Defendant told police he used the drug to treat painful symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus.
The 57th time’s the charm for an Irish man who was caught growing 16 marijuana plants in his attic.
Peter Maguire, a 41-year-old father of four, is a former heroin addict who turned to cannabis oil to treat the painful symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus, his lawyer told the court during sentencing this week. Maguire initially used painkillers to treat the condition, which causes chronic heartburn and acid reflux, but decided cannabis presented less risk of relapse, according to the Irish Examiner.
Maguire, who has been convicted an impressive 57 times in the past, mostly for traffic violations, previously pleaded guilty to growing the plants and was in court to convince the judge that the latest charge did not warrant a prison sentence.
Police told the judge that Maguire was cooperative and admitted to the crime at the time the plants were discovered, explaining he learned how to set up a grow operation by researching the subject online.
The “very fair evidence” provided by police and “very positive steps” taken by the offender prompted Judge Melanie Greally to conclude it was “not in the interest of the community to return him to a custodial environment” before handing him a suspended two-year sentence.
Maguire had initially denied the presence of drugs in his home, police said, but called the operation a “stupid mistake” once it was discovered. The plants were just over a month away from maturity and were estimated to be worth around $18,000.
Court heard that the defendant became addicted to heroin at the age of 15 and was soon on the road to a life of crime. But he managed to turn his life around since then, getting clean with the help of his community and using cannabis to help him lead a normal life.
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Written by David Yasvinski