‘Not unlawful in my eyes’: Pot protest falls on deaf ears
A HOSPITALITY worker on minor drug charges fronted up to a magistrate this week saying he does not consider marijuana to be a dangerous drug, and that he uses it to treat pain and work stress.
Richard Hopkins told the magistrate it was a view accepted around the world that marijuana could be used safely.
But his belief counted for little after he pleaded guilty to the charges before Ipswich Magistrates Court.
Hopkins, 31, a chef from Bellbird Park, pleaded guilty to possession of a dangerous drug at Collingwood Park on March 11; and possession of drug utensils.
He also pleaded to driving unlicensed when SPER suspended in Eagle St at Collingwood Park on the same day.
Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said police doing licence checks intercepted Hopkins behind the wheel of a white Mitsubishi Lancer just after 3pm.
Hopkins had been extremely nervous saying he'd just finished work. A small amount of cannabis was found in the car.
"I don't consider that to be a dangerous drug. All around the world it has been revealed it should not be classified as a dangerous drug," Hopkins told Magistrate David Shepherd.
Mr Shepherd told Hopkins that under government legislation it was illegal and he should take his argument up with his local member of parliament.
Hopkins said he had been using the drug for pain relief and stress because he found pharmaceuticals ineffective.
"I work in hospitality and use it to relax, to calm down from work. I work long, stressful hours," he said.
"In my eyes it is not unlawful."
Mr Shepherd said that if he has pain and stress issues there were other ways to treat it that were not unlawful.
Hopkins said he was a chef and a father of four children, including three who lived with him.
He was convicted and fined $750, and disqualified from driving for one month.