Man tells court 'half a kilo of weed was for pain relief'

WHEN police stormed his Leyburn home on December 23, Dion Norman David McGifford had almost 40 bags of marijuana littered throughout his home.

A quick search of the property uncovered the drugs, with a total amount of 545g of marijuana and 180.3g of seeds seized by police.

The Warwick Magistrates Court this week heard the 46-year-old declared only a bong when police first arrived at his home.

Officers soon stumbled across a plastic shopping bag full of the drug and clip seal bags containing the drug tucked under his fridge.

Two bongs, a pipe and electric grinder were also found.

McGifford's solicitor told the court his client did use the drug to combat pain brought on by a back disease and it was in the clip seal bags in preparation for freezing.

He said his client couldn't tolerate opiates and turned to marijuana as a substitute pain reliever.

McGifford, who was supported in court by his mother, has a history of drug offending and in 2008 was placed on probation for producing and possessing dangerous drugs.

Magistrate Graham Lee accepted that although the quantity of drug was quite high, the marijuana was for personal use only and McGifford did not intend to sell it.

He scolded the Leyburn man on his illegal activity and told him marijuana was not the right choice of medication.

"You are 46 - you are not a 17-year-old who needs to learn more about the world," he said.

"(Marijuana) may have the effects of pain relief but the laws are here for a reason."

McGifford pleaded guilty to possessing dangerous drugs, drug utensils and anything else used in the commission of a drug offence.

The disability pensioner was sentenced to two months jail, which was wholly suspended for nine months.



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