Man with cannabis worth €3,400 is ‘misguided' about drugs, says judge

August 9th, 2017 11:30 AM

By Southern Star Team

Solicitor Ray Hennessy said his client found cannabis was the best thing for his pain.

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A 57-YEAR-old single man from Courtmacsherry who was found with cannabis plants and herbs worth over €3,400 was told by a District Court Judge that while he is an intelligent man, he is quite misguided about drugs. 

Judge Marie Keane made the comment when dealing with the case of James Noonan of 1 Abbeyview, Meelmane, at a recent sitting of Bandon District Court.

 The defendant appeared in court on two charges of having cannabis at his home on November 1st 2015 and cannabis on November 27th last year.

Having pleaded guilty to the possession of cannabis and the cultivation of it, the charge of having the drug for sale or supply was withdrawn by the prosecution.

Insp Brian Murphy told the court that Gda James Masters went to the defendant's home on November 1st 2015 with a search warrant for drugs and found cannabis plants and herbs there, with a value of €3,400.

The court was told the defendant has no previous convictions and that he pleaded guilty to Section 3 and Section 17 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.

The second matter before the court occurred on November 27th last year when gardaí called to his home with a search warrant and found a tub of cannabis to

 the value of €20. Solicitor Ray Hennessy said his client found cannabis was the best thing for his pain and was fully aware that it's illegal.

Giving sworn evidence in court, Mr Noonan said that when he had his first gout attack, he found the pain unbelievable.

‘A friend of mine said that if I found the right type of cannabis and make an ointment out of it that it might help. I have a lot of skin problems too, and if I dry out the cannabis and put it into butter, it helps with scars on my chest and knee,' said Mr Noonan.

‘I kept it to myself and never told anyone and the cannabis the gardaí found at my home would be CBD cannabis, as opposed to THC cannabis.'

Mr Noonan said he used the cannabis for himself and is not involved in the sale or supply of the drug and said he did not want the public attention that this case would bring on him.

Judge Keane, on reading a statement written by the defendant, said he seemed like an intelligent person and was quoting the Bible.

‘My function is solely civil law and not Bible law,' said Judge Keane.

‘Who is the victim in this case? The victim isn't you – it's society, as it has suffered hugely from the scourge of drugs. 

‘You're still a member of society and you must obey the norms of society and the cultivation of cannabis is illegal.' Mr Noonan said he wrote that statement as ‘he was in limbo and didn't know what was going on and I didn't know the procedures of court'.

Mr Hennessy said that the cannabis found in his client's possession is not the normal type of cannabis that is generally used by people who smoke it.

In summing up, Judge Marie Keane said that the defendant is a ‘bright man, but quite misguided' and said it was very serious situation.

‘You need to gain an insight into drugs,' said Judge Keane, who directed a Probation Report to be carried out on the defendant for the September 15th court sitting.

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