“THE joints are off the menu,” a judge told a 16-year-old who admitted he was smoking cannabis two or three times a week.
The teenager was before a juvenile sitting of Cork District Court for sentencing on a charge of allowing himself to be carried in a stolen car a year ago.
The defendant was caught as a passenger in the stolen car on the night of his 15th birthday.
Inspector Gary McPolin said it was the youngster’s first ever offence.
Judge Mary Dorgan said the teenager, who was in court with his dad, the good news was that this was his only offence but the bad news was that it was such a serious one.
The judge told him that everyone was aware of the frequency with which young people were killed while travelling in stolen cars.
She said that that it could have been more serious if he had driven the car.
Judge Dorgan noted from a background probation report that the teenager admitted ongoing cannabis use.
She asked the defendant how often he smoked cannabis and he said: “Two of three times a week.”
The judge told him that some people who smoked cannabis regularly were of the view that somehow it was less harmful than alcohol.
She said that some people thought that it was useful for relaxation.
However, she warned that the courts were familiar with many cases of people developing psychosis as a result of habitual cannabis smoking in their youth.
The judge put the teenager on a six-month probation bond and imposed a condition of abstaining from all intoxicants.
Judge Dorgan reminded him as he left court: “The joints are off the menu.”