ACT News

Calwell man pleads guilty to cultivating 21kg of cannabis

A Calwell man found with 85 cannabis plants – weighing almost 22 kilograms in total - in his backyard has pleaded guilty to drug charges.

Shane McKenzie, 25, pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday to cultivating cannabis and possessing ice.

A number of other similar charges were withdrawn by the prosecution once the pleas were entered.

Defence lawyer Andrew Fraser said a drug and alcohol assessment report would not be required for the sentence.

Outside court, Mr Fraser said the plea had been entered on the basis his client had owned four of the plants and had watered the other 81 plants, which he claimed belonged to someone else.

Mr Fraser said he would call evidence at sentence to prove the other plants belonged to a second individual.

Magistrate Bernadette Boss listed the matter for sentence next month.

Court documents said police raided McKenzie's Calwell unit about 6.15am in February.

Officers found an area of the backyard had been surrounded by black mesh, which, when deconstructed, was discovered to contain 85 cannabis plants.

Police analysis confirmed the total weight of the seized cannabis had been 21.94 kilograms.

A clip seal bag containing a white crystalline substance and glass pipe were located in the unit's bedroom.

Tests later confirmed the substance to be methylamphetamine.

McKenzie admitted to police that he had planted four of the plants and cultivated the others by way fertilising and watering them with a garden hose.

He told officers that the cultivation had been an experiment and intended to use the results for personal use as he had nerve damage in his arms and self-medicated with cannabis.

McKenzie also told police the ice had been for personal use.