A Scottish man is about to spend two years behind bars for his role in setting up an illegal cannabis grow right next door to a police station.
Police in the small town of Wishaw, Lanarkshire arrested 41-year-old Paul McCann last month and charged him with growing and being involved in the supply of illegal cannabis. The unfortunate weed farmer was apparently so shocked when the cops turned up at his door that he fainted immediately. The arrest shouldn't have come as such a surprise, though, considering the fact that the grow-op was literally located across the street from a police station.
Cops first became aware of the grow when they noticed the strong smell of bud wafting from the warehouse across the street. After observing McCann loading a van full of supplies into the building, cops decided to take a closer look. Once inside, officers discovered over 200 weed plants and seedlings, valued at over $84,000 on the black market. The warehouse also contained another $28,000 worth of grow lights and other equipment, which McCann had reportedly acquired for the farm.
“Police officers detected a strong smell of cannabis and detained him,” said Prosecutor Abby Seal, the Daily Record reported. “As they walked towards the premises, the accused became extremely nervous and fainted. Officers opened the door and could smell cannabis and hear fans running. During a search 118 cannabis plants were found as well as 99 cannabis seedlings.”
“The accused’s phone was examined and revealed conversations involving equipment for the premises,” Seal added. “There would have been a substantial financial outlay to obtain items such as duct tape, fans, bags of pebbles and cooling tubes. The estimated cost of the equipment found is £23,000. Specialist officers say it was commercial-level production of cannabis.”
McCann said that he had initially agreed to buy and set up equipment at the warehouse before he knew it was an illegal grow-op. At the trial, McCann's attorney Ali Murray explained that his normal “work dried up during the pandemic and he ended up doing odd jobs including at what he thought was a warehouse,” according to the Daily Record.
“By the time he realized what was involved he felt it was too late to pull out, not for his personal safety but that of his family,” Murray continued. “He is remorseful and realizes the impact this kind of behavior has on communities.”
In light of the guilty pleas, Wishaw Sheriff Andrew McIntyre chose to reduce McCann's sentence to 21 months in prison, down from the original 28-month sentence.
Scotland's medical marijuana industry may be far more advanced than England's limited program, but adult-use cannabis remains strictly prohibited throughout all of the United Kingdom. Progressive Scottish lawmakers have been working to fully decriminalize the personal possession and use of cannabis and all other drugs, but these plans have yet to come to fruition.
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