‘Ganj’ mother Cosgrove avoids prison


A Deeside grandmother who claims she grew marijuana to ease the pain of her severe arthritis has avoided a prison sentence.

Catherine Cosgrove, 56, appeared at Stonehaven Sherrif Court last week after 12 cannabis plants were discovered at her then residence in Blairs in November of last year.

Mrs Cosgrove suffers from osteoarthritis and while the NHS offered her opioid based pain relief like morphine, she refused it, her husband having battled heroin addiction.

Last month the mother of five appeared in court in a wheelchair having taken a fall and breaking her hip.

Sherrif Chritsopher Shead deferred sentencing while Mrs Cosgrove’s health was assessed.

Police previously recovered 69 cannabis plants from her loft in her cottage at Blairs in October 2012.

She admitted being involved in the production of an illegal drug and was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

During the trial last week Sherriff Shead said: “the court expresses its anxiety of imprisoning someone at your stage of life on these charges...but the court needs to uphold the law and this is an offence that is clearly punishable by a substantial term in prison...the crown has chosen to proceed this at summary level.”

Cosgrove was ordered to engage in 160 hours of unpaid work over a 12 month period.

The Cannabis plant has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many cultures and has been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy and people with AIDS, and to treat pain and muscle spasticity.

According to the British journal of clinical pharmacology a 2009 review states it was unclear on the benefits of cannabis as pain relief while a 2011 review considered it generally safe and appeared safer than that opioids.