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100-Plant Cannabis Crop For 'My Use' Man Tells Police

Lord Mong

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A Tauranga beneficiary caught growing more than 100 cannabis plants said the crop was all for his own personal use, Tauranga District Court was told today.

Hone Robert Newman, 42, told police the stash, once harvested, should produce 10 pounds (4.53kg) of cannabis which would last him two years. He claimed to use one ounce (28.34gm) of the plant every two to four weeks.

But prosecuting Sergeant Wayne Hunter said the police did their own calculations.

On Newman's reckoning, he required under two pounds of dope a year for himself, whereas his crop would yield a conservative figure of 10 pounds (4.53kg) of dried cannabis worth at least $25,000.

The defendant denied growing for commercial purposes and no evidence of sale was found, said Mr Hunter.

"However, the likely harvest was far in excess of his personal requirements."

Judge Christopher Harding was told that police searched a rural property in Welcome Bay on March 16. Two plots of cannabis plants were located on the main part of the farm, where Newman lived.

The first had 12 mature plants in excellent condition, while the second plot — in a large vegetable garden-cum-orchard 150 metres from the family home — had plants at various stages of development.

One row of mature plants had the main stems pegged down with number eight wire to encourage them to grow in creeper like fashion, along the ground.

In total, 109 plants were recovered.

Newman, who admitted a charge of cultivating cannabis, said the first plot was four to five weeks from harvest and would yield five pounds of dried bud.

He did not know how many plants were in the other plot but estimate there were 40 to 60. The wire pegs, he said, assisted growth as well as reducing the risk of discovery.

A domestic purposes beneficiary, Newman was remanded on bail for sentencing on September 3.

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Source: www.stuff.co.nz - In Association with NZLawyer
Copyright: © Fairfax New Zealand Limited 2007.
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