A BUSINESSMAN who grew £27,000 worth of cannabis in his flat told a court he had so much of the illegal drug he had no idea what to do with it.
Michael Marcus was arrested after a bailiff contacted police when he went to his home and could smell the class B drug.
Marcus gave evidence at his sentencing hearing yesterday in which he said he had only grown the illegal plants for his own use.
The 33-year-old told Leeds Crown Court he smoked between ten and 15 cannabis joints to cope with the stress of his job,
Officers seized 16 plants and three kilogrammes of cannabis when they went to his flat at Weetwood Manor in Leeds.
Marcus, who runs a family business which sells fruit and vegetables to the hotel and restaurant industry, told the court he had no intention of selling the drug or supplying it to friends.
He said he decided to grow the plants himself to save money after doing research on the internet about how to produce it.
Marcus said he planned to freeze some of the cannabis or throw it away when he realised how much he had managed to produce. Judge James Spencer QC asked Marcus how he felt when he was told the drugs were worth £27,000.
He replied: “I was gobsmacked to be honest.”
He added: “I would have thrown some away. I wasn’t growing it for that reason. It’s wasn’t a case of me thinking ‘right I can smoke that and I can sell that.”
Marcus received a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for a year, and was ordered to take part in a programme designed to address his offending.
The judge said: “If you didn’t know it before, and I expect you truly did, your use of cannabis is illegal whether you find it helpful or not.
“If you grow this quantity again you will go to prison.”