1.32kg of cannabis was for the road

JACOB Ronald Hamilton liked smoking cannabis and needed a lot of it for his driving holiday around Australia, the Tweed Heads Local Court heard yesterday.

But the 25-year-old carpenter was found with 1.32kg of the drug, worth $2500, before he even left on the trip after coming to the attention of police while speeding on the Pacific Highway.

Police spotted Hamilton's Hyundai Getz travelling towards Tweed Heads at 8.50am on May 19 at 137km/h in a 110km/h zone, and checks revealed his licence was suspended. A car search was triggered when police suspected he was under the influence of an “unknown substance”.

In court yesterday, Hamilton pleaded guilty to speeding, driving while suspended and possessing an indictable amount of cannabis.

“A lot of cannabis, isn't it?” Magistrate Nick Reimer said as he read the police evidence.

Hamilton's solicitor, Cameron Bell, said the large quan- tity could be explained as being for his personal use.

“Mr Hamilton was intending to take a holiday travelling around Australia and had brought his 'supplies', I could say,” Mr Bell said.

He said Hamilton liked smoking cannabis, but was now in a position where his holiday was called off and he would not be able to work for some time due to the licence suspension he would receivedue to the charges.

According to evidence tendered to the court, a police officer searched the vehicle and found a clip-seal bag in the glove box containing 12 grams of cannabis. In the boot, a black bag contained two vacuum-sealed bags of the drug, one containing 857g and the other 451g.

To make matters worse for the Wooli man, he had not no- tified authorities that he had moved from Queensland to New South Wales and was unaware his licence was under a demerit point suspension.

Police from the Tweed Heads Tactical Action Group conducted a videotaped search of the Getz and undertook a recorded interview of Hamilton, but he maintained the drugs were for his own personal use.

Mr Reimer accepted the large quantity of cannabis was for Hamilton's personal use.

“That is a very large quan- tity of cannabis, the reason being you were going to smoke it as you were travelling around Australia,” Mr Reimer said.

“It did cost you a lot of money and that is something you have lost as well.”

Hamilton was put on a two-year good-behaviour bond, disqualified from driving for a year and fined a total of $1150, plus $146 in court costs.

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