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Gardener's cannabis 'would last ten years'

IC Birmingham, 6th September 2006

When police raided the 600-year-old listed country cottage of gardener Michael Spier they found enough cannabis to last him ten years and menus giving details of varieties of the drug and their effect, it was claimed yesterday.

Nearly seven-and-a-half kilogrammes of the drug were at his listed 15th century cottage in Lower Penn, near Wolverhampton, but Spier (48) claimed it was for his personal consumption, Stafford Crown Court was told.

But yesterday Judge Nicholas Mitchell accepted a defence sub-mission that the cannabis was for personal use.

Peter Grice, prosecuting, said Spier, of Walnut Tree Cottage, Springhill Lane, spent £885 in one quarter on electricity to help grow the crop.

Spier admitted two charges of cultivating cannabis with a basis of plea that it was for his own use. He was fined £2,500 and ordered to forfeit £17,500.

He told the court he was a commercial gardener and had smoked cannabis since he was 17. He said he intended to keep the cannabis for five years.

"It was never my intention to sell the cannabis. I had no reason to. I had no idea how long the cannabis would last but I thought I might be self-sufficient for five years. I don't think it would have lasted for ten years."

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