Man tells police 54 marijuana plants were for ‘medical use’
A TARA man caught with 54 marijuana plants and a kilogram of drugs during a huge raid by police has told a magistrate it was all for medical use.
Matthew Boardman, 45, was charged with six offences following the launch of Operation Impede, focusing on drug and property crime across the south west district this year.
Boardman along with 10 other people were arrested following a series of targeted raids which led to 37 charges laid against them.
His six charges included producing dangerous drugs, possessing utensils, possessing weed and LSD, possessing property suspected of having been used in connection with the commission of a drug offence, and permitting use of place.
The court heard police descended on Boardman’s property at Kookaburra Dr on August 18 about 9.30am, and discovered the sophisticated growing operation at his home.
Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana said the search uncovered 54 marijuana plants, ranging from juvenile to mature.
Boardman was present during the raid, and told police he grew marijuana from seed to harvest for personal use.
Further searches by police uncovered dried marijuana in several parts of the house, totalling up to 1.258kg.
He told police he knew it was illegal to possess dangerous drugs, but could not afford to pay for medicinal marijuana.
Senior constable Tahana said a quantity of LSD tabs were found in his office, with Broadman stating they belonged to his friends who had been using them while in his home previously.
The court heard seven bongs, scales, and two grinders were also found.
“During the search police located three tents with lighting and airflow systems installed on the rear patio area, where they observed one of those tents to be housing the small cannabis seedlings growing in them,” senior constable Tahana said.
“The defendant told police he plants the cannabis seeds in small pots, then in the tents to grow, and once they’re juvenile he’ll take them to the rear yard and continue growing.”
Solicitor Jessica Hine said the 45-year-old Tara man has a prescription for medicinal marijuana, however his ability to attain it had been impacted the pandemic.
Ms Hine told the court he had been prescribed it for insomnia, arthritis, anxiety and depression, and during the COVID-19 crisis it became “impossible” through the legal channels to fill this prescription.
The court heard his growing endeavours began in March after he had been unsuccessful in finding medicinal marijuana due to the lockdowns, and limited postage services this year.
“It made it extremely hard for Mr Boardman to access his prescription, and he accepts it’s no excuse,” Ms Hine said.
“In these circumstances I’m instructed that because of this difficulty … he has sold his house and is moving back to New South Wales.”
Magistrate Mossop told Boardman she was “sympathetic to his cause”, but said he wasn’t growing medicinal marijuana.
“It’s a modified drug you’re prescribed, and when you grow it and possess it in the form you do, it is an illegal drug,” she said.
“It’s not uncommon for people like you to proceed to the supreme court to be dealt with, and it’s not uncommon for sentences to be handed down to include two years probation and community service.”
Boardman pleaded guilty to all charges, was given 18 months probation.