Anthony Paul Stacey, 53 of Coolum Beach, proudly declared he was a marijuana advocate after he was handed a suspended jail term for growing 181 plants in his backyard.
Anthony Paul Stacey, 53 of Coolum Beach, proudly declared he was a marijuana advocate after he was handed a suspended jail term for growing 181 plants in his backyard.

Weed growing advocate says government should pay him

A MARIJUANA advocate told police the government should "give him a job" growing the drug as he gave officers a tour of his 182-plant crop.

Anthony Paul Stacey felt "proud" as shocked police uncovered the plants, some taller than the roofline, during a raid on his Coolum Beach home on January 13.

The 53-year-old pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Maroochydore District Court today for producing the dangerous drug between September last year to January, possessing more than 13kg of marijuana and a pipe used to smoke it.

Crown prosecutor Alex Stark told the court Stacey told police he grew the drug for himself and a "bunch of friends".

Coolum Beach Cannabis Raid: Police body cam footage shows officers inspecting a large crop of cannabis plants in the backyard of a Coolum Beach home.
Coolum Beach Cannabis Raid: Police body cam footage shows officers inspecting a large crop of cannabis plants in the backyard of a Coolum Beach home.

"Their quacks are telling them they should be on this, I'm just doing it for them and myself, I've got PTSD," Mr Stark relayed Stacey's words to the court.

"In an ideal world, the government would give me a job doing this, I am f---ing good at it, it's just a plant for f---'s sake."

Judge Glen Cash remarked it was a "pretty decent crop" to have growing in a suburban backyard, and said though Stacey was entitled to his opinion he had broken Queensland laws.

Police found 182 cannabis plants in the backyard of a Coolum Beach home with some plants higher than the roof line of the house.
Police found 182 cannabis plants in the backyard of a Coolum Beach home with some plants higher than the roof line of the house.

"He doesn't have to be sorry for what he's done, he just has to not do it," Judge Cash said.

The court heard Stacey was an Australian Army veteran, held a university degree in film production and was a former manager of Australian music festivals.

He now works part-time in a nursery.

Judge Cash said he should stick to that job.

Stacey turned to marijuana in a bid to stop taking opiates he was prescribed for a neck injury sustained during his army service.

Police found 182 cannabis plants in the backyard of a Coolum Beach and three kilograms of dried cannabis.
Police found 182 cannabis plants in the backyard of a Coolum Beach and three kilograms of dried cannabis.

Stacey was sentenced to six months' jail, immediately suspended for 18 months.

Outside court, Stacey stated as an "big time advocate" for legalising marijuana, he had a "target" on his back.

But he vowed to abide by the law.

"Of course it's an illegal issue, and I'm pleased the court didn't see to put me in jail for it," Stacey said.

"As I have always maintained the laws are immoral, they are based on complete fraudulent situations and they do nothing but harm in society.

"It's a complete hypocrisy when we are going to allow people to buy alcohol and it has a long record of huge detriment to society."