Chinchilla man found with over 100kg of cannabis
A CHINCHILLA man sat nervously in the Dalby courthouse, fidgeting with the microphone in front of him as he pleaded guilty to possession of a dangerous drug.
John Lee Willis appeared in the Dalby District Court yesterday to face a charge of producing cannabis over 500g.
Defence Barrister Frank Martin told the court that the 60-year-old man was in possession of the cannabis in a bid to tackle his anxiety.
Mr Martin told the court that between October of 2018 to February 2019, Willis had grown 27 cannabis plants behind his shed which is equivalent to 131kg.
"On February 6, 2019 police travelled out to the rural property on a search warrant," Mr Martin said.
"He co-operated with police, making full admissions as police found the plants growing behind his shed, reaching between two to five metres tall.
"Police counted 27 plants on his property and he was currently in the process of drying around 12kg that he had recently harvested."
District Judge Dennis Lynch QC shook his head when he heard the facts not understanding why one man needed to be in possession of so many plants.
"I understand that not all of the plants will usable," Judge Lynch said.
"While the weight amount is excessive, I recognise that it is including the roots and the stems of the plant."
Mr Martin also explained to the court that Willis has struggled through life and has used cannabis as a coping mechanism for his anxiety.
"Mr Willis suffered a terrible loss at the age of nine when his mother and sister died in a car accident," he said.
"Mr Willis immigrated to Australia in 1982 with his wife from England, but has always had a difficult time fitting in.
"This has led to him bouncing around many jobs in which time has led to him developing depression."
Mr Martin explained to the court that Willis has been prescribed medication to help with his anxiety but believes that cannabis helps more.
Judge Lynch acknowledged Willis' difficult childhood and commended him for not being involved in supplying others with the drug.
"Police found no evidence of you trying to sell it to other people and you were more than cooperative with police in their search," Judge Lynch said.
"I will ask you to stop your dependency on cannabis, it is classed as a dangerous drug for a reason."
Judge Lynch sentenced Willis to two years imprisonment wholly suspended for four years