The supreme court has suspended a three-year prison sentenced imposed on a man after he was caught with 47 cannabis plants, finding that the ruling was excessive as the plants were for research.
In a bizarre twist, the court of appeals on Tuesday argued that the illegal activity of the appellant was not linked with the typical criminality of such cases – importing or cultivating cannabis with the intent to supply – but the plants were instead being used for research.
In its ruling, the court noted that under these circumstances the court case could have been handled differently and argued that the prison sentence was excessive.
In calling for the appellant’s immediate release, the court noted that the person has already spent time in prison during the process and “therefore deemed it appropriate to suspend the prison sentence”.
It detailed that the two-year prison sentence initially handed down for cultivating cannabis and the 18 month sentence for possession of an illegal class B drug was excessive, noting that the appellant pled guilty and cooperated.
It argued that typically such cases are different -intent to supply – and are rightly handled with the utmost severity.