Sydney Poulton pleaded guilty in Caloundra Magistrates Court on Tuesday to drug driving.
Sydney Poulton pleaded guilty in Caloundra Magistrates Court on Tuesday to drug driving.

Drug driver goes from pot to fire on US return

A drug driver who consumed marijuana in the United States to relieve COVID-19 stress said he wasn’t aware driving with marijuana in his system was illegal in Australia.

Sydney Kim Poulton pleaded guilty in Caloundra Magistrates Court on Tuesday to drug driving.

“I don’t feel guilty at all,” he told the court.

Police prosecutor Mark Burrell told the court Poulton was stopped on May 7 at 1.50pm at Gympie St South in Landsborough.

The court heard he returned a positive result for marijuana.

Self represented, Poulton said he had just returned from the United States where it was legal to consume marijuana.

He said it must be a new law implemented in Australia because he had never heard of it.

“I was under a lot of stress because all the flights had been suspended from the US,” he said.

“I didn’t know if I was ever going to get back again.

“I didn’t know whether I was going to get sick and have to stay there.

“It was like going from the pot into the fire when I got home.”

Magistrate Stephanie Tonkin told him ignorance of the law was no excuse.

She said he had a “concerning” traffic history seven years ago but had improved significantly since then.

Poulton was fined $400 and disqualified from driving for one month.

A conviction was recorded.


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