Cannabis found in Dundalk house was for 'back pain'

Dundalk District Court

Cannabis found in Dundalk house was for 'back pain'

A man who is contesting a sale or supply charge on the grounds that cannabis seized in a search of his home was for his chronic back pain, will have to wait until the New Year to find out if he'll avoid a conviction.

The defence solicitor argued that Joseph Owens (36) with an address at Roebuck, The Loakers, Dundalk did not have the drug for sale or supply “in the statutory sense”.

He was prosecuted following the seizure of cannabis, cannabis oil and Psilocin, at his home on the 18th of February last.

The defence solicitor told the court last Wednesday that while he was charged with 'simple possession' of the drugs, his client - a man with chronic lower back pain, says he had it for his own use and not sale or supply.

The court heard the cannabis had a street value of over €1,200 and the Psilocin was worth €53.

The solicitor said that his client had made the oil himself and ingested it for chronic pain, and there was no evidence of him dealing.

He added "We're also a user and not an independent party".

Insp. Martin Beggy confirmed the State was not suggesting there was 'coming and going from the house' but he said they found bags and a set of weighing scales, along with the cannabis and it was on that basis that the sale or supply charge was being put forward.

When Judge Coughlan asked the inspector "Why did you go to the house", the Defence solicitor said his client felt he was being landed in it by someone who might have an axe to grind.

Insp. Beggy said "It was confidential information that we received".

The court heard Joseph Owens has no previous convictions and his GP has encouraged him to attend detox.

The defence solicitor stressed that the accused was using the drug as an anti-inflammatory, and he could not plead to a sale or supply charge, as he does not engage in either.