence lawyer Andrew Peedom lodged medical reports with the court detailing Trim's history of chronic back and neck pain, including evidence from one GP of Trim using cannabis as an analgesic and to help with sleep apnoea.

Mr Peedom explained that after Trim put the seeds in the ground the cannabis plants flourished more than he intended.

Ms Denes replied that Trim did not pull the plants out when he realised he had grown too many and 'realistically' he would have had to be smoking non-stop all day to get through 205 cannabis plants, and there was no evidence before the court he was smoking that much.

She said there was an irresistible inference some of the cannabis could have made its way to other people, including friends, if they knew he had an over abundance of cannabis.

“He was actually eating it ... a quarter of an ounce a day, for self medication purposes,” Mr Peedom then revealed.

Mr Peedom said his client was embarrassed by what he had done and was a man of integrity.

In previous evidence before the court police stated each plant was individually irrigated from a drip-feed system fed from a water tank on a hill that was filled by water pumped from a nearby dam.

Ms Denes reminded Trim cannabis was an illegal drug even for medical purposes.

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