Father cultivated cannabis plants for medicinal oil
By Brian Hoban
A father-of-one who cultivated cannabis plants and extracted medicinal oil for himself and his son has received a fully suspended sentence.
Derek White (41) of Colthurst Gardens, Huntington Glen, Lucan, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawful possession of cannabis at his home on July 11, 2016.
Judge Cormac Quinn sentenced White to two years imprisonment, but suspended the entirety of the sentence on condition that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of two years.
Garda David Sheehy told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question White was stopped while driving and a small amount of cannabis was discovered in his car.
Gardai searched his house and discovered 16 cannabis plants growing in a tent in an upstairs room. The total value of these plants was €12,800.
Gda Sheehy agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that there were no trappings of wealth in the house. He accepted that White suffers from health problems and that he is the sole carer of a son who is on the autistic spectrum.
Mr Le Vert said his client was not selling the cannabis to others, but rather was using it to extract oil to treat his own stomach problems relating to Crohn’s disease and to assist his son.
Mr Le Vert said White was growing a strain of cannabis “specifically designed to not get one high”. White now buys hemp in bulk and uses it to extract the same oil for medicinal purposes.
White has four previous convictions, including convictions for possession of drugs, cultivation of cannabis plants and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Judge Quinn said the aggravating factors in the case were the value of the cannabis and the sophistication of the operation. He said the mitigating factors were White’s age, his personal circumstances, his admissions and his guilty plea.
He said he took into account that White was not supplying others or benefiting financially, that his motivation was medicinal and that he is the sole carer of a son on the autistic spectrum.