A MAN who produced potent ‘skunk’ cannabis as a homemade painkiller for his bad back has been spared jail.
Alan Gibson, 43, admitted growing 16 of the plants at a house in Mulliner Street, Foleshill, Coventry, to treat a trapped nerve.
He told Coventry Crown Court the crop was for his own personal use and would have yielded between four and six months’ supply.
He said normal painkillers made him drowsy and interfered with the way his methadone – a prescribed heroin substitute – worked.
Aliya Rashid, prosecuting, said Gibson had convictions for drug possession, burglary and handling stolen goods, but had been out of trouble for three years.
Richard Murray, defending, said Gibson had previously led a “chaotic lifestyle” but had recently found work as a warehouse cleaner and was working with the community drugs team.
Recorder Paul Bleasdale QC said: “Home horticulture is on the increase and the message has to go out that the courts will not tolerate it. Those who produce cannabis for their own use at home will expect to receive a custodial sentence.”
But he said there were “wholly exceptional circumstances” and imposed an eight-month jail sentence suspended for two years.
Gibson was also ordered to pay the full costs of £1,200.