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Man insists cannabis plants were for personal use only

A court has been told a man found with 27 cannabis plants in his home grew the narcotic for his own use.

James Dickson was convicted and placed on a 12-month community corrections order after pleading guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court to cultivating cannabis, possessing cannabis, refusing an oral fluid test and failing to wear a seatbelt.

Dickson's first offences came in February this year, when police saw him driving without a seatbelt.

He was pulled over and spoken to about the seatbelt, before undergoing a preliminary oral fluid test for drugs, which returned a positive result.

Dickson agreed to do the second test while seated in his vehicle, but after the swab broke off in his mouth, he refused to do another.

Earlier this month, police searched his home at Amherst, near Maryborough.

Inside they discovered two bedrooms set up for growing plants believed to be cannabis, with 27 plants found.

They also found other material believed to be cannabis in the home.

Lawyer Robert Timms said Dickson began using cannabis at the age of eight, after he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and insisted the cannabis he grew was only for his personal use.

Magistrate Tim Walsh sentenced Dickson to the year-long community corrections order with conditions he be supervised and undertake 50 hours of unpaid community work.

Dickson must also undertake treatment for drugs and offender behaviour programs as directed.

Because of a prior conviction, Dickson has been banned from driving for four years for refusing the oral fluid test.

Originally published here:

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