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Dunbeath MS sufferer admonished for growing cannabis to relieve pain

By Court Reporter

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The county’s sheriff has shown sympathy to an MS sufferer who grew cannabis to alleviate the pain.

First offender Ryan Acland was admonished by Sheriff Andrew Berry, on the charge of cultivating the Class B drug at his home at Burnside, Knockally, Dunbeath.

Police who searched the 37-year-old’s house on May 20, last year, found three plants with all the associated equipment for cultivation.

Fiscal David Barclay told Wick Sheriff Court on Wednesday that Acland made “a full and frank admission” about his actions.

Mr Barclay said: “The accused suffers from MS and used the cannabis for pain relief. It was the first time he had grown the drug. He learned how to do so online and spent out some money on the necessary equipment.”

Solicitor Fiona MacDonald appealed to Sheriff Berry to consider deferring sentence on Acland whom she said had been “extremely anxious” about his forthcoming appearance in court and did not intend returning there.

Miss MacDonald commented that cannabis was legally prescribed in certain, special circumstances but had not been, in this instance.

Sheriff Berry, who saw a medical report on Acland confirming his use of cannabis to treat his MS, said he would admonish him in light of the exceptional circumstances.

The sheriff added: “He has not had his troubles to seek and I have no reason to think he is going to commence a life of crime.”

The cannabis plants and growing equipment were ordered to be forfeit.

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