A man who turned himself into the police for possessing five marijuana plants has been found guilty of illegally cultivating the plant, but has not been punished by judges in The Hague.

René Barendse told RTL Nieuws earlier he uses the plant to help him cope with crippling pains for which doctors can find no cause. It is illegal to cultivate marijuana but officials turn a blind eye to the possession of four plants.

At the same time, the police are free to seize and destroy plants if they see fit. Barendse said he wanted to establish legal opinion about the situation and so decided to turn himself in.

The court ruled that he had not sufficiently proved that the medicinal cannabis oil he is prescribed did not work. In addition, the fact he could not afford medicinal cannabis was not a mitigating circumstance, the judges said. Barendse was found guilty but was not given any punishment because, the court said, the case was about a question of principle

Man turns himself in to police for growing marijuana, is found guilty