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Stoke-on-Trent dad, 33, caught drug-driving after using e-cig with high levels of THC, gets fined

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Motorist Benjamin Steves was caught having cannabinoid oil with excess amount of THC present in an e-cig he smoked before driving out that day. the 33-year old who has been using CBD oil for pain relief was pulled by the police officers in Ryecroft Road in Norton.

The officers conducted a drug test on Steves and samples revealed that he had 7 mgms of THC in his body which is way above the legally permitted 2 mgms set by the government. Stevens pleaded guilty for driving while over the drug-driving limit at the North Staffordshire Justice Centre.

Andrew Bodger, the prosecutor said: “It was 11.20pm on February 18 and the police thought the defendant was going a bit too fast so they decided to stop him.It appeared he was under the influence of something and a roadside test was positive.”

Kate Perston, the representative of Stevens said her client was not aware of the after effects of using an e-cig infused with CBD oil and didn’t know that it would push him over the limits this much. She said that this case has come as a surprise to her as all those who are convicted for drug driving usually agree to having smoked pot on the same day or from past few days.

She further clarified that Stevens had been buying e-cigarettes from a regular shop with fruity flavours. The defendant uses the product as per the prescription of the doctor but has been using CBD oil instead of a pill. Since he has been using it for years now, he didn’t realize anything related to it – THC to the surprise – would cause troubles or become an illegal offence.

She told the bench that the defendant had a clean slate since 2015 and was working as a full time employee now. He is a father to 3 children and that he would have never done the deed if at all he had any idea of its consequences.

According to the NHS, medical cannabis is available for adults via prescription from a medical examiner or a doctor for adults and children suffering from severe ailments like epilepsy and to treat inflammation, pain, anxiety, reduce swelling and many other diseases.

CBD is basically an anti-inflammatory and non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana plants, hemp-derived CBD is legal in many places in the world because it contains low levels of THC (Tetrahydro cannabinoid). THC is a psychoactive component which gives the ‘high’ when people smoke weed, it alters the state of mind and releases some toxins which are harmful for the body.

If a person uses cannabis with high concentration of THC for a regular period of time with high potency, he/she is likely to suffer from mental disorders, stress, inflammation and even seizures. THC is only allowed 2 mgms at a time to ensure its safe consumption that doesn’t affect the user negatively.

Chairman of the bench, Philip Taylor fined Stevens £298, ordered him to pay £135 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.He said that though they understand the statements given by the defendant in his defence, the bench is experienced enough to take a suitable action meaning he should have checked the substance for THC before driving or consuming it.

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