Court deals with drug charges from Nimbin Mardigrass

A PARADE of 66 people of all ages charged with consuming cannabis over the Nimbin Mardigrass weekend appeared at Lismore Local Court yesterday.

Penalties handed down by Magistrate David Heilpern for the charges of driving with an illicit drug present in blood ranged from a six-month good behaviour bond, to six months licence disqualification and a $600 fine.

Nathaniel Griffith, 25, of Lismore, entered a guilty plea, admitting he was very surprised to be detected considering he had consumed cannabis 48 hours before he was stopped at a road block on Nimbin Rd.

"The fact is that the tests that are done is not to detect an amount of cannabis in your system that will affect your driving," Mr Heilpern said.

"This is a test about having cannabis in your system."

Mr Heilpern disqualified Griffith from driving for six months and issued him with a $600 fine.

When 19-year-old Jackson Hart appeared charged with having cannabis and ecstasy in his system, police prosecutor Sergeant Huxtable argued that there was an increased risk to drivers at the time.

Mr Heilpern said he could not take into account an increased risk to other drivers as the tests identified a detectable, and not a quantifiable level of drugs, such as in drink driving matters.

Taking into account his clean driving record in NSW and Queensland, Mr Heilpern disqualified Hart for three months and imposed a $300 fine.

Queensland man, Rodney Peters, told Mr Heilpern he went to Mardigrass to have fun with friends, but having a drag on a joint saw him come unstuck.

Peters was disqualified for three months and fined $300.

Consuming cannabis tincture as part of his pre-cancer treatment regime for polyps resulted in Christopher Harris being charged.

Mr Heilpern placed Harris on a six month good behaviour bond and let him retain his licence.



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