Supervision for cannabis

By Aaron van Delden

An associate of a woman who, in a New Zealand first, was convicted last year of giving her 3-month-old baby cannabis through her breast milk has been sentenced on charges relating to the drugs raid that pointed to the mother's crime.

Aaron James Broad, 31, appeared before Judge David Cameron in the Whanganui District Court yesterday. His associate was sentenced to six months' supervision in October 2012 for administering cannabis to a minor.

A police team, including members of the armed offenders squad, searched Broad's address on August 14 last year. They uncovered 17 cannabis seedlings, which were positioned under a heat lamp, five cannabis plants of up to 120cm in height, equipment used in the cultivation of cannabis and isopropyl alcohol for the production of cannabis oil.

Court documents indicate the 22 plants could have yielded up to 3.7kg of cannabis worth $46,200. But Judge Cameron accepted no money-making was associated with the growing operation.

Broad's lawyer, Roger Crowley, said his client had cultivated the cannabis and extracted small amounts of its oil for his own use.

Broad had since successfully completed the Salvation Army Bridge Programme, for those with drug and alcohol addictions, at a residential treatment centre in Wellington.

Mr Crowley said Broad was drug-free and committed to his rehabilitation.

Mr Crowley appealed for his client's sentence to be one of community work and supervision.

Crown prosecutor Joanna Woodcock acknowledged the steps Broad had taken to rehabilitate and that his offending was not akin to a commercial drug-manufacturing operation, so she did not oppose such a sentence.

Judge Cameron then gave his sentence indication, of community work and supervision, on which Broad admitted the three charges he faced: possession of equipment for the cultivation of cannabis, cultivating cannabis and producing cannabis oil, a Class-B drug.

Broad was convicted of those charges and sentenced to 150 hours' community work and six months' supervision, on the condition he undergo counselling or take part in treatment programmes as directed by his probation officer.

Judge Cameron also ordered the utensils Broad used in growing cannabis be destroyed.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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