A man argued that he should be able to opt out of the Queensland legal system.
A man argued that he should be able to opt out of the Queensland legal system. ©istockphoto/DNY59

Drug grower escapes jail term

TWEED Valley landholder and cannabis muncher John Heston Trim was jailed for 18 months after admitting he grew 205 cannabis plants in his overgrown fruit orchard at Farrants Hill near Condong to eat as 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 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.

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