In a much more depressing version of ‘Breaking Bad‘, a Melbourne father has been jailed after he was caught growing marijuana in an attempt to pay for rehab for his son, who suffers from an ice addiction.

Veli Selmani‘s home was raided by police earlier in the year, where they found 17 cannabis plants (weighing in at around 50kg) growing in a sophisticated hydroponics set-up.

Selmani was trying to cover the $40,000 he had paid to put his 26-year-old son into a rehabilitation centre called The Hader Clinic, on the advice of a friend who said that selling weed would be a quick way to raise the money.

The 64-year-old decided to place his son in rehab after becoming alarmed by his increasingly aggressive behaviour. 

Judge Frances Hogan described the endeavour as “misguided“, and said it was a “sad irony” that he had tried to help his son’s addiction by growing a drug that others found equally addictive – although that seems like a bit of a spurious claim.

Selmani was charged with cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis and, additionally, for theft, as he’d been stealing electricity from suppliers to power the hydroponics, receiving a four-year jail sentence, with no option of parole until he after he has served two years.

Selmani was jailed in the 80s for manslaughter after an altercation with a man turned fatal, but the judge found that ever since he had been a “fundamentally decent and hard-working man“:

“Unfortunately you have made two devastatingly bad judgments in your life: back in the Northern Territory three-and-a-half decades ago and more recently in your misguided attempt to help save your son and your family from financial ruin by planting this cannabis crop.”

“I can only hope that your son will realise that by his self-indulgent behaviour he has already caused a great deal of grief to your family. Your misguided attempt to help him is what has resulted in your going to prison and that factor should weigh on him so that he should feel a sense of responsibility to steer clear of ice and other illicit substances and take up an honourable and contributing role to help the family while you are in custody.”

Obviously, we don’t condone growing and selling illegal drugs but it’s pretty fucked that someone can end up in a position where the only option they see to give their son the help he needs with addiction is resorting to crime. Christ.

Source: The Age.