Australian Great-Grandmother Sentenced for Dealing Drugs

By McCarton Ackerman 01/09/14

The 79-year-old woman claimed that the marijuana found by police was used by her now-deceased daughter for pain relief.

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A 79-year-old great grandmother from Sydney was given a four-month suspended jail sentence and a four-month good behavior bond for selling drugs out of her home. The home of Barbara Stiff was raided by police last June, who found 67 grams of marijuana. The great-grandmother said the pot belonged to her daughter, who had passed away that year and was using the drug as pain relief, but admitted to police that she intended to sell the drugs as she had no use them when her daughter passed away. Police also found $295 in her wallet from selling part of the stash, in addition to five bags of pot she planned to sell.

Stiff told the court that she would obtain mass amounts of cannabis with other people in a “similar position” in their public housing unit and allow her dying daughter to smoke it in her home. “She was in a great deal of pain and using cannabis for pain relief,” said Barrister William Barber. Since the case went public, the housing commission is now trying to actively remove Stiff from the unit she has lived in for the past 30 years.

After the sentencing, Barber said that Stiff was embarrassed by the case, but relieved it was over and looking forward to moving on after a difficult 2013.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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