Case Study: Traffick Drug of Dependence, Cultivate a Narcotic Plant

Updated: Aug 22


Date & location


December 2020, eastern suburbs.


Court


Ringwood Magistrates' Court.


Facts


Following a complaint, police applied for and obtained a warrant to search our client's home. In December 2020, the police executed our client's home, located, and seized items including:


425 grams of dried cannabis

10 mature cannabis plants

equipment used to cultivate cannabis plants

$18,000 in cash

mobile phone (containing communication relevant to the sale of cannabis)


Our client was later charged with:


Traffick Drug of Dependence

Cultivate a Narcotic Plant

Negligently Possess Proceeds of Crime


Our client was taken into custody and interviewed. He provided a no comment response to the allegations. Due to the fact our client had a very limited criminal history, and a stable home address he was released on bail.


How case resolved

Our client had developed a dependency on cannabis use by virtue of self-medicating with cannabis. Thus, our client's health difficulties were a contributing factor to the offending before the Court. An early case strategy developed with our client was to engage in treatment and counselling to address the underlying dependency on cannabis and the related adverse mental health our client had by virtue of his long-standing chronic pain. To this end, our client agreed to participate in the Court Integrated Support Program over a period of several months.


The decision to refer our client to this program was also based on an assessment of the prosecution case (which was strong).


Through the duration of CISP our client received targeted counselling and attended Court for the supervision of his participation at regular progress intervals. On each occasion our client was required to attend Court for a progress update his compliance on the program was reported as excellent.


After completing the program (over 4 months), our client entered a plea of guilty to the offences before the Court.


Sentencing Outcome

In what was very much a line-ball decision, the presiding Magistrate accepted that given his exemplary performance on CISP that he be spared immediate imprisonment for what were serious offences.


The Court ordered our client undertake a Community Correction Order for 12 months with conditions he attend and receive treatment for:


- drug addiction.

- mental health


In addition, the Court ordered that our client attend for Judicial monitoring over the duration of the CCO.




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