Solicitor tells UK court his client will keep smoking cannabis for Tourette’s and ADHD

16th June 2021

A man’s solicitor has told the magistrates in South Tyneside that his client is highly unlikely to stop smoking cannabis, despite his criminal conviction. The client says that using cannabis helps him to manage his diagnosed Tourette’s syndrome and ADHD.

The Sunderland Echo reports that David Fowler, 20, of Silkstun Court, Silksworth, Sunderland smoked cannabis as he thought the drug had a positive impact on his health condition.

After Mr Fowler was charged with possession of an illegal substance and was tried in the Magistrate’s court. His solicitor, Greg Flaxen, told the court that Fowler used cannabis to boost his health and not for getting high.

Mr Flaxen said: “It’s a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity – I would have thought a cannabis warning could have been offered at the police station.

“He does smoke cannabis on a daily basis. He has Tourette’s, he has the ticks, he has outbursts. One positive of cannabis is the calming effect that it has. He says that it helps with his ADHD.

“He says that he doesn’t smoke it to get high. You can consider a discharge, either absolute or conditional. He’s made full admissions and has explained that he smokes it every day.

“I would be wrong to say that he is not going to continue with it. If it’s a choice between health or breaking the law, health seems to take precedence.”

According to the Echo, the magistrates fined Fowler, who pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, £80, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

As we reported last week, adults with ADHD are more than twice as likely to meet the medical criteria for cannabis use disorder.

While the link between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cannabis use has largely been seen through a negative lens, recent years have brought a more nuanced approach to understanding why cannabis use is more prevalent among adolescents with ADHD.

ADHD is a kind of neurological condition which is characterised by inattention and hyperactivity.

A growing number of people with ADHD have provided more insight into the reasons for their cannabis use, with many claiming that the drug has helped them with symptoms of both ADHD and associated comorbidities including anxiety, Tourette’s Syndrome, sleep disorders, depression, and PTSD.

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