S'porean teen who grew cannabis put on 3 years' probation

S'porean teen who grew cannabis put on 3 years' probation
A grower holds out a product at the High Times US Cannabis Cup in Seattle, Washington September 8, 2013. Washington state was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use after approving separate ballot initiatives last year, even as the drug remains illegal under federal law. The Cup features exhibitions as well as a marijuana growing competition.

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean teenager was growing two pots of cannabis at his home in Yishun after researching online on how he could cultivate the plants.

His offence came to light after he was arrested on suspicion of taking drugs.

Adith Sarvotham, 18, was on Monday sentenced to serve three years of probation. He pleaded guilty in September to cultivating the plants, consuming cannabis and trafficking in heroin.

While acknowledging that drug trafficking was a serious offence, District Judge Soh Tze Bian noted that Adith's suitability for rehabilitation was "demonstrably high".

About a month before his arrest on Jan 15, Adith started growing the plants after he researched the cultivation of cannabis on search website Google.

When he was nabbed, he had six plants weighing a total of 28 grams.

Unknown to Adith, his mother, 46, was also smoking cannabis. She has served six months in the Drug Rehabilitation Centre and was released last month.

While out on police bail, Adith was caught by the police for trafficking in four straws that were found to contain 0.06 grams of heroin.

He had obtained them from a pusher near the Yio Chu Kang MRT station and was planning to sell it to an acquaintance known to him as Jayin.

Adith was then studying for his A levels at the BMC International College.

Defence counsel Sunil Sudheesan said that although a Singaporean, his client had grown up in India and came here only in the middle of last year.

"He was new to Singapore and he consumed and shared the drugs as a result of his misguided need to gain acceptance from his friends," said the lawyer.

Besides serving probation, Adith will also have to perform 240 hours of community service.

Just for the trafficking offence, he could have been jailed for five to 20 years and caned five to 15 times.

khush@sph.com.sg


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