Rastafarian held with 17 pounds of weed walks free

Rastafarian held with 17 pounds of weed walks free

Saturday, February 15, 2020

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A Rastafarian man, who claimed the 17 pounds of ganja he was caught with last year was for religious purposes, on Tuesday walked free from the St Elizabeth Parish Court.

The man, Wilbert Brooks, was freed of possession of ganja and dealing in ganja charges when the Crown offered no further evidence against him.

Prior to the charges being dropped, Brooks' attorney Samoi Campbell presented a letter from the Ethiopia African Black International Congress Church of Divine Salvation, indicating that on the day of his arrest he was acting as an ambassador of the church.

It is alleged that on July 24, 2019, Brooks was travelling in a Toyota Hiace bus on the Slipe main road in St Elizabeth when police stopped the vehicle and searched passengers. A bag containing vegetable matter resembling ganja was found in Brooks's possession. He was later arrested.

When he was cautioned by the police, Brooks reportedly said: “Offica, mi come get it fi di church for sacrament.”

In addition to the letter, Campbell made an application for the matter to be dismissed on the basis that her client was entitled to the exemption provided to him under the Dangerous Drugs (amendment) Act which provides that the offence would not apply to persons found in possession of ganja for religious purposes as a sacrament, in adherence to their Rastafarian faith.

The Crown conceded and offered no further evidence on both charges.

– Racquel Porter


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