This week, four people were given piddling sentences after they set up cannabis farms to produce the drug to relieve the pain they endured

If you're in pain, you need cannabis. Photo: Joe Stump

If you’re in pain, you need cannabis. Photo: Joe Stump

Perhaps now the powers that be will acknowledge the efficacy of cannabis usage for pain relief after a week where four people were convicted of producing the drug for that purpose.

Shelley Hopkins

38-year-old Shelley Hopkins cultivated cannabis she could consume for pain relief – her neck and back constantly play up after she was involved in a road accident. Five mature plants were discovered by police executing a search warrant ? somebody grassed, the bastard ? at her home on Frolesworth Road, Western Park, Leicester, on October 29 2015.

The plants were housed in a large white refrigeration container as would be found on the back of a lorry, which Kate Plummer, prosecuting, described as sticking out ?like a sore thumb? and recorder Michael Elsom quipped was so large ?it almost would have needed planning permission.?

Electricity for high intensity lights, for once not abstracted, was delivered via a buried cable trailing from the house. The container featured a reflective lining. Small quantities of cannabis were recovered from within the house. When police began the process of arresting Hopkins’ husband, she interjected, “I don’t know why you’re nicking him, they’re my plants.”

Hopkins was found guilty of producing cannabis, given a 12-month community order and called upon to undertake 70 hours of unpaid toil.

Adam Baxter

The cannabis farminghood of Adam Baxter, 25, was exposed when police were called to the address of his girlfriend in Upper Bank Road, Holmirth, near Huddersfield, after the landlord overheard him arguing with her about it. When Baxter answered the door to find officers of the law before him, he remarked, ?I know why you?re here, it?s for the cannabis ? come in and I?ll show you.? There was a tent containing seven mature plants along with fans, lamps and a ventilation system.

The pain relief Baxter sought was psychological: he smoked cannabis on a daily basis to cope with depression, which he has suffered for six years. Now he has one more thing to be depressed about. He had only come into possession of the plants the day before. He was instructed to pay ?85 costs and an ?85 victim surcharge, presumably because the grassing landlord was grievously psychologically wounded. He was also given a four-week curfew.

Stephanie Esdale

Police called at the home of 58-year-old Stephanie Esdale on Chywoone Avenue, Gwavas Estate, Newlyn, southwest Cornwall, after people reported the UNGODLY STENCH OF CANNABIS. Police described the odour of the drug in an upstairs bedroom as ?overwhelming.? There were 10 plants in two black tents. The prosecution claimed the crop would have been worth between ?2,800 and ?8,400 per annum, but Esdale disputed this on the grounds that she was not always successful.

Esdale is one of the 250,000 people in the United Kingdom afflicted by myalgic encephalomyelitis ? chronic fatigue syndrome to its pals. The condition is recognised as an illness by the World Health Organisation and the Royal Colleges of Physicians, Psychiatrists and General Practitioners and has no universally effective treatment. Esdale smoked dope for pain relief. She proclaimed, ?It works. One smoke and the pain immediately seems to lessen.? She was fined ?105 and issued a two-year conditional discharge.

Esdale began to grow cannabis when her lodger departed last year. She had previously been convicted of possessing drugs way back in 1993. She is now receiving help from outside agencies.

Anthony Paul

Anthony Paul, 32, of Marden Hall Road, Nelson, near Burnley, has several medical conditions including osteoporosis and ulcerative colitis, for which he has had surgery. His silk termed these ?genuine medical issues.? When the pills doled out by his doctor did no good, Paul resorted to cannabis for pain relief. He established ?a small drugs farm? in the home he shares with his father. Police claimed there were 20 plants in the attic, but he insisted there were only 11. Paul had previously been collared for possessing cannabis. He was given a fine of ?85, a victim surcharge of ?85 despite there being no victims and an eight-week curfew.

Hope those powers that be are paying attention. If they ever require pain relief, perhaps they’ll have the sense to try it.

He ran a cannabis farm to pay off his mortgage

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