Court told Sunderland cannabis smoker will continue taking drug for Tourette’s and ADHD

A jobless £50-a-day cannabis smoker is unlikely to quit his habit despite his first criminal conviction, his solicitor has admitted.

By Gareth Crickmer
Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 4:55 am

Solicitor Greg Flaxen said David Fowler, 20, of Silkstun Court, Silksworth, Sunderland, would carry on regardless – believing the drug boosted his health.

He told magistrates in South Tyneside that Fowler used the class B drug to combat the effects of Tourette’s syndrome, rather than to get high.

Fowler was arrested as a back seat passenger in a car investigated by police in Silksworth, Sunderland, on Thursday, February 4

Solicitor Greg Flaxen said David Fowler, 20, would carry on regardless – believing cannabis boosted his health. Picture: PA.

Prosecutor Clare Irving said: “At 8.55pm officers inspected the vehicle and there’s a strong smell of cannabis.

“The defendant says that he smokes about £50 of cannabis a day and buys it in bulk.

“He says that all the cannabis in the vehicle is his. There were full admissions.

“He is a gentleman who has not previously been before the court. He has no drug related matters.”

Mr Flaxen said: “It’s a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.

“I would have thought a cannabis warning could have been offered at the police station.

“He does smoke cannabis on a daily basis. He has Tourette’s, he has the ticks, he has outbursts.

“One positive of cannabis is the calming effect that it has. He says that it helps with his ADHD.

“He says that he doesn’t smoke it to get high. You can consider a discharge, either absolute or conditional.

“He’s made full admissions, and has explained that he smokes it every day.

“I would be wrong to say that he is not going to continue with it.

“If it’s a choice between health or breaking the law, health seems to take precedence.”

John Price, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, told Fowler: “Some would say it’s a small possession amount of cannabis, but we’re quite concerned about the extent of the usage per day, and the costs.

“However, you did plead guilty and are on benefits.”

Magistrates fined Fowler, who pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, £80, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

They also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.

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