A Feilding sickness beneficiary who smoked cannabis for pain relief also sold the drug "to make ends meet".
In the High Court at Palmerston North, Chance Tuhaka Williams, 49, was sentenced to nine months' home detention for possessing cannabis for sale.
Justice Jillian Mallon said police raided Williams' house on April 3 and in the wash house found 14 "evenly weighted tinnies", 35 grams of dried cannabis head, 70 grams of cannabis leaf and a box of plastic bags.
In a separate container was 800 grams of dried cannabis leaf.
Police found 12 more tinnies in William's bedroom and another 5 grams of loose leaf and a bong elsewhere in the house.
"You admitted that all the cannabis was yours. You said the cannabis was for your own personal use because you suffered from lower back and leg pain," the judge told Williams.
He suffered from injury-related lower back and hip pain and told a pre-sentence report writer prescribed medication made him feel worse or had no effect.
Williams mostly spent his days caring for his wife, who has suffered a brain aneurism. Despite his earlier comments to police, he later admitted selling cannabis "to make ends meet".
"You said you were struggling financially with your wife's illness."
The pre-sentence report said Williams was remorseful, had sought budgetary advice and was willing to undertake drug counseling.
"You say you have stopped using cannabis and have gone to the doctor to get prescribed medication for pain relief," the judge said.
Williams had also said he was worried about going to prison as there would be nobody to care for his wife.
But he need not have worried as the judge ruled him suitable for home detention.
"The prospects of imprisonment, which would mean you could not care for your wife, has caused you take positive steps to address your offending," the judge said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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