A man who pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis told a judge: “I don’t see any harm in having a smoke if I do it in the confines of my own house. I’m not doing any harm to anybody, just myself.”.
Karl Anthony Kleyn (49), of Carson Street in Larne, was detected with over 80 grammes of the drug in May last year.
He appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on January 24.
The defendant, who spoke for himself in court, admitted to District Judge Nigel Broderick he had a “lengthy record”.
He said he knew it was illegal to use cannabis and said that just as some people like to take a drink when they finish work he didn’t drink but he liked to use cannabis.
The defendant said: “I like to smoke”.
He said the drug helped him with his arthritis which meant he could then work and was “not on the dole”.
The court was told that when interviewed, Kleyn told police he bought the drug once a month in bulk for personal use.
The defendant was fined £150.
Judge Broderick told the defendant, who said he was currently off work on the sick: “If you don’t address your consumption of cannabis and you continue to break the law, the next time you are back in court it will not be a fine.”
On his way out of the courtroom the defendant was praised for his comments by at least one person in the public gallery.