Pointing out the defendants “incompetence” for growing marijuana, a British judge has decided not to send a young U.K. man to prison because the pot crop he was caught with was too much of an embarrassment to even consider punishing him to the fullest extent of the law.
It seems that 20-year-old Joshua Hughes had the brilliant idea of utilizing an inexpensive home cultivation kit to produce enough weed to feed his habit of smoking in upwards of 20 joints a day. Of course, his plan, at its most basic level, was a fiscally sound move for any hardcore cannabis enthusiast whose lust for the leaf has begun to manifest desert sands in the ol’ bank account.
However, what the young man failed to consider is that while his scheme had the potential to save him a substantial amount of money in the long run, there was a learning curve that could leave him dangerously exposed if he didn’t properly cover his tracks – and he most certainly didn’t.
Shortly after Hughes got his initial crop in the ground, a water leak coming from the roof of his building led to his landlord’s discovery of his 40 cannabis plants. According to Gazette Live, the police were called in to investigate, where they found all the makings of a small grow operation, complete with lighting, ventilation and a watering system.
Hughes was eventually arrested and charged with the production of cannabis – an offense that carries a penalty of at least eight years in prison.
However, it was apparent from the beginning that Mr. Hughes, even after watching a YouTube video to learn how to assemble the grow site, had no idea what he was doing. In fact, once the evidence against the defendant was revealed, his attorney, Duncan McReddie, used his client’s shoddy horticulture skills as his primary course of defense.
“He had been struggling with cannabis use for a time before he started this enterprise, and he thought it would ensure that he would have a supply so that he did not have to use drug dealers,” McReddie told the court. “He had neither the wit, expertise or dedication to maintain the growth. It was an inept attempt to cultivate for his own use.”
The prosecution agreed that there was no evidence to suggest that Hughes was truly capable of running a successful pot growing operation, telling the judge that all of the plants the police seized were too puny to ever be harvested.
In the end, the judge ruled against sending Hughes to prison because “this was an incompetent grow from start to finish.” Instead, the man was given a six month suspended sentence and 100 hours of community service.