ST JAMES, Jamaica – An American woman who was busted with three ounces of ganja on arrival in Jamaica reportedly told police at the Sangster International Airport that she brought the weed into the island to show her friends that marijuana grown in the United States is of higher quality.
Courtney Elizabeth Baker, a 37-year-old chef/ businesswoman from New York, pleaded guilty to possession and importing ganja when she appeared in the St James Parish Court on Wednesday.
According to court documents, on February 25, about 12:30 pm, Baker arrived on a JetBlue flight from New York.
Her luggage was examined by customs officials and was found to contain seven parcels made from transparent and black plastic, each containing ganja weighing approximately three ounces.
When cautioned, she reportedly said to the officer, “I was taking it to show my Jamaican friends that there is better weed in the United States.”
During Wednesdays sitting, Baker told the court that she uses ganja for medicinal purposes.
At that point, the clerk informed the court that Baker had submitted a card indicating that she was legally permitted to use ganja for medicinal purposes in the state of New York.
However, presiding parish judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley pointed out to the accused woman that while she was permitted in her homeland, she needed a licence from Jamaican authorities.
“While you have a licence, permit or prescription in your country, you are in Jamaica taking in contraband… It means you would have had to receive a licence from our authorities to take it in,” the judge said.
In light of the explanation she provided for possessing the weed, she was admonished and discharged on that charge. However, she was ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 or 30 days in jail for importing the drug.