Two days before the first public consultation on the decriminalisation of marijuana, a Bobo Shanti and an ex-convict were both jailed on a marijuana possession charge yesterday.
Rastafarian Wesley Woods, 43, and Ancil Alleyne, 42, both pleaded guilty in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court.
They were arrested in separate incidents last Thursday.
In Woods’ matter, court prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said around 2.45 pm the police went to a mini mart at Southern Main Road, Plaisance Park where they met the accused.
Upon searching the business place, PC Khan found a plastic bag containing three smaller bags with marijuana. Woods said, “Boss ah just trying a lil hustle.” The drug weighed 98 grammes.
Woods told Senior Magistrate Alicia Chankar that while marijuana is against the law, it is not prohibited in the Bobo Shanti faith.
He admitted that sometimes he would share the marijuana with his brethren, but he denied selling the drug.
Observing that his criminal record showed a long history with marijuana-related offences, the magistrate said he has been repeatedly flaunting the law.
Woods said his last run-in with the law was in 2012 and he won the case in 2014.
The magistrate sent him to jail to serve 90 days hard labour. In the other incident, PC Quinzel Mahabir and other officers of the Marabella CID were on foot patrol along the old train line, Marabella when they received information.
The officers came upon Alleyne who was sitting on a bench outside the parlour. Upon seeing the officers, he placed a plastic bag near his feet. When Mahabir searched the bag he found 634 grammes of marijuana.
Alleyne admitted that he only came out of prison in October/November after serving a term for a similar offence. Alleyne, a father of three who works in a chicken depot, said, “It real hard out there.” He was jailed for 18 months.
Three hundred people have already signalled their intention to attend the consultation tomorrow at the National Academy for Performing Arts in Port- of- Spain.
Reporter: Sascha Wilson