Dad grew cannabis plants for pain relief
A LUNG-cancer survivor who said he grew cannabis plants partly for pain relief has avoided going to jail.
Father-of-one Stephen Young (46) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to cultivating cannabis at Glasslynn Apartments, Howth Road, on October 15, 2012.
The court heard that Young, of Red Archers Close, Baldoyle, went to "elaborate lengths" to shield his daughter from the drugs by renting a room in a different house for the purpose of growing the plants.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring suspended a two-and-a-half year jail sentence on condition that Young is of good behaviour for that period and carries out 75 hours of community service.
She said there was "some substance" to Young's claim, as cannabis is administered for pain relief in some countries.
Garda Niall McDonnell told the prosecution that they found 14 potted flowering cannabis plants in the raid. The plants were worth €11,200 in total.
A week later, Young went to gardai and took responsibility.
Young said smoking cannabis gave him relief from cramps he had after an operation.
Young said he grew the drugs as he didn't want to interact with dealers. He didn't want to grow in his own house as his 12-year-old daughter goes there.
Young expressed surprise that the drugs had a value of over €11,000, as he thought they were worth about €4,000.
He has a several minor previous convictions for road traffic offences.
A number of medical reports were presented in court noting that Young smokes cannabis for its analgesic effects.