Man in possession of cannabis for epilepsy treatment fined €100

John Mountaine lost most of his teeth due to seizures, court told

The THC oil used by the defendant was extracted from cannabis, the Court heard. File photograph: PA Wire

The THC oil used by the defendant was extracted from cannabis, the Court heard. File photograph: PA Wire

 

A 36-year old Co Clare man who has lost most of his teeth from epileptic seizures has been fined in court for possessing cannabis used successfully to treat his symptoms.

At Kilrush District Court, solicitor for John Mountaine, Patrick Moylan said Mr Mountaine has been seizure-free since routinely rubbing THC oil extracted from cannabis under his tongue before he goes to bed each night.

Mr Moylan said using the THC oil from the cannabis is the only way Mr Mountaine can control his seizures.

The solicitor said: “Mr Mountaine’s seizures were so bad before he started taking the cannabis oil that he has lost most of his teeth through the jarring of his teeth during the seizures.”

Mr Moylan said it was recommended to Mr Mountaine that he turn to cannabis herb to control his epileptic seizures when all conventional medicine had failed.

He said Mr Mountaine is under the care of a Galway-based consultant neurologist and drugs including Lyrica, Amitriptyline and Topamax used to control his seizures failed.

In the case, Mr Mountaine of Pella Road, Kilrush pleaded guilty to possessing €30 worth of cannabis herb on August 10th, 2017 at Tullycrine Upper, Cooraclare in west Clare.

Mr Moylan said: “There are moves afoot to make cannabis available for medicinal purpose – current legislation doesn’t allow but it is expected to happen. Mr Mountaine accepts that today it is illegal. He knows that. He never smoked the cannabis. He uses it only for this process.”

Judge Patrick Durcan asked Insp Paul Slattery: “Does the State accept and is it aware of the man’s medical condition?”

“We are now,” Insp Slattery said.

The judge said the “matter of making cannabis available for medicinal purposes is the subject of considerable public discussion”.

“I am not a law-maker,” he said. “I have great sympathy for your client if he gets the relief he gets.”

Judge Durcan said he was imposing a fine of €100 on Mr Mountaine and told Mr Moylan “the fine I would usually impose for this offence would be far greater and I accept what you tell me”.