Used cannabis for chronic pain relief

A PORTARLINGTON man caught with €3,000 of cannabis who told the district court he uses the drug for pain relief from a bad sport injury has been given a suspended sentence.

A PORTARLINGTON man caught with €3,000 of cannabis who told the district court he uses the drug for pain relief from a bad sport injury has been given a suspended sentence.

Alan Harris, 3 The Maples, Kilnacourt Heights, Port, was charged with the unlawful possession of drugs and possession for sale or supply, at his home on November 5 last year. He was also charged with possession on March 22 this year.

Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that a search of the defendant’s house on November 5 revealed €3,000 of cannabis herb, which Harris admitted was for supply. A search of his home on March 22 revealed cannabis resin worth €150 hidden in a bag in a bin.

Harris has 16 previous convictions, one of which is for drugs.

Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said his 46-year-old client had been using cannabis fairly regularly for around 30 years, usage which had increased after Harris sustained a bad sports injury which had left him in chronic pain.

“He got physical relief from the symptoms through cannabis,” Mr Meagher said.

Mr Meagher said that his client had sourced the drug in Dublin and had been supplying to an immediate circle of friends.

“He wasn’t ‘a player’,” said Mr Meagher. “He was feeding his own habit and on request collecting the drug for friends.”

Mr Meagher also said that in relation to the amount of cannabis herb found on November 5, Harris had purchased it for €400 but because he was a regular customer he was given a better deal.

Mr Meagher concluded by saying Harris is now cutting down on his drug habit.

Describing it as a serious offence, Judge Catherine Staines said that Harris should be able to avail of other pain relief methods and she said she would give him one final opportunity.

The judge imposed a ten-month sentence, suspended for two years.