A FORMER Australian Defence soldier busted with cannabis says he uses the drug to help his diagnosed heart ailment.
Reuben Oakes, 28, from Captain Creek near Agnes Water pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to possession of the drug, bongs, and a grinder on March 14.
Prosecutor snr const Sam Pyke said three grams was found, with Oakes telling police he smokes cannabis as self medication for a heart condition.
Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said Oakes had a heart attack aged 21 and was then discharged from the Army.
He instructed her that because of unpleasant side effects from prescribed medication it led him to do his own research because he was not getting much help from his GP.
She said he perceived that cannabis would provide the same benefits without the same side affects.
Ms Ditchfield said Oakes had spoken to other doctors but unfortunately not found an alternative medication so continued with cannabis.
Magistrate Robert Walker said he did not regard the use of cannabis as self medication a mitigating circumstance.
"To my mind using cannabis as self medication is a misguided notion," he said.
He fined Oakes $900, saying that he should follow the medical regime prescribed by doctors.