Judge rules 145 marijuana plants not for personal use
KENNETH West claimed his cannabis plantation was for personal use, yet with 145 plants on his property, he had a hard time convincing Judge Michael Burnett.
West, 61, appeared in Gladstone District Court this week after his sophisticated set up was discovered by his landlord at his Turkey Beach home in February last year.
A total of 145 marijuana plants weighing 850 grams were discovered, along with established irrigation networks, piping and utensils.
West had even gone to the extent of protecting his crops with chicken wire and a self fashioned greenhouse.
The court was told West had been a marijuana user for 40 years and had an extensive criminal history regarding drug use and possession.
In 2011, West was convicted and sentenced to 12 months behind bars for travelling along the Bruce Hwy with 500 grams of cannabis in his car.
It has been a consistent claim in West's court proceedings that he self medicates for a spinal injury, although Judge Burnett was quick to dismiss his claims.
"Your drug history well precedes any complaints made to your doctor," he told the defendant.
"You are not a doctor; it is not for you to diagnose the appropriate drugs."
Judge Burnett sentenced West to 18 months imprisonment, ordering a parole release date on August 24, 2015.
West thanked the presiding judge and his defence solicitor Geoff Skelton as he was led away from the dock into custody.