Judge rejects cannabis user’s ‘40 joints a day’ claim

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A CANNABIS user failed to convince a judge he smoked 40 joints a day after his collection of plants were sniffed out by police.

John Mealin, 28, was found growing 21 cannabis plants in his flat with a potential street value of £8,500.

Mealin claimed he could smoke up to half an ounce of skunk cannabis a day – between 40 and 70 joints - after taking up the drug when he was just 14.

But a judge decided he would not have been able to smoke as much as he claimed and he would share the drugs with pals.

Police uncovered the growth in Ellison Street, Hartlepool, on November 10 last year after they had been called to a domestic incident nearby.

But they smelled cannabis and investigated.

David Crook, prosecuting, said: “When officers went inside they found a cannabis grow upstairs.”

There was a total of 21 plants plus two suspected “mother” plants which could provide cuttings for more plants.

The was also lighting and fans and compost in the bathroom.

The plants were several weeks away from being harvested.

Mealin said he had spent over £250 to set it up and learned how to grow them from YouTube.

The prosecution said the plants could have produced up to three crops a year.

Mealin claimed he was not thinking that far ahead but admitted he might have continued after the first harvest ran out.

He said he would have given some to friends but would not have wanted any money.

When asked how much cannabis he smoked a day, Mealin said: “As much as I could get hold of, a quarter of an ounce on a bad day or half an ounce on a good day.”

He denied he would have sold any.

Mealin, now of Holland Street, Hartlepool, admitted production of a class B drug.

Judge Peter Bowers accepted the plants were not for commercial supply but found his claim he smoked half an ounce of cannabis a day “unacceptable”.

Judge Bowers also rejected Malin’s claim he would not have grown more plants.

He said: “It seems to me the only purpose of the mother plants would be to provide further cuttings for future grows.

“This was a substantial set-up.

“I think his purpose was to save himself money and earn brownie points with friends.”

Mealin will be sentenced on a date to be fixed after reports and he was bailed.