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Kildare man grew cannabis at home as he could not buy it legally

Finbar Lavarack (30) did not want to get involved in the drugs trade and took matters into “his own hands” when he began growing cannabis, a court heard.

Finbar Lavarack

Finbar Lavarack outside court

Andrew PhelanIndependent.ie

A MAN caught cultivating cannabis plants in a grow house at his home had been prescribed the drug medicinally in the US but could not buy it legally in Ireland.

Finbar Lavarack (30) did not want to get involved in the drugs trade and took matters into “his own hands” when he began growing cannabis, a court heard.

He was found with more than €7,000 of the drug, including plants, in a garda raid on his house. Judge David McHugh adjourned the case at Blanchardstown District Court for a restorative justice programme report.

He said he would consider striking the charges out, leaving the accused without a criminal record, if the report was favourable.

Lavarack, of Pickering Forest, Celbridge, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to possession and cultivation of cannabis at his home on August 12, 2020.

The court heard gardaí carried out a search under warrant and found a “grow house”.

Cannabis plants worth €2,400 were found, along with dry cannabis worth €4,970.

The accused accepted responsibility for the drugs. He had no previous convictions.

Lavarack had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and had been prescribed medicinal cannabis in the US, the court heard.

However, when he returned to Ireland, he did not want to get involved in the drug trade and decided to take matters into his own hands.

He accepted what he did was wrong, it was not a responsibility he shirked, his lawyer told the court.

The lawyer said the accused was now drug-free, had aspirations to travel in the future and asked the judge to consider leaving him without convictions.

Judge McHugh said cannabis was illegal in this jurisdiction “full stop, end of story”.

The judge said €300 the accused had in court should be given to a drugs charity. He noted it was an unusual case and Lavarack had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

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