Man's quest to buy cannabis leads to knife altercation, lands him in court

After trying to buy cannabis from a stranger in a Żebbuġ square, the accused found himself robbed and threatened with knives, before landing himself in court

An ill-fated Saturday night quest for cannabis that ended up in a knife fight at a Żebbuġ house has resulted in one Polish convicted of drug charges.

Magistrate Leonard Caurana was told about the remarkable circumstances leading up to Igor Leweski’s arraignment on charges of cultivating cannabis plants, as well as simple possession of ecstasy pills and cannabis hemp.

Police Inspector Francesca Calleja explained that Leweski and two of his friends had driven to Żebbuġ from the airport on the evening of  March 30. Arriving in the village square at around 10.30pm, the group spotted a lone man smoking in the square. The defendant and his friends approached the man and asked whether he could provide them with cannabis, to which he replied that he could, inviting them to go home with him.

Inside the man’s residence, Leweski and his friends were met by another man, who was wearing a red T-shirt. At that point, the man they had met in the square demanded the group hand over payment in cash for the cannabis they wanted to buy. He then went upstairs after being handed the money.

The man in the red t-shirt had then proffered the group a plastic bottle containing an unknown substance, inviting them to inhale its contents. The group declined.

At that point one of the group of friends realised that the man they had handed the money to had left the room, resulting in a commotion as the group demanded he come back and return their money. 

Leweski had then decided to go upstairs and find the man himself. And find him he did - hiding in a dark corner, after the glint of a knife blade caught his eye.

Meanwhile the man in the red t-shirt had also allegedly pulled a knife on the rest of the group and it wasn’t long before the argument escalated into a physical altercation inside the house.

The police were called after the noise of the fight attracted the attention of people in the vicinity and all the men were arrested.
The police took Leweski to his residence in St Paul’s Bay in order to conduct a search. Nine cannabis plants were found, together with paraphernalia related to cannabis growing. 

Leweski pleaded guilty to all of the charges brought against him, confirming his plea when given an opportunity to reconsider. 

Making submissions on punishment, the prosecution said that although the nine plants and 220g of cannabis hemp found appeared to be a lot at first glance, the police had not found anything which indicated that the drugs had been intended for anything other than personal use. 
In fact, the accused was new to cannabis cultivation and his attempt to do so had apparently been unsuccessful, as the plants had not produced any buds. In fact the plants had been found in garbage bags, and it seemed that Leweski was going to dispose of them as domestic refuse.

With regards to the 220 grams of cannabis hemp that the police found in the man’s freezer, the court was told that it had a very low THC content and had probably been intended for use in making cannabis-infused food.

The lack of evidence pointing to intent to supply had led the police to only charge the man with simple possession, said the inspector.
Lawyer Joseph Calleja Parnis, assisting the defendant, told the court that Leweski was only an occasional cannabis user, who was more interested in cannabis culture.

He had been told that the strain he was attempting to grow only had an equal chance of flowering or not producing anything at all. This was why he had decided to buy nine plants, just over double the amount legally permitted, in order to have a better chance of actually having the legal maximum of four flowering cannabis plants.

But after none of the plants flowered he had lost interest in cultivating his own cannabis and had put the plants in garbage bags with the intention of throwing them away, said the lawyer, pointing out that this was the defendant’s first brush with the law and requesting a light sentence.

Finding Leweski guilty of the charges on his own admission, the court sentenced the man to probation for one year, and fined him €900.