Most of us smoke dope, Clitheroe boy (15) tells court

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A 15-YEAR-OLD boy found in possession of cannabis at his Ribble Valley school claimed in court that most people his age he came into contact with in the Clitheroe area were users of the drug.

Blackburn magistrates heard the Bowland High School pupil told police he had smoked some cannabis before he attended school that day. He admitted using about £40-worth of the drug a week and said he didn’t think it was wrong and he would continue to smoke cannabis.

The boy, who lives in Clitheroe but cannot be named because of his age, admitted possessing cannabis. He was made subject to a referall order for three months.

Miss Julie Reddish (prosecuting) said police were called in by headteacher Stephen Cox after the boy was found with the drug on school premises.

Mr Ian Huggan (defending) said the boy was not unintelligent and put forward his own reasoned argument about smoking cannabis.

“He says a lot of his peers use cannabis, in fact it seems the majority of the people his age he bumps into in the Clitheroe area are users,” said Mr Huggan.

“He says he sometimes has issues with depression and cannabis helps with that.”

Mr Huggan said the boy was described by his parents as a “loving and caring” son.

In the wake of the case Mr Stephen Cox, headteacher at Bowland High School, issued the following statement: “We take the possession of illegal drugs at Bowland extremely seriously.

“The school has a robust policy on the possession of illegal drugs. The individual concerned and his parents understand the gravity of what has happened. While this is a very rare incident at Bowland, there is no doubt the use of illegal drugs by some teenagers throughout the Ribble Valley is more widespread than we would want to believe.

“Like all other schools in the Ribble Valley we endeavour to educate our pupils on the dangers and consequences of using legal and illegal drugs. We have an excellent relationship with the police and their involvement in this incident hopefully spells out to other young people how seriously we view such behaviour.”