14 Nov 2013

Cannabis impact on teen brains cited in sentencing

6:17 pm on 14 November 2013

A High Court judge sentencing a man for supplying drugs to teenagers in Christchurch has warned him that cannabis can seriously damage young, developing brains.

Kevin Beria Greer, 45, was sentenced on Thursday to four-and-a-half years in prison for supplying cannabis to teenagers and also the sexual exploitation of two girls.

Police say over five months, at least 20 Burnside High School exposed themselves in his van for photographs in exchange for drugs including cannabis, ritalin and morphine.

When police searched the van parked outside the school they found two students, along with a large quantity of drugs and a camera containing 17 images of females in various states of undress.

At the sentencing, Justice Fogerty told Greer he considered the supply of cannabis to minors to be the lead charge in his case because of the profound consequences the drug has on young, developing brains.

"On my understanding of the science, the long-term effects on the community of targeting supply of cannabis to students is very serious."

Justice Fogerty acknowledged the pressure Greer's offending had placed on his family and the suffering his children had endured.

In a statement on Thursday, Burnside High said it had posted staff at its gates and along the school's boundaries during break times and before and after classes. It did not comment on how it was dealing with the students involved.