Drug user fined despite claim he 'did not inhale'

I WASN'T stoned officer . . . I was just around people who were smoking pot.

Queensland man John Henry Williams, 48, used the "President Clinton" defence to claim that he only failed a roadside drug test in 2012 because of being exposed to passive smoke ingestion while at a party.

Former United States President Bill Clinton once famously said when asked whether he has smoked cannabis that he had, but did not inhale, leading to the birth of the popular defence.

The police did not buy it and neither did the courts.

Williams eventually pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $500 and disqualified from holding a driver's licence for a month.

However, the guilty plea came back to haunt Williams several years later when the Queensland Police Service revoked his weapons licence which he had held for a number of years.

The police claim that because of the drug offence he was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a weapons licence as defined under the legislation.

Williams took his fight to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal last month in a bid to have the decision overturned.

The tribunal heard Williams had never been charged with any breaches of the weapons licences he has held and is the current holder of a Queensland Blue Card that allows him to work with children.

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal member Dr Bridget Cullen, in overturning the Queensland Police Service decision, said based on the evidence before her there was nothing to suggest Williams should not hold a weapons licence.

"I have considerable difficulty accepting a line of argument that one could be deemed safe to work with children, but not fit and proper to hold a weapons licence," she said.

Dr Cullen ordered that the Queensland Police Service reinstate Williams's weapons licence.

APN Newsdesk



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