Man grows field of marijuana crops to treat anxiety
TRAGIC circumstances led a Gladstone man to self-medicate his anxiety with marijuana and the 24-year-old led police right to his hidden stash - a court was told.
Dallas John McGrath pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday to one count of producing dangerous drugs.
McGrath was seen by police on August 15 in bushland off Red Rover Rd.
The court was told police became suspicious of him and the car parked nearby and watched McGrath throw a yellow container into the long grass as the officers approached him.
Dallas told the officers he had just been out for a walk and the yellow tub contained fertiliser.
The court was told police saw wet mud on McGrath's shoes and followed his fresh footprints into the bushland.
Police approached a section of bushland and discovered McGrath's "set-up" of 35 marijuana plants, each about 50cm in height growing in the area.
The plants were surrounded by a makeshift wire fence and several portable watering containers.
The ground surrounding the plants was dump and police noticed fertiliser had been scattered.
McGrath was arrested and released on bail.
Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said the marijuana McGrath was growing was all for personal use.
Ms Ditchfield said McGrath used marijuana to address mental health concerns after he was attacked by a group of men in 2018.
She said McGrath was "severely" beaten and was in a coma for eight days. Ms Ditchfield said some of the men were armed; one had a pole and another had a taser.
McGrath also suffered a fractured eye socket and severe head trauma.
Ms Ditchfield said the attack left her client with social anxiety and being around people or out in public made him feel uncomfortable.
Ms Ditchfield said the marijuana helped to ease his anxiety.
McGrath was fined $1800 for the offending. A conviction was recorded..