So, was Ms Corrigan’s harvest a large amount to consume for personal use in a year? At less than a gram per day, this is a modest amount for someone using cannabis for chronic pain management.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, the law allows for wide discretion to prosecute without any evidence of dealing. This permits the DPP to routinely (and, perhaps, cynically) bring very serious criminal proceedings – a particularly traumatic experience for Ms Corrigan – solely on the basis that they believe the value of a seizure is high.
Dr Cian Ó Concubhair and Dr Ian Marder say the DPP and Gardaí need a more common-sense approach in their application of certain drug laws.
To our first point then: should Ms Corrigan have been charged and prosecuted for dealing in the cannabis she had grown? If we take the jury’s determination of not guilty, the answer is surely no. But failure to achieve a conviction is not, in and of itself, a sound basis for criticising a decision to prosecute. The DPP presumably believed there was some prospect of convicting Ms Corrigan for dealing, based on the amount of cannabis found in her possession.
Secondly, as policies and practices regulating drugs change rapidly around the world, even the decision to charge Ms Corrigan with possession – which ostensibly must have been determined to be in the public interest – can be questioned. Research clearly demonstrates the medicinal value of cannabis, and Ireland began a five-year pilot in 2019 providing access to cannabis for medicinal purposes.
While the Oireachtas has been relatively enthusiastic about requiring the DPP to explain their use of discretion to victims of serious crimes, there is little appetite among lawmakers for requiring our public prosecutor to be transparent about their decision-making.
They had been called to the accident near to Buttevant and noticed four plastic refuse bags discarded on the side of the road.
He believed in the medicinal qualities of cannabis and used it himself. He also admitted supplying it to eight people.
A sniffer dog sniffed out the cabin in the hay barn on Sept 2, 2010.
They also recovered cannabis-growing equipment including special lighting, heaters and dehumidifiers.
Jones, of Maughanaclea, Kealkil, Bantry, couldn’t resist telling Cork Circuit Criminal Court that she would have no problem having gardaí come and carry out follow-up checks in her house provided they didn’t bring in mud on their shoes.
The bags contained some harvested plants and growing paraphernalia.
MANY unsuspecting neighbours are oblivious to what may be happening in the house next door to them.
Judge Patrick Moran heard that Glaswegian Joseph Stevenson — the son of a retired policeman — had turned a five-bed house in Skibbereen into an elaborately laid-out cannabis factory for producing “cut-price weed”.
The cannabis was found in the three bedrooms of the house and gardaí estimate the value of the drugs to be €15,000.