A man in the U.K. who has been prescribed medicinal marijuana was ordered to spend three years and seven months in prison after he was caught with both the medicine and ecstasy.
The Jersey Evening Post reported this week that the man was sentenced after earlier admitting to supplying the drugs. The accused had been prescribed cannabis for an anxiety disorder, court heard, and he reportedly had a network of friends who would sometimes supply weed to one another when they had it.
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Taking, carrying, making, selling, dealing or supplying drugs is illegal throughout the U.K., notes information from the government. For a Class B substance like cannabis, the maximum penalty for producing or supplying the substance is 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. For a Class A substance such as ecstasy, production or supply carries a far stricter top penalty: life in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
While recreational cannabis continues to be illegal in the U.K., it does allow for medicinal marijuana. The Medical Cannabis Clinics reports prescribed cannabis medicine only for those who obtain a prescription from the National Health Service (NHS) or a registered private doctor. Buying or growing marijuana without a prescription remains illegal.
That said, considerable hurdles to accessing prescriptions remain. A study by Professor David Nutt and others, published in 2020, found “it is still challenging for patients to gain access” and few NHS prescriptions have been written to date.
Nutt noted at the time that distinct barriers include concerns about the perceived lack of scientific evidence. “We hope that this paper will help policymakers and prescribers understand the challenges to prescribing and so help them develop approaches to overcome the current situation which is detrimental to patients,” study authors wrote.
With regards to the recently sentenced accused, police discovered him while sitting in his parked car this past January. Reacting to the police interaction by becoming argumentative and stuffing some of medicinal marijuana into his mouth, the Jersey Evening Post reports. Officers managed to recover about 40 grams of cannabis during the incident.
A subsequent search of his home address reportedly revealed a cellphone, almost £2,000 ($3,320) in cash and a so-called “deal list.”
Going through the phone, investigators discovered that the accused had sold 22 grams of cannabis over seven months and eight ecstasy tablets during the previous week.
The Royal Court further heard about an incident later in January in which a check of a hotel room revealed two bars of cannabis resin, each weighing almost 200 grams, and reported to have a street value of between £5,000 and £7,000 ($8,300 to $11,20).
The defending advocate told the court that the hotel incident resulted from the man making a “poor decision,” per Bailiwick Express.
He pleaded guilty to supplying ecstasy and cannabis, attempted possession of the hotel cannabis, possessing cannabis with the intent to supply, possessing diazepam and obstructing a police officer, the publication adds.
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