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Man (37) caught with cannabis worth €2k claimed he uses it to help control his epilepsy

Graham Wiley said he was taking the drugs for his epilepsy but did not have any corroborating medical evidence.

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Sligo Champion

A man, who told gardai that he had €2,096 worth of cannabis herb to help him stop eplieptic fits, had his case put back for medical evidence and a Probation Report, at the district court.

Graham Wiley, (37) of Willow Park, Maugheraboy pleaded guilty to possession of the drug on May 11 2020 at Maugheraboy.

Sergeant Derek Butler said gardai observed the defendant smoking what appeared to be a cannabis joint on the street.

There was a strong smell of cannabis coming from him.

A subsequent search found €2,0296 in two soup containers in a silver box in a bag the defendant was carrying.

The defendant said he was taking the drugs for his epilepsy but did not have any corroborating medical evidence.

Gardai estimated the value of the drugs at €2,096 while the defendant claimed it was €500, the court heard.

The defendant had 26 previous convictions including seven for possession of drugs and three for sale or supply.

Defence Solicitor Eddie Henry said his client admitted having the drugs in his bag.

The State did not charge the defendant with having the drugs for sale or supply. The defendant had a long- standing epilepsy condition.

His GP was familiar with the defendant using cannabis to self-medicate. It relaxed him and stopped him from having epileptic fits.

The defendant had been taking the drug for the past 15 years.

His method was to buy a large quantity, he lived a reclusive life and did not want to have to be buying the drugs fairly often.

The defendant told the court that he had been epileptic since he was 21. He was on the maximum regular dosage of medication.

He had been a carpenter by trade but had fallen off a roof. The defendant admitted he had convictions in the past but “the past is past”.

“I don’t go outside the door hardly. I save up and buy some drugs and make it last me for a few months.

"From my point of view, it is self-medication, and my GP is aware of it. I self-medicate because I take daily seizures and cannabis helps me.”

Judge Sandra Murphy adjourned the case to November 3 for medical evidence from the defendant’s GP and a Probation Report.

“We are in the realms of a custodial sentence,” she said.

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