An illegal cannabis farmer in Australia may have taken an episode of Family Guy too seriously. After police discovered his illegal cannabis farm, the defendant claimed he did not need to follow the laws of the land because he was not a part of it. Instead, he claims that he is a “sovereign person” and his property is a sovereign state “totally outside the territory of Australia.” However, he probably should have made sure Australia was in agreement with his declaration of independence.
Did His Excuse Work?
As you may have guessed, claiming to be a “sovereign person” does not actually make you one. Nor does it make you free from following the laws in Australia.
Similarly, Peter Griffin declared his home to be an independent nation in Season 2, Episode 18 of Family Guy. Perhaps that is where Arnfried Duden, a 60-year-old cannabis farmer, got the idea. However, it seems like he didn’t watch the whole episode because, by the end of it, Peter faced repercussions for breaking United States law.
When the police arrived at Duden’s remote property north of Kyogle in April of 2015, he told them to leave the premises because his Roseberry Creek farm was a sovereign state and they had no right to enter.
The police uncovered a grow with 133 cannabis plants in different stages of maturity. On the property, there was a shipping container which had over 200 pounds of cannabis plants in eight barrels and on drying racks.
On top of tons of cannabis, authorities also found a small amount of MDMA in Duden’s possession. He was prepared with an excuse for this as well. Duden said it was a gift to be used for making homeopathic medicines. The self-proclaimed sovereign person also calls himself a self-taught homeopath.
As the police continued to search, they came across $25,950 in cash in a bedroom with three unregistered rifles, an unregistered shotgun, handcuffs, a taser and plenty of bullets. After being asked about the firearms, Duden claimed his independence from local laws.
“I am not part of New South Wales, therefore, I do not comply (with) New South Wales regulations,” he said after being asked about the firearms.
As for the cash they found?
Duden “claimed he had pledged to use the money to support the Human Rights Movement of the Aborigines,” according to the police.
Despite not associating himself with any religion, Duden said that he believes “being generous is a good thing.”
Final Hit: Cannabis Farm Classified As Sovereign State?
Despite his interesting defense, Duden had to appear in court last week to defend himself.
That’s when he was given nearly six years in jail, with a non-parole period in three years.
Hopefully, this serves as a lesson to anyone else looking to use a sovereign state as an excuse to get away with illegally growing and selling cannabis.