A POWYS man produced a medical marijuana card to police officers when he crashed his car after smoking the drug.

Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard this week how 35-year-old Joseph Boultwood smokes cannabis to deal with chronic arthritis – leaving him in constant pain each day.

Boultwood, of East Street, Rhayader, was drug tested after he crashed his BMW into a tree near Llangurig on September 8 last year.

On Tuesday, February 21, he pleaded guilty to a charge of drug driving.

Police officers discovered the defendant when they were called to a report of a single vehicle road traffic collision on the A44 at around 3pm on September 8.

“PC Wright attended the incident and discovered a BMW at the scene, driven by the defendant,” said prosecutor Helen Tench.

“He said he’d lost control on a corner and hit a tree. When asked if he smoked cannabis he said he had the night before, then produced card saying he is legally allowed to smoke cannabis for medicinal purposes.


“He said that while driving he’d turned the traction control off then, as he entered a bend, the vehicle kicked out, he caught the verge and went onto the grass.

“He admitted he had smoked four or five joints the night before, then he gave it a 12-hour window before driving.

“He told officers he had applied for a cannabis carrier card as he uses cannabis to deal with his arthritis.”

Mrs Tench said PC Wright arrested Boultwood after he provided a positive drug test at the scene of the accident; the reading provided was 6.3 micrograms of drug per litre of blood – the legal limit is two micrograms.

Rob Hanratty, acting for Boultwood, said: “The accident had nothing to do with the cannabis he’d smoked the night before.

“However, people think that being a registered cannabis user can be used as a defence, but even though he’s permitted to use it for medicinal purposes, if he’s over the legal limit he’s over the limit.

County Times:

“He has an arthritic condition that means he’s in constant pain throughout the day. Cannabis is the only thing that works.

“Losing his licence will create hardship, as he has a young child he shares care with and the child lives some way away.”

Boultwood was banned from driving for 12 months. He must also pay an £80 fine as well as £85 costs and a £32 surcharge.