A DRUG dealer who believes cannabis should be legalised has been jailed for 16 months.

Jack Delaney’s views were aired at his sentencing hearing for possessing 94 grams of ‘skunk’ cannabis, a high strength form of the drug, with intent to supply it.

Judge Simon Medland QC said it was up to Parliament to decide whether cannabis should be legalised and Delaney was ‘deluding himself’ if he thought he could act outside the law.

Prosecuting, Richard Archer said police raided a home in Dale Street, Haslingden, on August 8 last year.

Mr Archer said: “The police were in fact looking for Mr Delaney. He wasn’t present. Dawn Frankland was together with her eight-week-old baby.”

The court heard that a police officer guarding the back of the house saw Frankland emerge from the back door and put a black bag on a table in the yard.

Frankland told an officer at the front of the house that she had arrived at the property an hour before police arrived. She said she could smell cannabis so put the bag outside.

Mr Archer said that when officers searched the bag they found smaller snap bags containing skunk cannabis, which had an overall street value of £930. They also found a customer list, scales, a cannabis grinder and £300 in cash.

A mobile phone found in the kitchen cupboard, attributed to Delaney, contained incriminating messages and photographs of cannabis, Mr Archer said.

When he was arrested 26-year-old Delaney told police the drug-dealing kit found in the house belonged to a man named Chris who was his cannabis supplier. He said Chris must have left it there when he had come to visit him.

However Delaney, who has 15 convictions for 32 offences, later pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Jack Delaney

This latest offence put Delaney, of Blackburn Road, Rising Bridge, in breach of a 12-month suspended sentence in March 2018 for dealing cannabis.

Defending, Michael Lea said: “He does have some strong views on whether or not cannabis should be legalised. Clearly he accepts that it’s not and he must face the consequences of his actions.”

Jailing Delaney, Judge Medland said: “People do have a range of views as to whether cannabis should or shouldn’t be legalised. But that can only be achieved through the political process, through parliament.

“My experience of cannabis through the court, especially skunk, is that it is much less benign than people think.

“When I was a Silk (a barrister of Queen’s Counsel) I prosecuted and defended in 10 murder cases a year. In a remarkably high proportion the defendant or deceased had serious mental health issues brought about through taking skunk.”

Frankland, 23, of Hillside Road, Haslingden, who embraced Delaney as he was led to the cells, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Dawn Frankland

The court heard she has convictions for producing cannabis and breaching a community order. Defending, Bob Elias said: “She earns about £350 a month as a carer of disadvantaged people. She has a young family.” Frankland was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 costs.