Thursday, April 19, 2007

coals to Newcastle

From The Age

Aussie tourist fined for importing cannabis

An "incredibly stupid" Brisbane company director has been fined $NZ1500 ($A1334) fine for posting cannabis to himself for use on a family holiday in New Zealand.
"You have insulted our country by sending yourself cannabis which you intended to smoke here," Judge Jane McMeeken told Amanuel Tossos Bellas.
Bellas, 49, of Mansfield, Brisbane, is a director of a company employing 30 people.
He was allowed to collect his confiscated passport from Customs and fly home - as long as the fine and court costs totalling $NZ1630 had been paid.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of importing cannabis into New Zealand a few days before the family holiday began.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Jeff Kay said Bellas had posted 13.65 grams of cannabis inside a compact disk case, to an address he was going to stay at in Christchurch.
The package was intercepted at the Auckland Mail Centre.
Bellas flew into New Zealand on April 14 and was spoken to by Customs officers yesterday, when he said he used the class C drug to help him sleep.
Defence counsel Grant Tyrell said there was no suggestion the importation was for anything but personal use. Bellas had a medical condition which meant he suffered chronic pain, and chronic insomnia.
"He was concerned he would not be able to sleep," Tyrell said.
He had explained the matter to his family and accepted there would be repercussions for his future travel. He could pay a fine immediately.
Judge McMeeken told Bellas: "You have behaved in an incredibly stupid way."
She accepted he was using the cannabis himself, for medical purposes "but that's no defence at all".

I think the full quote from Judge McMeeken was actually, "You have behaved in an incredibly stupid way. Why import cannabis when you could have bought it here and supported the local economy?"


Blogger The Editter said...

but he was holidaying in Christchurch, not Northland...

9:58 am  

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