May 23, 2016

Debate over cannabis legalisation

COURTS: A Donegal secondary school student who was caught in possession of cannabis has had his case adjourned at a sitting of Letterkenny District Court.

The student, now 19, appeared in court in relation to the incident which occurred at St Columba’s College, Stranorlar on November 28th, 2014.

The court heard how the student was found in possession of cannabis and was caught smoking the substance with friends in the school toilet.

Garda Inspector Michael Harrison told the court that the street value of the drugs seized were €25.

Inspector Harrison told the court, “He didn’t have the drugs for monetary gain, he had got the drugs from an older person, and he handed it over to his friends.

“He was 18 at the time, but the other members involved weren’t at that time, he disclosed where he got the cannabis from, and the supply line is now known.

Solicitor for the defendant Patsy Gallagher said his client was deeply remorseful for what he had done, and realised it was a very stupid thing to do.

Gallagher told the court, “He’s a very bright young man, but this was a very stupid thing he done and he realises he made a stupid mistake.

“He’s aware of the seriousness of the charge against him, and the stigma attached to such a charge, it’s been a very embarrassing episode for his family, and his mother is extremely upset over the incident.

“He’s now in his second year at UCG, and is studying for an Arts degree, he’d like to go on to do a diploma in teaching, but realises if he’s charged then that could jeopardise his future.

“I don’t think you’ll ever see this young man in court again, he’s smart, clever and has a bright future, but he made one terrible and stupid mistake.”

Judge Paul Kelly said this was a very serious charge, and that it can’t be taken lightly.

However, he decided to order a probation report, and said if he plays ball with the probation services he will re-evaluate the situation.

He adjourned the case until the 18th of July.