Unpaid work for cannabis grower who told police 'I love weed'

Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Richard Clarke appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A cannabis user who declared "I love weed" after police discovered 25 plants growing inside his property has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

When arrested at his Ipswich address, Richard Clarke said he smoked cannabis "all the time" and that the government should legalise the drug, telling officers: "You put me in prison for three years; I'll get out and start growing it."

Police were called to the 45-year-old's Kildare Avenue address following reports of an unrelated matter on November 1.

Inside, they found 12 immature cannabis plants under UV lights in a room off the kitchen and 13 mature plants sitting in a water filtration system under high-powered UV lights in a spare room upstairs.

They also discovered a book entitled 'European Cannabis Cultivation'.

Clarke appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday to admit one count of producing a class B drug.

Prosecutor Mark Milkovics said Clarke had four previous convictions for seven offences, included possession of cannabis in 2005 and 2015.

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Natasha Nair, mitigating, said: "The Crown's evidence is such to indicate the operation was solely for Mr Clarke's use.

"He had been buying cannabis to feed his habit, but it was costing him a lot of money, and he decided to grow his own to effectively cut out the middle man."

Clarke was handed a 12-month community order, with 200 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay £145 in court costs.