A 52 year old man who told gardai who discovered a growhouse in his home, that he was cultivating cannabis for his own medical use, to self-medicate for M-S, was given a two year suspended sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court last week.
Cannabis with an estimated street value of over €25,000 was recovered from the residence of John Doherty of Newrath, Dromiskin, who admitted cultivating the plants without a licence on August 28th 2018.
The court heard last Thursday that gardai who executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home at 3.30pm, got a very strong smell of cannabis on entry to the property.
Pointing to a Quality Street tin on a kitchen island, Mr. Doherty told them “There’s a bit there and a bit more upstairs”.
He said he had Multiple Sclerosis and was growing it for himself.
In the attic space of the bungalow, in one room a tent was found with cannabis plants growing in it, and the other was insulated and had fans and ducting for ventilation.
A total of 1.2 kilos of cannabis was recovered with an estimated street value of over €25,000 although the Defence argued the material seized was of poor quality.
The defendant – who had no previous convictions, told gardai he had grown the plants from seed, from ‘weed’ he had bought, and he said he finished growing them around Christmas.
He admitted during questioning that he was a cannabis addict, saying he’d smoke between 10 and 15 joints every day but he said his doctors were aware he was taking cannabis, and claimed “It seems to work for me”.
He denied growing the plant for others and the Defence produced evidence of the MS diagnosis in 1996, saying his client had been smoking the drug for his condition for 10 or 12 years.
Judge Patrick Quinn said the defendant’s decision to go into self-production was a foolish one.
He imposed a two year sentence, suspended on the defendant entering a bond to be of good behaviour for that period.