WILMINGTON — A defendant in a non-support case was reproached Friday for what the judge felt was downplaying the use of marijuana.
Jordan Neil Slone, 23, of Sabina, has paid $25 in child support since fall 2009 for his child, according to Clinton County Assistant Prosecutor James Roeder. As of Friday, the total past-due child support owed by Slone was $10,749.
After Slone suggested Friday he didn’t report marijuana usage as a drug he had used to the person who compiled a presentence report, Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck said, “When you say, ‘It’s just marijuana,’ you’re talking to the wrong judge.”
Rudduck stated marijuana is a controlled substance that’s illegal to use in Ohio and the vast majority of U.S. states.
“Have you looked at the scientific studies regarding marijuana and what it does to young people’s brains?” the judge asked.
Rudduck added, “We don’t want people smoking cigarettes, would you agree? Right? Or maybe you think cigarettes are fine, too, even though it’s scientifically proven it causes lung cancer and kills people.”
The judge said he often sees defendants who abuse heroin and meth and who started by using marijuana.
“It’s really strange because everybody agrees we have a heroin and an opiate epidemic, but everybody seems to think that the popular opinion is that marijuana is just fine. It is not just fine and that’s a message I want to tell you,” Rudduck told Slone.
Slone was placed on community controls and must meet monthly with the court’s probation staff and verify he has made regular payments on his support obligation as well as maintained good behavior.
The monthly amount due for his one minor child is $223. If Slone violates community controls, he may be sent to prison for nine months.
In a second non-support case Friday in local felony court, Misty G. Dove, 49, formerly of South Carolina, also was put on community controls for a five-year period. During that time, she is expected to pay restitution in the amount of $18,652.
Like Slone, Dove spent time in the local jail because of non-support. Credit was given her for 23 days in jail.
She must report to probation staff monthly. If her child support payments are being met, she may request permission to return to South Carolina, according to a court order.
Dove faces a six-month prison term if she violates community control.
Gary Huffenberger can be reached at 937-382-2574, ext. 2512 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.