A district judge detects an average of three to five people openly smoking cannabis on the streets when he goes for a 20-minute walk in the University College Cork area or around Cork City.
Judge Colm Roberts made this comment when he was dealing with one such case at Cork District Court.
“Smoking cannabis as if it is legal: It is beyond me. Does he want to get caught?” Judge Roberts asked.
“He should not be going around smoking it blatantly, provocatively. It is not a badge of honour to be walking around smoking cannabis on the streets.
“What goes against him is his previous convictions and the fact that it is blatant. He is of a certain age. As well as being reckless himself, he is giving a bad (example).
“He needs to concentrate on this and not be parading around the city as a man of Havana.”
The judge said that he would dispose of the matter by way of a €200 fine on the charge of having cannabis for his own use.
36-year-old Joseph Coffey, of Killarney guesthouse, Western Road, Cork, came to the attention of a garda, who passed him on the street, because of the strong smell of cannabis coming from him.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said, “On December 10, 2021, at 7pm, at Sullivan’s Quay, Cork, Garda Conor Cronin passed him and got a very strong smell of cannabis and made the discovery of the drug following a search.”
More favourably for the defendant, his solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said Coffey was now working fulltime and was doing well.
“He has not been coming to the attention of gardaí for a long time and this offence dates back to December 2021,” Mr Buttimer said.
Returning to the issue of smoking cannabis on the street, Judge Roberts said to the defendant at the end of the case, “You are 36: Come on.”