Cannabis Campaign: Why the law is an ass
Sunday 23 November 1997
Last Wednesday an Old Bailey judge claimed cannabis was responsible for turning a man into a rapist. He said there was little other explanation for him committing the offence other than his addiction to the drug.
Judge Michael Coombe said it was "likely" that "the large amount of hashish taken by the defendent contributed to his offence.
"There is no doubt in my mind that a great deal of the explanation lies in his indulgence of this dangerous and prohibited drug," he said.
He explained that the defendent, Lee Robinson, was not considered dangerous and had no previous convictions. Earlier the court was told how Robinson, from Walthamstow, East London, had mixed the hash with the anti-depressant Prozac before raping a 23- year-old graduate in Wanstead, East London. Robinson, a timber yard labourer, pleaded guilty to rape and was sentenced to eight years in prison
On the same day in Sheffield, a judge showed clemency towards a man convicted of cultivating cannabis because his wife suffers from terrible back pain caused by MS. It is one of the rare occasions where using cannabis for medical reasons has been successfully used to provide mitigating circumstances.
Instead of handing down a 12-month prison sentence, the usual term, judge Robert Bartfield fined the defendent John McShane, 41, pounds 1000 and ordered him to pay pounds 250 costs.
He told him: "It would be inhumane to send you to prison. Your wife suffers from a wasting disease and you did this in your desire to alleviate her suffering."
The judge explained that in normal circumstances, if the defendent had been selling cannabis professionally, he would have had no hesitation in handing down a custodial sentence for at least a year.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...