Stacksteads cannabis grower was 'amateur'

A CANNABIS user ended up will a £1,300 bill when he tried to bypass the electrity meter to grow 53 plants at his home in Stacksteads.

'Amateurish' Stephen Lord, 32, was cultivating the plants in a bedroom and the attic, Burnley magistrates heard.

He was arrested after police, alerted by concerned local residents, turned up at his then home in David Street.

Lord, who claimed he had been growing the drugs just for his own use, wasn't that successful and only a small amount of usable cannabis was produced.

The defendant was thrown out by his landlord and he also ended up with a £1,300 bill he had to pay electricity providers, npower.

Lord, now of Holt Buildings, Stacksteads, admitted producing cannabis, on February 23 and abstracting electricity.

He was jailed for 70 days, suspended for six months, with a 20 week, 8pm to 7am curfew.

The court was told the plants were said to be small and of pure quality and a forensic scientist could not estimate what the yield of cannabis might be.

Ben Leech, for Lord, said he was not particularly good at what he was attempting to do. He grew one plant well enough to get some cannabis to smoke from it.

The defendant had taken some cuttings from a mother plant and put them into pots, but they had not grown well. Three plants could possibly have given a yield. Mr Leech said Lord had a civil agreement with npower to pay them £1,300.

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Lord, who suffered depression, took medication and was formerly alcohol dependent,would not have supplied any cannabis.

The solicitor continued: "His only motivation was to produce it for himself, albeit not particularly successfully."

Sentencing, District Judge Peter Ward told the defendant: "The actual amount of usable cannabis was very small."

Comments (10)

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7:54am Fri 23 Sep 11

AnthonyUK says...

Landlords are right to kick out anybody from their properties growing cannabis and running up huge electricity bills in doing so. I would and I would refuse to take them and other like minded people on for rental housing.
Landlords are right to kick out anybody from their properties growing cannabis and running up huge electricity bills in doing so. I would and I would refuse to take them and other like minded people on for rental housing. AnthonyUK

7:59am Fri 23 Sep 11

propensity says...

I was 6 years old when a bigoted, paranoid and corrupt Richard Nixon brought about the War on Drugs. Black veterans were returning to the USA to social unrest toting ideas of equality and peace above their status. The war on drugs has been an effective tool, as designed, to keep minority classes under state control.

Since the start of the war on drugs my generation has witnessed the end of the Vietnam war, were not vaporised during the Cold War as expected, civil rights have progressed and the 'Wall' has come down. But, we are still being fed Nixon's Reefer madness despite the War on Drugs being an unmitigated disaster except as a state tool to marginalise minorities. The cost in lives, public health, family breakdown, my generations loss of respect for the state, dollars etc etc is incalculable.

However, journalists and politicians can continue to support this disastrous war with full state backing.

The bigoted old fools who started this war have gone. But my generation has had to live with it's consequences for most of our lives.

My generation must now clean up this mess left by our elders. We have had to wait for them to die in order to do so.

Drugs are dangerous, they should be under state control not in the hands of organised crime. It's time for the state to say sorry to my generation and take drug control back from organised crime.
I was 6 years old when a bigoted, paranoid and corrupt Richard Nixon brought about the War on Drugs. Black veterans were returning to the USA to social unrest toting ideas of equality and peace above their status. The war on drugs has been an effective tool, as designed, to keep minority classes under state control. Since the start of the war on drugs my generation has witnessed the end of the Vietnam war, were not vaporised during the Cold War as expected, civil rights have progressed and the 'Wall' has come down. But, we are still being fed Nixon's Reefer madness despite the War on Drugs being an unmitigated disaster except as a state tool to marginalise minorities. The cost in lives, public health, family breakdown, my generations loss of respect for the state, dollars etc etc is incalculable. However, journalists and politicians can continue to support this disastrous war with full state backing. The bigoted old fools who started this war have gone. But my generation has had to live with it's consequences for most of our lives. My generation must now clean up this mess left by our elders. We have had to wait for them to die in order to do so. Drugs are dangerous, they should be under state control not in the hands of organised crime. It's time for the state to say sorry to my generation and take drug control back from organised crime. propensity

8:10am Fri 23 Sep 11

happycyclist says...

Hardly the crime of the century. Ok, so he ripped a utility company off, but the utility companies are ripping EVERYONE off.
The cannabis 'crime' is neither here nor there, and I'd argue that someone who throws litter on the floor is a bigger menace to society than someone who grows a bit of cannabis for their own use.
Hardly the crime of the century. Ok, so he ripped a utility company off, but the utility companies are ripping EVERYONE off. The cannabis 'crime' is neither here nor there, and I'd argue that someone who throws litter on the floor is a bigger menace to society than someone who grows a bit of cannabis for their own use. happycyclist

8:13am Fri 23 Sep 11

happycyclist says...

And the argument that drugs are dangerous hardly extends to a bit of cannabis. Growing a bit of cannabis in your home is essentially no different from growing your own tomatoes in a greenhouse or brewing your own wine in the airing cupboard.
And the argument that drugs are dangerous hardly extends to a bit of cannabis. Growing a bit of cannabis in your home is essentially no different from growing your own tomatoes in a greenhouse or brewing your own wine in the airing cupboard. happycyclist

8:14am Fri 23 Sep 11

Peter-Reynolds says...

All that needs to happen about cannabis is that policy be based on facts and evidence. For adults, it's much safer than either alcohol or tobacco but we do need to keep it out of the hands of children.

Around three tonnes of cannabis is consumed in Britain every day. At present, the government allows organised crime to run the market and that means there are no age restrictions or safety concerns. We spend about £500 million every year on the criminal justice system for cannabis and all that does is drive prices up, which encourages yet more criminals to become involved.

We need to start being sensible about cannabis. We need to take responsibility and regulate it in a way that minimises health and social harms, protects children and keeps everyone safe.

It's time to start being intelligent about it. If we tax and regulate cannabis we will massively reduce all harms and make a net gain of nearly £7 billion each year.
All that needs to happen about cannabis is that policy be based on facts and evidence. For adults, it's much safer than either alcohol or tobacco but we do need to keep it out of the hands of children. Around three tonnes of cannabis is consumed in Britain every day. At present, the government allows organised crime to run the market and that means there are no age restrictions or safety concerns. We spend about £500 million every year on the criminal justice system for cannabis and all that does is drive prices up, which encourages yet more criminals to become involved. We need to start being sensible about cannabis. We need to take responsibility and regulate it in a way that minimises health and social harms, protects children and keeps everyone safe. It's time to start being intelligent about it. If we tax and regulate cannabis we will massively reduce all harms and make a net gain of nearly £7 billion each year. Peter-Reynolds

8:30am Fri 23 Sep 11

Dan-Bognor says...

The electricity meter bypassing that happens when people grow indoors is usually to avoid detection, if the electricity companies did not report people whose bills suddenly go up then most home growers would be happy to pay the extra charge as it would still work out considerably cheaper than buying from street dealers. It really is counter productive to bust small personal growers, as by growing for themselves they are avoiding going to black market suppliers, who so often fund serious criminal activities.
For the vast majority of users the cannabis experience is beneficial and productive. It is only when they get 'busted' that the experience becomes an unpleasant one.
A regulated and legalised supply of cannabis, would sweep away the problems currently associated with it. The greatest failing of prohibition is that it has completely failed to regulate or control cannabis consumption, it is much more freely available to young children than alcohol. Under prohibition there is no age limit to buy cannabis, all the dealer wants to see is the money, so most school-children find it easier to buy cannabis than booze or fags. If we look to Holland we can see how a legalised and regulated cannabis market has led to markedly less use amongst youngsters and a complete splitting of the cannabis market and the supply of heroin etc, this has led a a smaller and constantly shrinking problem with the harder drugs.
The electricity meter bypassing that happens when people grow indoors is usually to avoid detection, if the electricity companies did not report people whose bills suddenly go up then most home growers would be happy to pay the extra charge as it would still work out considerably cheaper than buying from street dealers. It really is counter productive to bust small personal growers, as by growing for themselves they are avoiding going to black market suppliers, who so often fund serious criminal activities. For the vast majority of users the cannabis experience is beneficial and productive. It is only when they get 'busted' that the experience becomes an unpleasant one. A regulated and legalised supply of cannabis, would sweep away the problems currently associated with it. The greatest failing of prohibition is that it has completely failed to regulate or control cannabis consumption, it is much more freely available to young children than alcohol. Under prohibition there is no age limit to buy cannabis, all the dealer wants to see is the money, so most school-children find it easier to buy cannabis than booze or fags. If we look to Holland we can see how a legalised and regulated cannabis market has led to markedly less use amongst youngsters and a complete splitting of the cannabis market and the supply of heroin etc, this has led a a smaller and constantly shrinking problem with the harder drugs. Dan-Bognor

10:19am Fri 23 Sep 11

JAMIE MC says...

Im all for people people growing md mj, but when it comes to messing with electricty, that is were it gets dangerus. grow it and pay the bill.. cant pay the bill grow less. And f the property is in the same condition when you move out to when you moved in, whats the problem.
Im all for people people growing md mj, but when it comes to messing with electricty, that is were it gets dangerus. grow it and pay the bill.. cant pay the bill grow less. And f the property is in the same condition when you move out to when you moved in, whats the problem. JAMIE MC

11:14am Fri 23 Sep 11

mazari says...

There is in my opinion a BIG difference between those who grow a few small plants for personal use within their own homes, and those who grow 50, 100 0r 1000 plants, stealing electricity and damaging rented properties, and yet all face exactly the same treatment under this law Doors broken down, half a dozen police officers searching their homes, arrest, custody and a charge leading to a criminal record. If we accept, as we surely must do now in light of so much evidence, that cannabis is a relatively harmless substance in comparison to alcohol, why can I produce 30 litres of red wine in my spare room but I can't grow 4 cannabis plants? It makes no sense at all, for a start, where is the victim if this is a crime? Who would I be harming?
There is in my opinion a BIG difference between those who grow a few small plants for personal use within their own homes, and those who grow 50, 100 0r 1000 plants, stealing electricity and damaging rented properties, and yet all face exactly the same treatment under this law Doors broken down, half a dozen police officers searching their homes, arrest, custody and a charge leading to a criminal record. If we accept, as we surely must do now in light of so much evidence, that cannabis is a relatively harmless substance in comparison to alcohol, why can I produce 30 litres of red wine in my spare room but I can't grow 4 cannabis plants? It makes no sense at all, for a start, where is the victim if this is a crime? Who would I be harming? mazari

11:19am Fri 23 Sep 11

AnthonyUK says...

JAMIE MC wrote:
Im all for people people growing md mj, but when it comes to messing with electricty, that is were it gets dangerus. grow it and pay the bill.. cant pay the bill grow less. And f the property is in the same condition when you move out to when you moved in, whats the problem.
I don't think a landlord who rents properties is going to foot an expensive electricity bill on behalf of somebody illegally bypassing electricity supplies in a dangerous manner to grow cannabis in their rented accommodation. I think this landlord should get the law to dig into this persons benefits and pay the electricity bill off until it is paid. It is dangerous because there is a firehazard inherent in this, and secondly overloaded botched wiring is a also a shock hazard. I agree with the landlord evicting this person and taking eviction action against anyone else who are tenants renting their properties growing cannabis whether it's for their own use or for selling to others.
[quote][p][bold]JAMIE MC[/bold] wrote: Im all for people people growing md mj, but when it comes to messing with electricty, that is were it gets dangerus. grow it and pay the bill.. cant pay the bill grow less. And f the property is in the same condition when you move out to when you moved in, whats the problem.[/p][/quote]I don't think a landlord who rents properties is going to foot an expensive electricity bill on behalf of somebody illegally bypassing electricity supplies in a dangerous manner to grow cannabis in their rented accommodation. I think this landlord should get the law to dig into this persons benefits and pay the electricity bill off until it is paid. It is dangerous because there is a firehazard inherent in this, and secondly overloaded botched wiring is a also a shock hazard. I agree with the landlord evicting this person and taking eviction action against anyone else who are tenants renting their properties growing cannabis whether it's for their own use or for selling to others. AnthonyUK

11:29am Fri 23 Sep 11

Peter-Reynolds says...

What we need is a properly regulated supply chain with no criminals involved, no theft of electricity, no human trafficking, no destruction of property and disruption of neighbourhoods. Then there would be some control over this huge market. There would be thousands of new jobs, sales would be from licensed outlets to adults only with guaranteed quality and safety. Then our police could start going after some real wrongdoing instead of trying to fight a crime that exists only because of a misguided government policy.
What we need is a properly regulated supply chain with no criminals involved, no theft of electricity, no human trafficking, no destruction of property and disruption of neighbourhoods. Then there would be some control over this huge market. There would be thousands of new jobs, sales would be from licensed outlets to adults only with guaranteed quality and safety. Then our police could start going after some real wrongdoing instead of trying to fight a crime that exists only because of a misguided government policy. Peter-Reynolds

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