STATE OF TASMANIA v H 9 FEBRUARY 2022 COMMENTS ON PASSING SENTENCE
H , you plead guilty to trafficking in a controlled substance. I also agreed to deal with your plea of guilty to the summary charges of possessing, using and cultivating cannabis. On 14 May 2020 members of the drug squad searched your property in. They found 17 separate amounts of cannabis in the main shed ranging in weight from 1.2 grams to more than a kilogram. In a smaller shed there was a total of about a kilogram of cannabis leaf in four separate tubs. In all just over four kilograms was usable cannabis bud of good to excellent quality was found. If to be sold it could have returned, depending on the quantity in which it was sold, between about $27,000 and $45,000.
When interviewed you told the police that you grew the cannabis either at home or in the bush from seed you germinated and planted the previous October or November. You pulled the plants in April when some of the cannabis started to go mouldy. You also admitted that you had grown cannabis before and some of the cannabis leaf in the smaller shed had been there for a long time.
You are aged 52. Your record is for driving offences and you have no prior convictions for trafficking or any other drug related offending. You are married and have one child still dependant on you. You have an excellent industrial record and have been in constant employment in various jobs throughout your adult life. You have already suffered some punishment in that you lost a job you held for 18 years as a result of this matter. You have just found a new job. Your early plea of guilty is in your favour, and carries even more weight when the administration of justice is delayed by the pandemic. You are a long term daily recreational cannabis user. The State accepts that you smoked about an ounce a week. On the information given to me, most of the cannabis you grew was for your own use. However you plead guilty to trafficking on the basis that, for about a year from May 2019, you supplied cannabis to a relative for $150 an ounce, returning a total of about $2000, knowing that he intended to sell it. You sold a further amount for $200 in April 2020. Overall, the trafficking relates to a modest quantity and the return was small. It is a case where a fine is the appropriate sentence. However the amount of the fine must be sufficient to provide some punishment, particularly because you sold cannabis knowing it was to be further sold into the broader community. If you were to engage in the commercial sale of cannabis again the sentence is likely to be heavier.
H , you are convicted on the indictment, on complaint 34366/2020, counts 2 and 3, and on complaint 34367/20. On the two counts on complaint 34366/2020, that is, the use and possession of cannabis, I make no further order. I order that the smoking devices seized by the police and listed at items 1, 12, 13, 14, 22 and 23 on drug exhibit sheet 264553 are forfeited to the State. I assess, in accordance with the Crime (Confiscation of Profits) Act 1993, s 22, the value of the benefits derived by you from the commission of the offence in the sum of $2,200 and order that you pay to the State a pecuniary penalty equal to that sum. On complaint 34367/2020, cultivating, you are fined $500. On the indictment, trafficking, you are fined $2,000. I may only give you 28 days to pay all of those sums. If you require longer you may enter into a repayment arrangement.