A Taranaki man was advised by a judge to use political means rather than criminal methods in his quest for cannabis law reform.
"This is not Colorado, this is New Zealand," Judge Chris Sygrove told John Richard Edward Condon, 51, of Tututawa, who pleaded guilty in Hawera Court to one charge of cultivating cannabis.
Condon, who represented himself, told Judge Chris Sygrove he used cannabis to control pain from injuries he had suffered in two serious accidents.
He said he smoked the drug, took it in his food and used a cannabis cream to treat his chronic pain. The drug helped him to sleep and helped control nerve tremors.
"The law is broken and outdated. I seek a discharge without conviction," he told the court at Tuesday's hearing. The court heard that Condon had past convictions for cannabis-related offences.
"If you had no previous convictions I would have discharged you without conviction but this cannot be treated as a first offence," said Judge Sygrove, who fined Condon $200 with $130 court costs.
Police prosecutor Steve Hickey said the police discovered a black polythene sheet with 4.3kg of fresh cannabis leaf and stalk material drying on it when they executed a search warrant at Condon's eastern Taranaki property on March 8.
When asked where the cannabis had come from, the defendant eventually stated it had been harvested from five plants he was growing for his own use, and directed police to an area in the garden where the earth was disturbed.
Condon told the court the material the police had found comprised 1.77kg of material he was drying and 2.486kg of rubbish material that was going to be burned.
Condon read a statement to the court detailing a series of injuries which caused long term pain and had forced him to give up work.
His injuries began with a six-metre fall from scaffolding on to his head 26 years ago, that caused nerve damage and fractures to his spine.
He had managed to return to work as a builder after that but in 2007 was involved in a motor vehicle accident that caused further injuries and ended his building career.
He had lost 1.5cm in height due to his back condition and was in need of a knee replacement, he said.