A lonely Coolgardie man who turned to growing cannabis while he was in the grips of acute depression and suffering from arthritis pain and heart problems says the moment cops raided his home he felt a “weight had been lifted” off his shoulders because “he had someone to talk to”.
John Allan Elliot, 59, was fined $1000 after pleading guilty to cultivating a prohibited drug at Kalgoorlie Magistrate’s Court yesterday after his charge was downgraded from cultivating a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply.
Elliot, a disability pensioner, also pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safekeeping of ammunition, possessing a prohibited drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.
The court was told that Elliot, pictured, had last year been suffering from arthritis had been on prescription painkillers — which had not been helping his pain — and over-the-counter codeine.
When a recent law change clamped down on ready access to codeine, Elliot decided to self-medicate and turned to cannabis.
Rather than buying the drug, the pensioner decided to grow it. But that came to a swift end on September 27 when police raided his Bayley Street home.
Officers found two hydroponic set-ups and 24 cannabis plants in Elliot’s bedrooms, including heat lamps, exhaust fans and PH-testing kits.
Officers also found four boxes of .22-calibre ammunition that Elliot claims he had forgotten about after disposing of an old rifle.
Speaking outside court after his sentencing, Elliot urged others not to follow in his footsteps and said he had made a “stupid mistake”.
The former train driver said that living “alone and suffering from deep depression had taken its toll” and the conviction showed “what could happen to someone with no criminal history”.
Magistrate Brie Ayling noted Elliot had no prior convictions and after hearing that he was now being medicated properly, said there was little risk of him re-offending.