Written by By Tatiana Lewis, CNN
A British soldier whose decision to serve cannabis brownies for breakfast was upheld this week has been forced to resign, the Ministry of Defense has said.
Sgt. Joel Roberts was facing a court martial for two breaches of the military’s drugs policy. His case was upheld Thursday, said Jeremy Pope, a former head of the MoD’s professional standards division and a founder of defense think tank Conservative Middle East.
Roberts was reportedly told by an officer he could keep his rank and equipment in the Army, but he would be dismissed after he was found guilty at a private hearing.
“We have a duty to investigate any claims and put in place any necessary consequences to eliminate a harmful waste of human and financial resources,” a spokesperson for the MoD said in a statement.
Roberts refused to eat the illegal cookies, and recommended the one remaining pot-filled tube of marijuana-infused jelly to his friend. At home, the braid-haired sergeant is facing deportation to Jamaica, though he is appealing for U.K. citizenship to prevent this.
“I did my duty as per the orders and posted an estimate and hours for the day,” Roberts told The Times newspaper. “As I walked down to breakfast I heard shouts outside the box room.”
Former military official Jeremy Pope discusses the release of a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ report on the denial of equality to soldiers. Credit: PETER MUHLY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Roberts posted the marijuana-laced product to breakfast, prompting fellow soldiers to call the sergeant a “double amputee”.
Following the original arrest, Roberts was subsequently retrained to use flak jackets so he was permitted to remove his military tattoo. He said he had more serious commitments, including “some military security duties in the Middle East.”
Roberts was found not guilty in a previous trial. However, in a precedent-setting legal move, his colleague, Donald Pettigrew, was discharged from the Army on appeal for failing to serve the sweets.
The case sparked controversy, with many — including Pope — questioning the use of the cannabis brownies as punishment.