24-year-old Jack Donelon got cannabis from the NHS for his autism. He became a cannabis dealer, selling the stuff to other people, so he could afford even more for himself.

The middle of Congleton, where Jack Donelon lives. Photo: Kelvin Fagan

This came to light when Donelon was in the passenger seat of a car the police stopped on Hanley Road, Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, on July 29 2020. Officers found cannabis within a crisp packet, and Donelon admitted it belonged to him. Examination of his phone turned up messages related to his drug dealing. He confessed to being a regular user, and selling some of his NHS-given dope, so he could buy more. He was travelling from Congleton, where he resides at Back Lane, to Hanley to buy cannabis.

Donelon has no criminal record and co-operated with police. He pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis. At North Staffordshire Justice Centre, he was given a 12-month community order that included 10 days of rehabilitation activity and had to pay £280. He now takes part in Project 21, an NHS research initiative that looks at treatment with medical cannabis.

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