A FORMER lawyer, fined for growing a “lifetime” supply of cannabis in his backyard, wants to renew his law practice certificate, a court heard yesterday.
Cameron Telfer, 63, of Hepburn Springs, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to cultivating and possessing a narcotic plant. He was fined $10,000.
The court heard police raided Telfer’s property on March 20 this year and found cannabis growing and drying in significant quantities.
Twelve plants, at more than half a metre tall, were found in a rear garage while 121 cannabis heads were hanging on a string to dry.
The court heard cannabis leaf was drying on the ground and freshly cut stems were also discovered.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent said two electronic scales were found, along with two boxes of snap-seal bags.
Senior Constable Kent argued that the cultivating charge should be recognised as cultivating for the purpose of trafficking, due to the quantity of drugs found.
After some debate between prosecution and defence, Magistrate Richard Pithouse upheld Senior Constable Kent’s submission. A full trafficking charge was withdrawn prior to the hearing.
The court heard that Telfer studied law at Melbourne University and practised until 1997.
His defence counsel said he then became depressed and started smoking cannabis.
The court heard Telfer “got sick of buying it from other persons” and decided to grow it himself.
Telfer said the crop found by police was the first and only time he had tried to grow the drug.
He said it was for personal use and that he would typically smoke 14 grams in a week.
Telfer also said he might have had enough to fill “10 bags”.
Magistrate Pithouse said that on a rough calculation, it was “more than a lifetime” worth of cannabis for personal use.
Mr Pithouse issued the fine, with no conviction.