Every now and then, police come across something so strange they’re left scratching their heads.
One such incident occurred recently in the Northern Territory, when Humpty Doo police received a call from a young man enraged that his father had burned his cannabis plants.
Apparently, the son had been fighting with his father since he moved to Humpty Doo (about 40km south of Darwin) from interstate a short time ago.
According to police, the son was “indignant and enraged” and felt it was “wrong” of his father to have burnt the plants. Officers arrived at the scene and questioned the son about whether he knew possessing of cannabis is illegal, and he could be sent to court.
However, the son felt his father’s destruction of the plants was a far worse crime.
As all of the plants had been destroyed by the fire, police decided not to lay any charges over the incident. Nevertheless, the officers took to social media, publishing a full account of the story.
In the Northern Territory, the possession of small amounts of cannabis is decriminalised – which means police can issue a fine rather than sending a person to court to be dealt with under the criminal law.
In 1996, the NT decriminalised the possession of up to 50 grams of marijuana, one gram of hashish oil, 10 grams of cannabis seed, and two non-hydroponic plants.
New South Wales
Cannabis has not been decriminalised in NSW, but a cannabis cautioning scheme has been in place since the year 2000, which allows police to issue a caution for possession of less than 15 grams of cannabis rather than sending a person to court.
This scheme was implemented in response to recommendations by the NSW Drug Summit in 2000.
A review of the scheme in 2011 found it been effective in reducing reoffending by diverting people away from the criminal justice system.
Cultivation – Growing Cannabis in NSW
Under section 23 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, it is illegal to grow cannabis plants in NSW.
Cultivating outdoors is sowing or scattering the seeds, planting, growing, tending, nurturing and harvesting the plant. Cultivating by indoor means it occurs within a building or structure. This may involve the nurture of the plant in nutrient-enriched water (with or without mechanical support), or the application of an artificial source of light or heat, or suspending the plant’s roots and spraying them with nutrient solution.
You don’t need to be the sole cultivator to be guilty of the offence.
Penalties for Cannabis Cultivation
The penalties depend on the amount – the greater the amount, the more serious the penalty could be.
Here is a table containing the applicable maximum penalties:
If you are charged with cannabis cultivation, it is a good idea to seek advice from a specialist criminal lawyer who is experienced in dealing with drug charges.