A BENDIGO man who was caught growing cannabis in his backyard has avoided a conviction.
The 20-year-old appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court last week where he pleaded guilty to cultivating a drug of dependence.
The court heard police raided the man's Bendigo home on December 24 last year.
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The officers found a hydroponic set-up in his garage, along with one medium-size cannabis plant and two small cannabis plants.
The man was arrested and interviewed. He told police he was growing the plants for personal use and he had purchased the seeds online.
Defence lawyer Deniz Yildirim told the court the man, who was working as a carer for his legally blind brother, had no prior criminal history.
Mr Yildirim said the 20-year-old was only using cannabis recreationally.
The defence lawyer said given the man had made full admissions to police and had no prior convictions, a good behaviour bond would be an appropriate sentence.
Magistrate Russell Kelly warned the man that cannabis was a gateway drug to other illicit substances and mental health issues.
Mr Kelly said the 20-year-old came across as intelligent and insightful, so he needed to do better.
"Don't waste your time on the grass," the magistrate said.
Mr Kelly said he would give the man one chance to avoid conviction, but warned him he could go to jail if he cultivated more drugs.
The man was given a 12-month good behaviour bond without conviction. He was also ordered to pay $250 to the court fund.
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