Cannabis club head jailed for cultivation

Mike Dobson, who founded Preston Cannabis Club, has been jailed
Mike Dobson, who founded Preston Cannabis Club, has been jailed
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The man who set up Preston’s first cannabis club has been sent to prison for cultivating the drug.

Mike Dobson, 39, was jailed for 14 months by a Crown Court judge in the city after pleading guilty to cultivating 12 cannabis plants in his home in Bamber Bridge.

I’m still in a bit of an emotional state. Although Mike had prepared me for the worst, it still came as a shock

It is the second time he has been sent down for the offence. But he has vowed to carry on with his fight to get a Home Office licence to allow the club to supply cannabis to its members without prosecution.

“Mike says the battle goes on,” said partner Abigail Bodilly. “He’s still upbeat, but then he’s always upbeat. That’s just the way he is.

“Mike has been saying for the past four weeks that he would probably go down. I’m still a bit shocked, but he seems quite positive. He isn’t giving up and is putting in another application, despite being in prison.”

The former welder was jailed for 18 months back in 2012 after being convicted of cultivating the drug.

He was due in court again last year, although the case was delayed pending the outcome of his application for a judicial review of the Government’s refusal to grant Preston Cannabis Club a licence which would have allowed its members to possess up to half an ounce of the drug per week without prosecution. But the application was rejected, although another has since been submitted.

Abigail, who has already visited Mike in Preston Prison, said: “I’m still in a bit of an emotional state. Although Mike had prepared me for the worst, it still came as a shock. The plants were for his own use. He just wants to get the word out about what has happened to him.”

Mike founded the cannabis club last December after admitting he had been a user for the past 25 years, since the age of 14. Within weeks the club had a double-figure membership and six directors.