Jordan Molino, 21, was sentenced to four to eight months of jail time on Thursday - for time he'd already served in prison.
Judge Marc Lovecchio sentenced Molino to the maximum for the two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia he was charged with, a total far less than the 284 days in jail and 92 days in treatment Molino has credit for on the crimes.
"You've spent as much time in jail as you can possibly spend on these charges," Lovecchio told Molino.
"Here's the reality - no more jail time will do anything, no more supervision.," the judge added. "If you want to go out and get drunk today, you will, and no one's going to put you in jail. The war on drugs has pathetically failed over the past 40 years. It may work to incarcerate those distributing drugs."
"Sometimes initial incarceration is good, to wake someone up - you got a taste of state prison. But you cannot incarcerate the addiction out of a person," Lovecchio added. "You have to make a choice - keep doing what you're doing, and you'll either spend a lot of time where you just were, or you'll be dead"
The judge then turned his attention to Molino's mother.
"You didn't cause it, you can't control it, you can't cure it," he told her.
Molino underwent an assessment by the state, which found that he has "oppositional defiance disorder."
It was recommended he do a GED program and be involved in drug and alcohol treatment.
"He took the GED test and got a high enough score to get a diploma," defense attorney Robert Cronin told the judge. "He got the highest possible score in language arts, and he's looking at going to college."