A Perth man who pleaded guilty to trafficking in more than $36,000 worth of cannabis risks an 11-month jail term if he continues to smoke the drug.
In the Supreme Court in Launceston, Rodney Eric Barker was handed the wholly suspended jail term after pleading guilty to trafficking in a controlled substance in 2017.
Justice Robert Pearce wholly suspended the jail term on the condition that Barker commits no imprisonable offence for two years.
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But he reminded the 68-year-old long-term cannabis user that use of cannabis was just such an offence.
Justice Pearce made a finding of fact about Barker's offence after a disagreement between the Crown and defence counsel based on his guilty plea to trafficking at South Mt Cameron and Perth in September 2017.
The court heard that police attended an area of Crown Land at South Mt Cameron based on a tip-off.
When police arrived two items were sitting on the ground about 10-metres away from a tin-roofed shed.
A green backpack contained 2.19 kilograms of cannabis head and a blue esky contained 4.04kg of cannabis head.
Soon after police arrived Barker walked out of the bush about 40-metres away saying he had been searching for his dog.
A subsequent search of Barker's Perth home resulted in the seizure of a further 1.2kg of cannabis.
Justice Pearce said that a story Barker told police about finding the esky while gem fossicking in 2016, taking a handful and then hiding it again and then returning a year later was inherently unlikely.
"I am unable to accept that that is a truthful account," he said.
He said it seemed improbable that the cannabis would last so long in the esky in the bush and that the true owner had abandoned it.
At his initial plea hearing, defence counsel Charmaine Gibson said some of what Barker told police in the interview was correct and some weren't.
"He provided an explanation which was not internally consistent," she said.
Justice Pearce described Barker's answers in a separate police interview as having "more of a ring of truth".
Justice Pearce said that under legislation the onus was on the person in possession to prove that he was not intending to sell.
"You had more than six kilograms of cannabis head worth at least $36,000 if sold," he said.
"I am satisfied that you would have used some but you have not established that you would not sell the remainder."
He said trafficking would normally attract a jail term but because he had no history of selling a suspended sentence was appropriate.