A Blackball man will claim 2.5kg of cannabis head, with an
estimated street value of up to $33,000, found at his home
last year was for his personal consumption.
Eric Peter Vegneris, 50, has elected trial by jury on a
charge of possessing cannabis for supply.
Judge Alastair Garland told a Greymouth District Court jury
today that in cannabis supply charges it was up to the
accused to prove that it was not for sale, and that the Crown
did not have the burden of proof.
Detective Malcolm Haughey, accompanied by two detectives from
Nelson and two constables, executed a search warrant of
Vegneris's home on May 8, 2012. They found a drying room next
to a double garage, where a sheet of plywood on trestles held
2.1kg of cannabis head drying under heaters.
Two small bags concealed in a wall each had about 40g of
dried head, and a basket inside the house held a further
275g. As well, police found kitchen scale, bags, fertiliser
and other items used by cannabis dealers.
Vegneris said he had found the cannabis in the bush but would
not say where.
He told police it was not for sale and that he and his wife
intended to smoke it all.
A police expert estimated that the cannabis, if sold in pound
lots, would have brought in $21,000, but if broken down into
ounces it would have raised $33,000.
- Greymouth Star