Derry man fined for possessing cannabis describes current drug laws as a ‘joke’ and says it should be used for medicinal purposes
A Derry man fined for cultivating cannabis has called the law ‘a joke’ and argued that it should be allowed for ‘medicinal purposes’.
Kevin Cregan, 32, of Old City Court, admitted to a charge of cultivating cannabis on June 16 of last year.
A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) representative said police had reason to attend Cregan’s home address on that date where they discovered a ‘collapsible tent’ with ‘pipes’ coming from it.
There was said to be four cannabis plants, a light bulb and ‘dead cannabis leaves’ beside the tent.
The defendant explained during police interview that he uses cannabis for ‘medical reasons’ and bought the items on the internet from America.
He explained that he can’t sleep without it and doesn’t buy it on the street as it can be ‘contaminated’.
Cregan told the PSNI: “The law is a joke, it should be allowed for medicinal purposes.”
Defence barrister Stephen Mooney said his client’s view would be shared by others but the court ‘can only apply criminal law’.
The court was told that the author of Cregan’s pre-sentence report detailed ‘very serious medical complications’ when he was growing up that ‘blighted his life’.
As a result the 32-year-old has ‘self-medicated’ and has two prior convictions for using drugs.
Mr Mooney suggested probation could provide him with some assistance which ‘may change his attitude’ towards drugs but ‘maybe not’.
District Judge Barney McElholm said it is for legislators to decide what to do but accepted there is an argument ‘elements’ of cannabis have ‘some medicinal value’ which could possibly be ‘synthesised and used’.
However, he said it was still illegal in law which he had to apply and not his decision to make but for ‘medical research to make the case, if there is one’.
Fining the 32-year-old £100, the District Judge said the drugs were for Cregan’s own personal use and he was ‘not a danger to the public’.