A 45-year-old man caught cultivating cannabis at his home in Kanturk was jailed for one year today as the sentencing judge said he was not going to sanction the man’s belief that cannabis was a useful medication for him.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed the sentence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Gavin Ryan admitted cultivating cannabis at Ballymacmurragh, Kanturk, on November 4 2018.
Ray Boland, defence barrister, said the accused had five plants growing at the time and was self-medicating with cannabis for health issues that he had.
Garda William Hosford said the gardaí obtained a warrant to search the home of the accused in November 2018.
In an upstairs bedroom, they found a tent being used as grow-tent for cannabis and it contained five plants, three of which were mature.
Downstairs in the fridge, the gardaí found two jars of cannabis herb that had been dried.
The street value of the cannabis herb was €1,600 and the plants were worth €2,400, according to Garda Hosford.
Gardaí then questioned Ryan about the drugs seizure.
“He admitted setting up a grow-tent and harvesting the cannabis,” Garda Hosford said.
The accused had four convictions for having drugs for his own use, one for cultivating cannabis and two historical convictions dating back to 1998 for having drugs for supply.
More recently he got community service as a penalty for offences including cultivation.
Gavin Ryan was self-medicating with cannabis for health issues that he had, including treatment for diabetes.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin commented, “He is not an addict, he is dedicated. He told the doctor it does him good.”
Ray Boland, defence barrister, said the accused kept himself to himself and never came to the attention of gardaí for selling cannabis, it was always for his own use.
He said the 45-year-old lived alone.
Mr Boland repeated that the use of the cannabis was as a medicine.
The judge said, “The day for posters was last Saturday.”
In his judgement, he said the accused was very entrenched in his beliefs about the use of drugs.
“He continues on his own way – that is great but it is not legal. I am more or less being asked to give it a say so, which I am not going to do. A custodial sentence is necessary.”