It’s a plot straight out of a movie or a TV drama. Many are calling the story a real life Breaking Bad, but that might be a stretch. After all, Walter White was cooking up a literal poison; the protagonist in this saga was growing medicine. Cannabis, to be more specific.
When Stephen Phillips of Hartlepool, England found out his son was in trouble with crack dealers over a £3,500 debt, he did what any father would do. Actually, in one sense, he did what very few fathers would do; he setup up a cannabis farm in his house in order to raise the money to pay off his son’s debt.
Unfortunately, the operation had barely gotten off the ground before Phillips’ house was raided. Police found 50 plants in his garage, plus some material drying in an upstairs bedroom. The total value of the operation was estimated at somewhere between £11,000 and £42,000. Police said the operation, which consisted of small lamps above a collection of plants, was “an amateurish setup,” according to The Herald.
Though England’s drug policy is right up there with those of the U.S. federal government in severity, the judge who heard the case considered the circumstances to be mitigating factors and spared Phillips jail time. After pleading guilty to production of cannabis, a class B drug, he was given a suspended jail sentence of four months.
“Clearly he accepts that he should not have got involved, but it was out of loyalty to his son,” Phillips attorney, Mark Styles said, as quoted by The Herald.
In the end, the wayward son had his debts relieved, but through a much more conventional channel than his father’s noble, but extra-legal efforts. His brother took out a loan for him and paid off the crack dealers in full.
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