Lawyer fires up following drug verdict

A BARRISTER has let fly at Tasmania's drug laws after his client was found guilty of trafficking cannabis.

Police found more than nine kilograms of cannabis in Stephen John Jackman's Mathinna home last year.

However, the weight included unsellable elements of cannabis - stems, stalk and leaf - and the prosecution did not dispute that it had come from only seven plants.

Following the jury's majority verdict, defence counsel Greg Richardson said the law, which considers anything above a kilogram as a trafficable amount, was a nonsense.

Mr Richardson said he had represented clients with 150 plants that had been found not guilty and so was surprised with the verdict given Jackman only had a small number.

"This brings home ... the nonsense of this law," he said in Launceston's Supreme Court yesterday.

"This kind of verdict ... just brings the whole thing into disrepute."

He said such matters should be dealt with in the lower courts.

During the one-day trial Crown prosecutor Luke Brett said Jackman, 52, had intended to sell some or all of the cannabis or believed someone else would.

"This is simply far too much and far too valuable for personal use alone," he said.

The court heard cannabis could fetch between $200 to $300 an ounce.

In a police interview played to the jury, Jackman said he did not expect his plants to produce that much cannabis.

In his sentencing submissions Mr Brett did not ask Justice Robert Pearce to determine how much the cannabis was worth.

Jackman, who is on a disability pension, will be sentenced tomorrow.

pbillings@examiner.com.au

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