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NS:Man gets probation for having marijuana plants

by papapuff » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:39 pm

The News

Man gets probation for having marijuana plants

Published on August 15, 2017

A 50-year-old Pictou County man was given six months’ probation for possessing marijuana after firefighters found plants in his home.

George Sutherland was sentenced in Pictou provincial court Tuesday after entering a guilty plea to charges of possession and unsafe store of firearms.

Federal Crown attorney Bronwyn Duffy told the court that local fire departments were called to Sutherland’s home in Caribou River on April 24 at 9:40 p.m. to extinguish a fire and upon entering the basement of the home, they spotted marijuana plants in the basement.

They contacted the police who in turn showed up at Sutherland’s home at midnight with a search warrant and seized 30 starter plants in cups, 20 plants in various sizes and another seven plants over three feet tall.

A shed on the property was destroyed in the fire and the home had some interior damage. The fire was deemed accidental by the fire marshal and thought to have been caused by an overloaded electrical circuit that caused a power surge to the home through an electrical cable. No one as home at the time and no injuries were reported.

When police were searching the home, they also found three firearms, one of which was pellet gun, that were improperly stored in a room beside the kitchen.

Duffy said Sutherland was co-operative with police from the beginning, accepted responsibility and entered an early guilty plea.

Sutherland was originally charged one count of production of marijuana, but this was amended during his court appearance Monday to possession.

Defence lawyer Andrew O’Blenis said his client had been using marijuana to help relieve the pain in his neck from degenerative discs but he did not hold a medical marijuana licence at the time. Following his arrest, he obtained a licence from Health Canada.

In addition to the probation, Sutherland must also pay $360 in fines and forfeit property seized by police with the exception of one of the guns.
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