Jarrow cannabis user who claimed drug helped prevent him needing to see a doctor for 20 years caught storing bundles for dealer

A cannabis user who claims the herb’s ‘health benefits’ have prevented him needing to see a GP for 20 years has been spared jail for storing the drug for a dealer.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 5:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 7:40 pm
Steven Bowden

When police officers raided Steven Bowden's home in December 2019 they found 28 packs of the drug behind the sofa, which had a street value of up to £7,000, and he said were being held for someone else.

Officers also seized £800 of the drug, that the 40-year-old had tried to dispose of over his garden fence, which he said would be used himself and shared with pals.

At Newcastle Crown Court Bowden, of Spencer Street, Jarrow, who has five previous convictions which are all cannabis related, admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

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Nicholas Lane, defending, said the 28 bags belonged to a dealer who was "doing his rounds" and had left them at Bowden's home until the customer they were meant for returned home.

Mr Lane said: "The person who intended to take delivery wasn't in and so the dealer left them with Mr Bowden at his home rather than carrying them around with him."

Mr Lane told the court Bowden was a "habitual user" of cannabis for a number of years and added: "He perceived cannabis to be beneficial in terms of physical health.

"He is quite proud of the fact he has not visited his GP for 20 years."

Mr Lane said Bowden believes cannabis has psychological benefits but has reached the point in his life where he wants to stop taking the drug.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced Bowden to two months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours unpaid work.

The judge told him: "Police executed a search warrant at your address in Jarrow.

"You had just bulk bought cannabis worth £800, intending to use some of that yourself and share it amongst a group of friends.

"They also found 28 bags you were storing for your dealer for a few hours."

Judge Bindloss said Bowden does not pose a risk or danger to the public and is at low risk of re-offending.

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