A MAN caught with 12kg of marijuana and more than 700 marijuana plants has been sent to jail after a judge rejected his claim it was all for personal use.
Police raided the home of Douglas Albert Markholm, 46, in Euleilah, north of Gin Gin, late last year and discovered 720 marijuana plants growing and 12kg of the harvested drug hidden around the property.
Yesterday he faced Bundaberg District Court and pleaded guilty to producing and possessing dangerous drugs.
Defence barrister Lars Falcongreen said Markholm, who is profoundly deaf and uses hearing aids, suffered from chronic pain due to several injuries from falls and crashes in the past, which had left him with a crushed nerve and several shattered bones.
"It was a large crop, but it was for personal use," Mr Falcongreen said.
The barrister said the reason Markholm used so much marijuana was because he ate it rather than smoked it, due to the latter method having psychological side-effects for him.
"He uses it as a salad with vinegar over it ... he boils it and drinks it in his tea ... he puts it in his butter and uses it to cook," he said.
Mr Falcongreen said the absence of "tick sheets", cash, phone interceptions, extensive bagging systems, text messages and witness statements backed up Markholm's claim that the drugs were all for him.
But Judge Brad Farr SC said he was not convinced.
"In my view, the quantity that was located is so great that I infer - it's an overwhelming inference - that there was a commercial aspect," he said.
"Even on your estimate of (consuming) a pound a month, that's 28 months worth between what was found and the plants that were growing."
Markholm was sentenced to 18 months jail, which will be suspended for two years after he serves three months in custody.
Judge Farr said that, due to Markholm's hearing and pain issues, prison was likely to be an additional burden above what most prisoners faced.