There is plenty of empirical evidence to support the theory that cannabis can ease, or even sometimes cure, a number of medical ailments. The courts are a little skeptical when defendants claim medical reasons for their usage, especially when large quantities are involved. It is essential to obtain evidence of the medical conditions involved, and efforts that have been made to treat them. Careful defence analysis of the so- called Bryan statement prepared by a specialist police officer in production cases is also very important and we often call upon the services of a drug expert Allen Morgan of www.drugexpert.co.uk to assist and prepare a report for the defence.
In this case the Bryan officer claimed that if our client were to smoke three grams of cannabis a day, the potential amount which could have been cropped from the plants seized would have lasted him seven years! This however did not take into account the fact that the defendant had planted more plants than he could possibly support to maturity in the space available, the reason being that he had no automatic watering system and was going on a holiday with his family leaving the plants uncared for, so he anticipated that he would have heavy losses. Furthermore, his intention was to manufacture cannabis oil from the plants, and this process is well known to take a very considerable amount of herbal cannabis to make a small quantity of oil. On both these issues Allen Morgan’s report was very pertinent.
In this case there were 137 cannabis plants and the defendant was almost certainly looking at an immediate custodial sentence. He had initially decided to fight the case on the basis that all the cannabis was for his own use exclusively, but ultimately he pleaded guilty to production on the basis that the great majority of the cannabis was for personal use, for medical relief, but there was some small commercial element and he intended to supply a small proportion to others. This basis of plea was accepted by the prosecution and the court.
After hearing very careful mitigation including a detailed letter from a surgeon addressing the issue of our client’s severe arthritis, and Allen Morgan’s report, the judge imposed a suspended sentence order of imprisonment for 20 months, suspended for 24 months, with a rehabilitation requirement.