UK: Blackburn cannabis user urged by Judge to ‘get out there and lead a healthy life’

Judge Simon Medland QC issued strong words of advice to Macauley Murchie at Preston Crown Court, where he appeared to be sentenced for possession with intent to supply cannabis and being concerned with the supply of cannabis.

Murchie, who has never appeared before the courts before, was 21 when officers went to his Blackburn home in April 2020, after calls were made about a strong smell of cannabis coming from the address.

Once inside they found £600 in cash and 7g of cannabis in his bedroom, which he claimed was for personal use. Snap bags with different values written on them were also found inside the property as were a set of scales.

In interview, Murchie originally denied being involved in dealing, but later admitted that he would occasionally sell to his friends to help pay for his shopping.

Urging Murchie, now 22, to ‘get out there and lead a healthy life’ Judge Medland QC said: “You are at the beginning of your adult life and you have come to court with no previous convictions, you are smartly dressed, you obviously look after yourself and there is a place for you in the world.

“But not if you muck around with this stuff. I tell you this; my experience over 30 years in court is that cannabis is a very great deal less harmless than people think.

“A lot of defendants who have committed very serious offences have committed them in part because their brains have been affected by taking cannabis. It leads to cannabis-induced psychosis, paranoia and an inability just to get on in life.

“Please do not do that to yourself and don’t do it to those who love you and want to look after you.

“You can get a job – go and get one. You can lead a healthy normal life – go and do that. Stop taking cannabis. Those are some words of advice I have for you.”

The court heard how several jobs had been offered to Murchie, of Morecambe Road, including work as a bricklayer or in a warehouse – opportunities he was hoping to take-up.


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