Morne Prosper resident Hendricks Wade, who told the court that “things crucial”, has been slapped two hefty fines after pleading guilty to the charges of possession of cannabis and cultivation of cannabis.

Wade is to pay the court $5,000 by December 31, 2012 or in default 8 months in prison on the charge of possession of cannabis and $50,000 or one year and 5 months in prison for cultivating 964 trees in Morne Prosper.

According to Police Inspector Claude Weekes, officers were on bush patrol in the area when they noticed the cultivation of marijuana trees. The defendant was also seen standing on a galvanise shack near the trees. He was approached by the officers who inquired about the trees.

“Officers, marijuana trees,” he responded.

Wade stated that he had planted the trees early in March to help his family. “Things crucial. I have seven children,” he told the police.

He told the court that he and his family usually sold produce at the Roseau market however things “get a bit hard” and hence he was forced to cultivate the illegal drug.

But Chief Magistrate Evelina Baptiste would not hear any of it. She told Wade that his behaviour was rather unethical and expressed her disappointment in the fact that he was engaging in such an activity that would have a harmful effect on the young people in society.

Meanwhile, Jerry Carbon of Trafalgar pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and possession with intent to supply 341 grams of cannabis. Carbon was fined $2,300 to be paid by February 28th, 2013 or face 1 year in prison.

Carbon was arrested on September 8, 2012 at Trafalgar when officers on patrol noticed him standing by the road with a plastic bag. He originally declared that he was carrying bush tea. However, after being further interviewed, Carbon admitted that it was marijuana.

According to him he was trying to make a living since he is not working.

Chief Magistrate Evelina Baptiste told the defendant that she was concerned about the high prevalence of the use of drugs among the young people. She said that she had to take that into consideration when passing his sentence.