Baldivis man tells court he was ‘trying to find least psychotropic strain’ of cannabis after police find 45 plants at property

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MAN caught with 45 cannabis plants said he had them as he was conducting an experiment to isolate which strain had the most pain management properties.

Steven John Tope pleaded guilty and was fined for cultivation, possessing cannabis, possessing a prohibited plant and possessing a glass smoking implement with cannabis on it.

The prosecutor said police conducted a search at Tope’s Baldivis property where they found hydroponic set-ups in two bedrooms.

One room had 24 plants at varying stages of growth while the other had six fully grown plants.

Tope voluntarily showed police a bowl with lose cannabis leaf material in it and showed them a container he had in the fridge with several separate clip seal bags labelled with different cannabis seeds in each.

He also took police outside and showed them another 15 plants he had growing in various locations around his garden.

Tope told police he had the plants as he was experimenting with different strains as he was trying to isolate the one that had purely pain relieving properties.

The duty lawyer said the facts were accepted.

She said Tope had a degenerative spinal condition that required daily doses of methadone and as it was highly addictive he wanted another way to manage his pain.

She said he was undertaking experiments to find the one that would purely produce pain relief and not have any psychotropic effects.

Magistrate Vivian Edwards said it was an unusual case.

“The number of plants was 45 apparently for your own scientific investigation,” she said.

“It’s fortunate that you were not charged with a more serious offence.”

She fined him $2500.

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