Convicted for the crime of growing a webshow.
The chain of events that led to the recent arrest and conviction of one of Australias more active Cannabis Law Reform Activists is highly reminiscent of Arlo Guthries 1970s hit song, Alices Restaurant.
In the song, Arlo is arrested because a letter addressed to Alices Restaurant was found in a pile of illegally dumped rubbish, in the matter before us now, a letter was found in a pile of illegally dumped rubbish and when a Park Ranger came out looking for the litterbug, he stopped by the Big Bong Peace Pipe Project Cyber Set looking for directions.
He didnt stay long, indeed as soon as he saw the 60 or so cannabis plants growing right next to the house, he hot footed it off the property as fast as his 4 WD would carry him, no doubt thinking that he had inadvertently discovered a major cannabis growing operation.
Two days later 5 Police arrived with a search warrant and a audio cassette recorder.....
There are a couple of ways to find out what happened next.
1) Leave this browser window open until the 10MEG wav file down loads as background sound.
2) To listen to the slightly mangled, but highly compressed 1 megabyte wav file, click here
3) to download the 10 MEG version so you can listen to it later,
that about 11:30 AM Friday Jan 2001 the occupiers notice was served on the defendant and he was cautioned. To the right of the house police located a total of 61 cannabis plants growing in a garden and pots. The cannabis plants ranged in height from 10 centimeters to 1 meter. The defendant was asked a number of questions in relation to the plants which was recorded on an audio cassette tape. The defendant made full admissions and stated that he had planted them, watered them and looked after them. He stated that the plants were for the world wide web and he was just waiting until his camera was fixed. He stated he did not supply the cannabis and he did not have it growing for illegal purposes. The defendant then invited police inside his premises and inside hanging on a nail police located three dried stems and leaf of cannabis plants, the defendant stated they were for his own personal use. The defendant was issued Field Court Attendance Notices for the matters before court. Warrant executed with out incident or damage".
THE COURT CASE.
For the crime of growing 61 plants as web scenery I have been sentenced to good behaviour for 15 months, and for possession I received a $100 fine, which was about $100 more than the cannabis was worth on the black market, seeing as how it was 3 stems of a male plant !
The magistrate could have fined me for growing 61 plants, could have fined me thousands and even sent to me jail, especially since I made a point of stressing the political aspect of 'this thing that I do"how ever he chose to administer the fairest penalty he could with-in the framework of the law as it now stands.
I made no promises to stop webcasting cannabis law reform activism and all things considered the entire experience has illustrated to me just how close the end of prohibition is, in NSW at least.
There is more to this story, indeed as soon as I get hold of the court transcripts, I will make a WAV of it and post it up here with a better wrap up...