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This U.K. man says he turned to selling drugs to pay for school

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Characterized as “highly intelligent,” the student has been arrested several times for dealing

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A 23-year-old student at the University of Essex in the U.K. faces several charges after being arrested for suspected drug dealing three times since last November.

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The man faces two counts of possession with intent to supply cannabis, being concerned in the supply of cannabis and possession of cocaine, according to East Anglian Daily Times.

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During his most recent arrest in June, just eight days into bail for an arrest earlier that month, the man was arrested when police stopped a car in which he was a passenger and found 147 grams of weed on him. That arrest followed another on June 2, in which police discovered his constantly ringing phone, weighing scales and a tin that smelled like cannabis, East Anglian Daily Times reports.

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The two June arrests followed yet another on Nov. 9, 2019. That time, police found him carrying 65.7 grams of weed divided into small bags, 3.3 grams of cocaine and a phone with messages to 93 recipients, the publication adds. What was the message? “Top-shelf UK strains’ like platinum cookies and gorilla glue.”

The man got caught while trying to sell cannabis to a plain-clothes officer near the university’s Colchester campus. At that point, the man was serving an eight-month suspended sentence for dangerous driving.

Described as highly intelligent, the student said he began dealing drugs to pay for his university studies. “He had been an undergraduate at another university and had no money. He felt deeply ashamed and that he hadn’t been able to achieve what was expected,” the court was recently told.

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But the judge was unwilling to ignore that he sold drugs while on bail. The judge ordered 15 months in jail, including three months of the suspended sentence, as well as confiscation of £1,010 and the electric scooter that he used while dealing.

The U.K. student is hardly the only person to turn to dealing in tough times. Most recently, a man was arrested while travelling with 300 kg of cannabis at the Thai-Lao border, arguing that he was just a middleman and was trafficking to help make ends meet during COVID-19.

Then there are those who are growing weed as their own personal medicine, including an 80-year-old man in the U.K. who uses the cannabis he grows in his garage to combat the symptoms associated with kidney failure, to which there is no cure.

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