A physics student who took a “scientist’s approach” to growing his own cannabis plants was fined €750 at Galway District Court this week.
Darren Molloy (25) with an address at 47 Ballybrit Court, Galway, pleaded guilty to the cultivation of cannabis plants, contrary to Section 17 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, on March 13, 2012. A charge for possession of drugs and possession with intent to sell or supply, contrary to Section 3 and 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, were withdrawn by the State.
Inspector Mick Coppinger told Monday’s court sitting that a search was conducted at the defendant’s residence during which gardai discovered a number of cannabis plants at various stages of maturity. He added that because the plants had not yet reached maturity it was hard to evaluate the street value of the drugs. He later explained that it was “not a professional endeavour”
Molloy’s solicitor said that there was a element of naivety here in that his client, who is “quite brilliant” in his studies in physics, has “no cop on” and took a “scientist’s approach” to growing cannabis. He added that since the arrest Molloy, who has no previous convictions, got a serious wake up call, that the third year student has plans to go on to complete a masters and to take up work placement, and that a conviction could have serious implications for him. However, Judge Mary Fahy did convict Molloy of the offence and imposed the fine with five months to pay.