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January 17, 2014
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Artiste fined for trying to smuggle ganja

St Lucia native Alfred Jackson was fined $89,900 for attempting to smuggle ganja out of the island when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

It is alleged that Jackson, a reggae artiste, was in the island to pursue his career. In court, he held up a paper stating that it was a contract, in attempts to prove his claim for the court to see.

There was excitement in the court room as Jackson serenaded Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey with a sample of his work upon her request.

It is alleged that Jackson was searched at the airport and his suitcase was found to contain seven pounds (3.18 kilograms) of ganja and two chillum pipes.

Jackson told the court that he purchased the ganja from a herbal doctor who prescribed the herb for him for medicinal purposes. He shared with the court that the herbal doctor told him that ganja was soon to be made legal in Jamaica and he would not have any problems at the airport.

"They tricked me, your honour." Jackson said.

"Not true! You wanted it!" Pusey replied.

"For the healing!" Jackson rebutted.

He was sentenced to pay $11,300 or six months for possession, $22,600 or six months for dealing in, and $56,000 or six months for taking steps to export ganja.

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