A teenage boy awaiting sentence for impeding a drug search was spending €400 a week on cannabis which was paid for by his mother, a court has heard.
The boy, then aged 15, pleaded guilty earlier to concealing what was suspected to have been a controlled substance by putting a packet in an intimate area in his underwear.
The offence which happened in south Dublin in April last year is contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The boy, now aged 16, appeared again at the Dublin Children’s Court today for a pre-sentence probation report to be considered. District court president, Judge Paul Kelly, told the boy he noted his mother "was giving you money to buy cannabis”. The boy replied, “yes”.
Strange state of affairs
He was accompanied to court by his father.
Judge Kelly remarked that it was a “strange state of affairs”.
The teen had engaged well with the Probation Service, he remarked.
However, the judge remained concerned at his ongoing cannabis use and asked him if he had seen or read recent news on studies into the drug's effects on mental health.
He warned the youth, who did not reply, “that it has all sorts of implications for the future”, and he added that he was a little uneasy at the Probation Service's suggestion the boy did not require further supervision.
Judge Kelly said he believed the teen needed to address his cannabis use. He noted the boy was now down to smoking €100 worth of the drug week, “and last year €400 a week, with money provided by his mother”.
The teenager said he has been looking for work.
“There are better ways to be spending money than on cannabis,” the judge advised him as he adjourned the case for six weeks for an updated probation report to be furnished to the court.
Earlier this week, doctors warned that stronger forms of cannabis available in Ireland are resulting in record levels of hospital admissions from the drug - with admission rates trebling over the past decade.
The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland issued the warning in its public health awareness campaign, saying "the cannabis people might remember from 20, 30 years ago is not the animal that's out there now".