Police with sniffer dogs during a drug operation on the North Coast.
Police with sniffer dogs during a drug operation on the North Coast.

Cannabis fine is a pain in neck

CROOK neck pain was the excuse used by Brett Moffat when the Clunes farmer was caught growing 121 small cannabis plants in his garden.

Moffat, 48, pleaded guilty in Lismore Local Court to cultivating a prohibited plant at Elliot Road on October 23 after a police raid.

He told officers at the time he grew the plants for medicinal purposes, to use in home-made butter and scones in an attempt to help manage his chronic pain.

His defence lawyer said except for one plant of 1m in height, all the others were small and their sex had not been determined.

Concerned magistrate Robyn Denes asked whether Moffat had tried the Lismore Pain Clinic for treatment with his lawyer responding he was not aware of the one in Lismore and had been thinking of travelling to Brisbane.

He said Moffat had since enrolled in yoga classes.

Moffat had been a fitter and turner and lost an eye in an industrial accident.

He then suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident that never resolved itself and had ongoing pain.

The lawyer said Moffat became an organic fruit and vege grower before giving it away because of neck pain and was now on a disability pension.

He said Moffat had expected to end up with a good deal less plants in number to use in making butter, cakes and scones because he self-medicated that way.

There was no suggestion of any commercial use.

An American internet recipe for making cannabis butter was also lodged with the court.

Ms Denes told Moffat that whatever his views on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes he could not just grow it for medicine and he needed to look at other methods of controlling his pain because cannabis was against the law.

She convicted Moffat of the offence and fined him $750.



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