A former addict was spared an effective jail term on appeal, upon evidence that the cannabis plants cultivated on his roof had served to sustain his own addiction that he had since overcome.

Adrian Marmara, 43, had been targeted by criminal action following a search at his home back in 2007, where police officers had come across three cannabis plants, three pieces of cannabis resin and three small bags containing cannabis grass. 

The search had also yielded Lm1,345 in cash, but no other paraphernalia associated with drug trafficking.

The man subsequently faced various charges, including for cultivation and aggravated possession of cannabis, landing a seven-month effective jail term before the Magistrates’ Court in 2017. 

In terms of the Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) Act, the Court of Criminal Appeal, presided over by Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera, observed that the Drug Offenders Rehabilitation Board had pronounced itself “satisfied with the successful rehabilitation process” completed by the accused. 

A member of Sedqa’s Addictions Community Team had presented a report to that board confirming that he had registered progress “in motivation and planning for the future” and had also regularly tested “clean” of the drug.

The court also noted that the accused had admitted from the start that he had cultivated the cannabis plants since he could no longer fork out money to sustain his “very heavy use” of the drug which had lasted some 15 years. 

Following his arrest, he had decided to kick the habit and had turned to Caritas for help. 

In light of such evidence, the court confirmed the conviction but suspended the seven-month jail for two years.

Lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri and Amadeus Cachia assisted the reformed addict. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us