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‘Breaking Bad’ Copycat Gets Slap on Wrist for Home Pot Farm

Maureen Meehan

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High school chemistry teacher Susan McKay turned her plush seven-bedroom home into a mini cannabis farm, she testified, because she was overwhelmed by personal tragedy after one son committed suicide and another was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

Sound familiar? Although McKay’s TV counterpart Walter White produced crystal meth to make ends meet, the 58-year-old teacher decided to stick with a gentler operation. She had been running her pot farm for the last several years in her country house in north Wales.

According to the Mirror, she bemoaned her decision to grow pot, saying it was based on “bad judgment.”

The real-life “Breaking Bad” operation was discovered after McKay’s other son Michael, 27, was stopped for driving without headlights while on his way to his mother’s home. The police smelled and found pot in the car, so they decided to search McKay’s house as well.

For her growing area, McKay used three large bedrooms that were equipped with black tents, silver foil, ventilation tubes and one bathroom for drying. Her house is surrounded by high walls and CCTV, which she said was because of her dogs.

After her arrest—but prior to her trial at the end of May—McKay was allowed to continue working at the high school.

“We are dealing with an intelligent, dignified and mature woman who has been in responsible employment all her adult life and is still in a job,” her lawyer Duncan Bould told the Daily Mail. She ultimately resigned from her teaching job, stating it was the “honorable thing to do.”

The judge sentenced both McKay and her son Michael to 20 months in prison but suspended the sentence for 18 months and ordered both to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

Maureen Meehan is a New York-based writer, who has worked as a foreign correspondent for many years.

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