Self-medicating lands man in courtJudge concerned by presence of sawed-off shotgun
by Lisa Brown
COUNTY - Growing marijuana to self-medicate his back pain landed a Farmington man in court May 19.
Thirty-one-year-old Andrew Robert Feindel received a six-month conditional sentence and a year on probation on charges of producing marijuana, possessing marijuana, having a sawed-off shotgun and carelessly storing long guns.
Police searched Mr. Feindel's home on the Farmington Road on March 1, 2010.
Federal prosecutor Josh Bryson told the court officers found 25 dried-out large marijuana plants that were not usable, but they also found 150 small seedlings. Police seized 194 grams of marijuana, more than a kilogram of marijuana shake and growing equipment.
They also found a sawed-off shotgun on the bottom shelf of a bookcase and three long guns which were not properly secured.
Defence lawyer Alan Ferrier said his client was using marijuana to ease back pain. He'd been given the sawed-off shotgun and believed it didn't work.
Given an opportunity to speak, Mr. Feindel told the court he was embarrassed, has stopped using marijuana and won't do it again.
Judge Gregory Lenehan endorsed a recommendation from Crown and defence placing the Farmington man on a six-month conditional sentence, including two months on house arrest. He must stay clear of alcohol, drugs and anyone with a criminal record, and take counselling as directed.
"You can't take it upon yourself to self-medicate and grow as you see fit," Judge Lenehan told him.
The judge said he was particularly troubled by the seizure of the sawed-off shotgun, saying there's no reason to have such a weapon.
"A sawed-off shotgun is by its very nature tied to criminal activity. There's no other reason for there to be a sawed-off shotgun other than for criminal activity," Judge Lenehan said.
"So if you got that as a gift from somebody else, the person you got it from was engaged in criminal activity."
Mr. Feindel must continue counselling while on probation. He's banned from having firearms for 10 years and must submit a DNA sample to the national data bank.
posted on 05/24/11
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