Charles Nichols said that he found out about cannabis on Netflix and learned how to grow on the internet, but the judge assigned to his case wasn’t buying it.
Photo via Norfolk Police
67-year-old Norfolk, England resident Charles Nichols was sentenced to two years in jail this week, after a local judge ruled that his pain management defense was not enough to excuse the 700 cannabis plants found growing in his garden shed last year.
According to the BBC, police raided Nichols home in 2018 after a drone flying above his neighborhood noticed heat radiating from a shed on Nichols’ property. After securing a search warrant, police raided the shed and discovered 700 cannabis plants and bags of dried and trimmed bud.
During his arrest, Nichols told police that he used cannabis to treat chronic pain that was resistant to other medication, and that he had simply gotten “carried away” with his personal garden after watching a TV show on Netflix about marijuana.
“I saw a television program about cannabis and how it can help people and I got information from the internet,” Nichols told police about his expansive in-home grow operation.
But in court this week, Judge Stephen Holt did not buy Nichols’ tale, and said that the 700 plants and presence of processed pot was an indication that the cultivation site was supplying more than just Nichols and his wife. In a statement, the judge said that he suspected a mystery dealer, and not Nichols, was actually pulling the strings on the entire operation.
“I do not accept you were growing them entirely for your personal use,” Judge Holt said in court.
Gallery — Photos of Cops Smoking Weed:
Nichols’ attorney, Emma Reed, said that her client had expressed “genuine remorse” and that a jail bid would be “devastating” for the elderly man’s health. At the end of the year-long ordeal, Holt sentenced Nichols to two years behind bars. In at least one sign of leniency, Judge Holt dropped all charges against Nichols’ wife, Helen, who was also arrested at the time of the raid.
Cannabis is still unequivocally illegal in the UK, but that hasn’t stopped a growing number of black market ganjapreneurs and home botanists from planting pot in abandoned police stations, nuclear fallout shelters, or garden sheds.
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter