'You bloody supply in this community, you cop it'
DRUG dealers are being threatened with jail time as a Warwick magistrate becomes the latest high-profile community member to crack down on drug-related crime.
Magistrate Bevan Manthey condemned offenders this week, saying he was fed up with the growing problem of drugs on the Southern Downs.
"I've got a real problem with drugs in this community, in this region in general," he said.
"If they supply in this community they face the possibility of imprisonment."
The outburst came while Mr Manthey was sentencing a Warwick woman at Warwick Magistrates Court on two charges of supplying dangerous drugs.
Nicole Anne Wann admitted the supply offences and also pleaded guilty to possessing dangerous drugs and utensils.
Defence lawyer Clare Hine said the woman reported giving a small amount of marijuana to friends.
"There was no money exchanged at all and she really didn't even consider it to be a supply," she said.
Ms Hine said the 36-year-old had no history and made full admissions.
Wann said the friends came over to her home, where she was smoking on her own before she offered them the drugs.
Ms Hine asked Mr Manthey whether he would consider a fine under the circumstances.
But the magistrate said it would send the wrong message, to both Wann and the rest of the community.
He acknowledged the offending was low-level but said Wann was a mature woman who should have known better.
"A deterrent message needs to go out into the community," he said.
"You bloody supply in this community, you cop it."
Wann was sentenced to 12 months probation with no conviction recorded.
"Knowing full well that should she breach that order she faces the possibility of imprisonment, but I want something with a deterrent over her head," Mr Manthey said.
Drug use has been in the spotlight in Warwick this year, with Member for Maranoa David Littleproud holding forums to tackle drug use, particularly ice, in the community.
"The reality is that we will set the culture and the tone about what's acceptable and it's important we hold people to account no matter the type of drugs," he said.
Mr Littleproud said combating drugs relied upon collective action taken by the entire community, with the courts playing an important role.
"They set the tone as much as anyone else by upholding those community standards but we need to understand they need support as well," he said.
"You don't want someone from Canberra or Brisbane, you want locals to be there to build resilience to fight these types of drugs.
"The fact that we have a smaller population means the effect is more evident and that's where it tears away from the fabric of our society."