‘That’s enormous’: Judge’s final warning for home pot grower
A CANNABIS grower who was 'sick and tired of drug dealers' decided to save money by growing his own plants inside his dad's greenhouse.
The green-thumb home grower left Ipswich District Court with a reality check after the sentencing judge unleashed a few harsh words.
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC told William Morcus that the community was also sick of drug dealers.
"You are 35. The time has come to wake-up to yourself. Your drug history goes back to age 19 in 2004," Judge Horneman-Wren warned.
"There have been numerous drug offences since then.
"You are now getting to the point where you have spent nearly half your life bouncing back and forth in courts for drug offences."
He made it clear to Morcus that with the sentence he intended to impose, he could not have any involvement with drugs if he was to avoid time behind bars.
William Jon Morcus, 35, from Lowood, pleaded guilty to producing dangerous drugs schedule 2 drug exceeding schedule 3 (exceeding 500 grams), at Patrick Estate in February 2018; and possession of the dangerous drug cannabis.
No agreed facts were read onto the record by the Crown prosecutor, however, the open court did get to hear some of the agreed facts of the case during proceedings.
Judge Horneman-Wren said the production charge related to more than 500 grams of cannabis, and that the Crown prosecution accepted it was grown by Morcus for his personal use.
"It is an operation of some sophistication," he said.
"You told the police that you were sick and tired of buying cannabis and funding drug dealers, and as such you decided to grow your own.
"You are not the only one sick of drug dealers. The community is sick of drug dealers."
Defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme said the gross weight of the drug was 2kg.
"It is an enormous quantity of cannabis being grown for personal use," Judge Horneman-Wren said.
"This is not a pot plant being grown on a balcony."
Mr Seaholme said Morcus's problems stemmed from his struggle with addiction.
The court heard the offences occurred just weeks after Morcus was sentenced and released to parole for previous drug charges.
Judge Horneman-Wren said police went to the property and searched three large greenhouses set up along a driveway.
He said 17 cannabis plants were found growing among other crops, with some of the illicit plants reaching 40cm.
He said using cannabis could not be viewed as a lifestyle choice.
Judge Horneman-Wren said Morcus's drug history spoke of someone who needed all the help he could get.
Morcus was sentenced to a nine-month jail term, to be served as an Intensive Corrections order that allows him to live in the community.
"It is up to you Mr Morcus. You cannot be in possession of cannabis for the next nine months," Judge Horneman-Wren said.
"If you have dope in your pocket, or a joint in your hand you have committed an offence.
"Do you understand."
"I do," said a solemn Morcus, agreeing to abide by the strict jail order and to do counselling and programs.