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Cafe owner grew cannabis to "ease back pain" court hears

Cafe owner grew cannabis to "ease back pain" court hears

A cafe owner who grew cannabis to ease back pain has been remanded on bail pending sentence next February.

Marcin Malinski (35) was stopped during a routine garda checkpoint when officers noted a strong smell of cannabis coming from the BMW he was driving. A bag of cannabis plant cut-offs was found in the back of the car and Malinski and his passenger were taken in for questioning.

A follow-up search of the home Malinski shared with his fiancée, led to the discovery of a cannabis grow house. The gardaí found 17 cannabis plants at various stages of maturity.

Garda Niall Carolan told Fionnuala O'Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that the estimated street value of the drugs, should they reach full maturity, was €13,600.

Malinski of Boroimhe Hazel, Swords, Co Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs on October 29, 2015. He has no previous convictions.

Malinski told gardaí in interview that he had been living in Ireland for eight years and had been earning €200 per week on a JobBridge scheme. He said he had been growing the cannabis for himself to ease back pain but admitted that he knew it was illegal to grow the drug.

Gda Carolan agreed with Garnet Orange SC, defending that his client claimed he used lower strength cannabis to help with his pain and the standard of the cannabis cuttings found in his car was consistent with this claim.

He accepted that Malinski was co-operative and explained to gardaí immediately that he was growing the drug for medicinal purposes.

Mr Orange told Judge Melanie Greally that his client injured his back while driving a truck for Guinness and discovered that lower strength cannabis helped ease the pain.

Counsel said his client was now drug free and suggested that Malinski was an upstanding citizen who was intending to make a life for himself and his fiancée in Ireland. The couple have recently opened a salad bar cafe and a number of testimonials were handed into court speaking of his good character.

Judge Greally adjourned sentencing to February 7 next and ordered the preparation of a probation report to assess Malinski's suitability for community service