Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Victoria: Where selling stuff to customers can be a crime.

This story is concerning, because a man's life has been destroyed by criminal charges and he did not engage in violence, theft, coercion or even make the threat of violence to anybody. All he did was provide goods in exchange for money.

A PHARMACIST caught selling more than 100 cold and flu tablets to undercover police has pleaded guilty to trafficking a drug of dependence.

Noble Park pharmacist Morimer Kham, 29, was arrested in August this year after he agreed to sell 112 boxes of pseudoephedrine type medications to an undercover agent between July and August this year.

The Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard for two months Mr Kham agreed to sell the officer multiple boxes of the drugs for a cash exchange at his father's Jacksons Road pharmacy.

Senior Constable Roz O'Grady told the court Mr Kham sold the agent enough pseudoephedrine to make 196 grams of pure methylamphetamine valued at $31, 500.

Police allege Mr Kham, of Flemington, is the first pharmacist in Victorian history to be charged with a trafficking offence.

Mr Kham pleaded guilty to trafficking a drug of dependence and was convicted and sentenced to a 12-month community based order.

He was also ordered to do 150 hours unpaid community work.

Defence lawyer Phillip Dunn QC said Mr Kham had resigned as a registered pharmacist and his life had "gone down the toilet" since his arrest.

He said the son of Cambodian migrants Mr Kham had worked for eight years to acheive his goal of becoming a pharmacist and his mistake had cost him his career.

Mr Dunn said at the time of offending Mr Kham was suffering depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of two armed robberies at the pharmacy.

The war on (some) drugs is entirely misguided. What people do in the privacy of their own homes, bars, nightclubs or businesses now suddenly becomes the concern of police. People have always been capable of making all kinds of stupid decisions, like eating KFC every dinner, or drinking 5 bottles of wine, and you simply cannot expect nor demand police to intrude into everybody's lives and private property to prevent self-harm.