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British Couple Jailed For Three Years For Selling Cannabis; Actually Used Profits To Help People In
October 18, 2012
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Here's a story that raises some interesting moral and philosophical questions.

Over in the U.K., a couple has been sent to jail for running a sophisticated cannabis factory at their farm in Little Sutton, in the northwest of England.

Authorities say they ran the business for six years, producing "significant quantities" of cannabis and making hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But here's where it gets interesting. They used most of their profits to help a village in Kenya, that they went to regularly.

Michael Foster, 62 and Susan Cooper, 63, paid to help children go to school, bought computers for an eye hospital and paid for a Kenyan man to have his diseased leg amputated, saving his life.

Police raided their farm two years ago, after an officer - who was chasing a robber near their home -recognized the smell.

When the officer knocked on the door and asked Cooper if she knew why he was there, she answered: "Yes I do."

Police described it as a "professional and commercial set up", with two of the buildings converted into a growing room and drying room.

The prosecutor told the court: "The couple were both in their 60s and were of previous good character... It perhaps can be best summed up by Mr. Foster, who told police in his own words during his interview that it started off as a hobby and turned into a business."

Foster admitted he sold cannabis regularly to a local drug dealer - usually for around $2500. During the raid, police found $30,000 in a big and more than 150 cannabis plants worth more than $30,000.

The court also heard that the couple had deposited nearly half a million dollars into a joint account from 2004-2010. Another $160,000 went into an account held by Cooper.

A lawyer for Foster told the court "the evidence demonstrates much of the money was put to charitable and good use."

A lawyer for Cooper, described her as a "good person who has done a bad thing".
He added "When a young adult called Wilson got a gangrenous infection in his leg he was given two days to live. She paid for that treatment."

The judge sentenced them both to three years in jail, saying they were a respectable couple of positive, good character.

But he told Foster his own cannabis habit may have led to the psychosis which contributed to his crimes. "Cannabis does that, it is a dangerous drug too often belittled."

The judge went on to say "You were growing it on a significant scale, jetting off to Kenya on it. I am sure you were doing good things in Kenya with your drugs money, whether that was to appease your consciences, I can only speculate."


In another, unrelated case, an elderly couple in Bedford outside London made news last week for growing a huge cannabis plant in their yard.

Except, they didn't realize it was cannabis.

Police say the couple bought it at a flea market but just thought it was a green shrub. In a message posted to Twitter, police said the plant had been "seized today."

The tweet went on to say "Elderly couple bought shrub at car boot sale, tended carefully-biggest cannabis plant we had seen!!"

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