Rastafarian caught with ganja to stand trial

ST JAMES, Jamaica — A Rastafarian who was charged after cops found two pounds of ganja inside his shop is scheduled to stand trial on April 4.

Charles Largie appeared in the St James Parish Court on Thursday, charged with possession of and dealing in ganja.

Largie’s lawyer, Chumu Paris, is contending that what the police took from his client was his sacrament. He presented a document from the Rastafari and Grassroots Ganja Association certifying his client's membership.

Paris also stated that his client had in the past applied to the relevant authorities to sell ganja at events such as Rebel Salute.

“In respect of religious practices, there is nothing in the legislation that I recall seeing that speaks for sacramental purposes that require him to seek a licence to say that he is a Rastafarian," the lawyer argued before the court.

“We are not denying that my client was found in possession of ganja. What we are saying is that he is exercising his rights,” Paris added.

Judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley subsequently set the case for trial on April 4 and Largie’s bail was extended.

According to police, they went to Largie’s shop and found ganja in three transparent bags. They also found 95 transparent vials and a transparent jar marked “Rastafarian Cannabis”.

When cautioned, Largie reportedly said to the officer, “A mi name Charles Largie... mi get back mi ganja from the same police station before."

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