Police have dropped trafficking charges against a Portland district man caught with cannabis worth more than $18,000.
Eric Hodkinson, 64, appeared in Portland Magistrates Court on Tuesday where a police prosecutor withdrew the charge of trafficking cannabis, which carried a maximum penalty of 15 years' jail.
He pleaded guilty to possessing the drug and was convicted and fined $2000.
The court heard Hodkinson's semi-rural home located on the outskirts of Portland was raided in January 3 this year with police uncovering vacuum sealed bags of cannabis and digital scales.
The total quantity of drugs was 1.369 kilograms - five times the traffickable quantity and with an estimated street value of more than $18,000.
Police attempted to search Hodkinson's phone for evidence of drug trafficking but it was found to have been wiped.
Vanessa Focken, representing Hodkinson, said her client suffered physical impairments and he grew the cannabis for personal use.
She said the phone was new and not intentionally set to factory settings in order to avoid detection.
Ms Focken said Hodkinson was preparing for an extended holiday and he planned to take the cannabis with him to avoid paying an exorbitant amount on the road.
But magistrate Franz Holzer said it was a "heck of a lot" of cannabis, particularly for Hodkinson who had criminal priors for drug trafficking in 2005 and possession in 2016.
He said he understood the trafficking charge had been withdrawn but he was "a bit sceptical" of the offender.
"This is not something that is grown overnight, it requires considerable space and one would assume some level of planning, foresight and geographic space to do it," he said.
Ms Focken said the drugs were grown on Hodkinson's property and it was consistent with his general lifestyle, which included growing fruit and vegetables and caring for a small number of sheep which he would later eat.
She said the cannabis was grown in pots outside and it wasn't a sophisticated set-up.
She said Hodkinson had since been prescribed medical marijuana and he was addressing his addiction.
Hodkinson told the court he "stupidly" grew four plants which unexpectedly had a "very good harvest".
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