Three grand for a ganja tree

A 49-year-old man of Mahaut has been given until October 21 (2012) to pay drug fines totaling EC$3,000.00 after he pleaded guilty to the offences of possession and cultivation of cannabis on Monday (May 21, 2012).

Fergerson Joseph appeared before chief magistrate Evalina Baptiste.

Mahaut police say they responded to a report on May 19 (2012) and on arrival  at the home of Joseph found a marijuana tree in a white pail growing in his yard.

Asked for an explanation he replied, “a kali tree I have there officer to make tea instead of coffee.”

Asked to mitigate on his own behalf since he did not have a lawyer, Joseph, a first time offender, told the court, “your honour, I don’t know what to say”.

“You have no previous convictions and have not wasted the court’s time, the maximum penalty for cultivation is EC$100,000,” the Chief Magistrate told Joseph.

She said the prevalence of the “illicit and destructive” drug was a matter of grave concern to her.

Joseph was fined EC$2,200.00 for cultivation to be paid by October 21, 2012 failing which he would land a jail term of seven months jail.

He was also fined a further EC$800.00 to be paid by the same date.

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of DominicaNewsOnline.com/Duravision Inc. All comments are approved by DominicaNewsOnline.com before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.

39 Comments

  1. MAKAVELI
    May 23, 2012

    If this government was looking for markets for the farmers produce, instead of being stuck with produce and no sale, maybe they would not leave the agriculture and go and plant weed.

  2. wong ping
    May 23, 2012

    is there a piece of legislation on marijuana in dominica.saying how much should be charged for what amount of weed?or are the fines charged are simply spontaneous?can marijuana ever be eradicayed?NO!because man did not create that plant.educated people who went to university sit in a court and tell people that a plant creaeted by God is illegale.herbalists,agriculturists,come on man.we are in 2012 and blind to simple truth.next time tell the judge to read certain scriptures from the Bible that they making people swear on and they never open it to read.

  3. sphynx
    May 23, 2012

    we love cane but you make rum with cane juice.every plant has it’s a and b side.if america say legalise it every one will go their way.on a tv program sunday night we were shown cafes and clinics serving weed in either gellules or natural.and for your information there was a best therapy weed competition.check out national geographic channel.the only wicked thing about ganga is the buying and selling.

  4. around
    May 22, 2012

    they should let the man go free cause just one tree he not a seller, but them big time planters dat selling $800 and $1000 dollars a pound and them man dat selling 1 gram for $5.oo is de ones they should give dem big charges for de crop for real they rob people so de law must break thier hand.

  5. cj
    May 22, 2012

    ganja farmers, drug lords,drug traffickers and hustlers continue doing your great job. with out you guys the police force would not be doing anything, besides when you all are caught and charge heavily, this indeed contributes towards the state finacialy.

  6. My 2 Cents
    May 22, 2012

    :wink: ganja a.a ganja ganaj

  7. herbalist
    May 22, 2012

    Discretion. That is the word. Discretion. Equal Justice is wanting badly. Remember the Venezuelans who were caught after a chase by Dominica’s coast guard? $1,000,000.00 in several different currencies were found. What happened? their vessel was returned to them and a slap on the wrist.

    Remember those things Dominicans. Another Venezuelan vessel was again intercepted by Coast guard. Drugs and money were found. What happened? another slap on the wrist. Those vessels entered our waters illegally and were involved in illegal acts. One of them in the second scene was already caught before in a similar situation here.

    42 charges filed against a certain Lawyer. Up to now no case. Court issued arrest warrant for that same Lawyer, no arrest. No problem. The Court or DPP does nothing, says nothing, even though the court’s order was disrespected. justice?

    Where is the fairness, the justice? The Lawyer, who filed the charges against the other lawyer, was almost killed together with his wife in a horrific, horrible criminal act of firebombing. Where is the investigation going?

    A policeman, who said that he is investigating money-laundering, was also firebombed. Not surprising at all. Up to now, investigations seemed stalled. The victims appear to be the villains in some sections. Where is the justice?

    Dominicans are witnessing protection and defence of a certain ‘elite class’ with power, in power. The ordinary man and woman, before they wink too heavily, they have to face the court to be fined, or jailed.

    Controversial passport sales, money-laundering, rubbish bin and fertlizer scandals, forging of birth certificates to facilitate production of our passports with false names to foreigners, and so on and so on must be worse criminal acts than having a plant in a pot in ones yard.

  8. The Dominican.
    May 22, 2012

    When pappy was saying he would legalise marijuana we all laughed at him, today more that ever we are seeing the need to free up the weed, whether is to legalize or decriminalize, what ever, it is time to take action and bring this to the attention of our parliamentarians, and if they do not take up the issue, we shouls vote them out

  9. yes I
    May 22, 2012

    DNO what is ganja? lets use english words eh!

    • May 22, 2012

      So since when is the word eh considered to be part of the English language. And tell me please who don’t know what is meant by the word ganga.

  10. Neutral
    May 22, 2012

    Neutralize it therefore removing the element of criminality attached to marijuana. Like everything else Dominica continue to be behind the rest of the world on everything. In most country you are now allow a small amount for personal or medicinal use. ALCOHOL IS MORE DETRIMENTAL TO THE SOCIETY THAN GANGA. We all know of someone who have died or lost their job from ‘drinking rum’. The effect of alcohol abuse have had negative effects on families also. LEAVE THE MAN WITH HIS GANGA TREE.

  11. Shameless
    May 22, 2012

    The posession, cultivation and sale of gagja is still against the law. If you feel so strongly that the police or courts are wrong, then seek redress through the appeals process. If you are still not satisfied, have your parlrep move a motion to repeal the laws that criminalises such actions. The police or courts dont write the laws, but rather enforce them as institution of the criminal justice system. Complaining on DNO everytime someone gets arrested for ganja is not going to change the process.

    • The Dominican.
      May 22, 2012

      Agreed, but liency and discretion have to be exercised especially when there is now so much information that matter, we are all human, and laws are made by people for the protection of the mases, tell me what threat or what danger there is in growing one ganja tree as upposed to its medical use that the individual claimed he had it for, compare that with the Venezuelan boat caught with coke, or the French National caught with weed, where is the justice?

      • Shameless
        May 23, 2012

        Justice will always appear to be blind when our expectations are not met. The term liniency is very subjective. Therefore, only the rewriting of or repealing of the said laws will solve the problem and that has to be done by those we elect to represent us.

  12. Original-Eagle Eye
    May 22, 2012

    $3000 for one tree, right in a man yard, but a French national travelling with and could likely be intending to distribute for resale gets a smile and $500 fine.

    Venezuelan boats siezed with cocaine street value of US estimated $18,mil but men ordered to be free, given back their boat, the thousands of Euros and US and their coke!

    Dominica judiciary is SICK

  13. Weedy
    May 22, 2012

    Its just a plant. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
    I can’t grow it, but I want to smoke it..so where do I go to get it?The only place I can, an illegal grower/drug dealer.I would like to be able to walk into my local shop and ask the store owner/cashier that I want 1 gram of grass, but I can’t. Because of our retarded laws and the stupid people out there that want marijuana illegal just because they want it illegal.. with no actual thought put into their decision. 8-O

  14. Trend
    May 22, 2012

    Cocaine and murderers get favor, Dominicans can see the trend. They fraid the big boys already.

  15. Boyie
    May 22, 2012

    It so easy to fine a man such a large sum of money over a weed tree. I understand it the law but damn.. get the bad guys from the streets and let man burn their weed………..

  16. wiser than
    May 22, 2012

    man such sad news. so many reports that are there for police to respond to. a man with a herb plant in his house is arrested and charged.illegal does not mean wrong. whose law do i follow Gods’ or man. we are such an ignorant state. apres bondie c’est la terre. but it seems more like give to ceasar his dues and all what u have and stay like dog on de street… SORRY BABYLON BUT FIRE WILL NEVER STOP BURN. MORE HERB MORE LIFE.

  17. Anonymous
    May 21, 2012

    well that judge doe easy papa. there’s always a price to pay for the ones that abuse their power! every dog have it day man

  18. Serious?
    May 21, 2012

    Who give them people permission to charge us for plants. I have two pepermit plants outside my home let me go root that out before I end up paying a fine too

  19. ??????
    May 21, 2012

    There are no jobs. Even with minimum wage the money is still not enough to get by. What else can we do?

  20. dirty harry
    May 21, 2012

    and i have an estate so if they hold me al get life in prison we boi.after dat crop im done

  21. thickness4so
    May 21, 2012

    free up d ganja planter mi say!!!

  22. "jj senior"
    May 21, 2012

    One ganja tree? First time offender? what $800.00 is for? Dosent sound like the man smokes weed, and even if he smoke,.. man, this is high grade bull… Is time the system clean its closet, starting on the police force…

  23. langsal
    May 21, 2012

    dats non sence 3000 for a ganga tree, come on allu dat, and dose dat killin n murdering goin free after some moths dat nonsence its time 4 dem policasses to open there eyes n put charger where charge hav to go

  24. jerseydominican
    May 21, 2012

    omg that fine where is he going to that money paid the court i think i will stay in new jersey fines is crazy in dominica they the people don’t have the money to paid that fine on my man

  25. Anonymous
    May 21, 2012

    dt allu like…sit down n get fat on people money..fire must bun u…jah is not a police

  26. Poormans Lawyer
    May 21, 2012

    Had i known you. And that you was gonna represent yourself i give you solid facts and information to defend yourself. Did they meet it dried and waiting to be smoked? Was it not open to any one visiting your yard? There is not statement saying it was hidden is there? hmmm. What was done to the plant by police? I want to see the legistated Act on the none cultivation of a herbal medicine…And what was the 800.00 charge for? is it that we place so much emthasis on only one set of things in this country….? 3000.00 is to much for a none factual case such as this… you people (police and judge) take foot on persons that don’t have the brain on how to chew allu up an spit allu out in the courtroom…. no futher staements/ questions your Honour!!!

  27. .....
    May 21, 2012

    ouchhh..dat one hurt..smh..$3000.00 for one tree..wow..i almost fot u were allowed one tree for medical purposes wee..

  28. citizen
    May 21, 2012

    $3000.00 for one ganga tree. magwesa

  29. A Voice
    May 21, 2012

    Alas boy, I dare say that the weed has replaced the banana as the cash crop for revenue for the state.

    Why would the state want to invest in banana or to legalise the weed when they can make $3,000.00 on one tree?

    • blackberry356
      May 21, 2012

      You are so very right. I was thinking the same thing before I read your comment. :)

    • AFAN
      May 21, 2012

      spot on my yute!!! this is a question of economics, have you ever seen a a rich man planting weed? most weed planters are those who have few other sources of income, so when you charge a man 3 gran for a tree, you are ensuring that this person has to hustle more weed to be able to pay the court or graduate to other types of activities which yield quicker and bigger rewards. how comes every other day we hearing some person or the other getting some arbitrary sentence for weed but you never hearing someone getting caught with cocaine or someone caught trafficking humans!!! then again, its a question or economics i guess??? but for how long is this approach sensible, maybe when the very judges and magistrate start paying the price for these unjust stances….

    • wiser than
      May 22, 2012

      this is one of the best comments i have ever read on dno on any subject.

  30. country
    May 21, 2012

    read before you post :lol:

  31. The Dominican.
    May 21, 2012

    I am not sure that the law officers look at responces to the news releases that pertains to kanabis, but as recently as last week when the Pitite Souferier arrests were made there were several prominent responces to the growing and producing marijuana, and among them several that pertained to the usa and how the drug became illegal this certainly worth visiting before imposing fines and penalties on the inocent poor.

    • Malgraysa
      May 21, 2012

      Breaking the law not the same then for rich or poor? Mister will now have to grow another tree to pay his fine. My daddy always said money don’t grow on tree but he must have been an innocent man. This tree really is a cash crop and money going up in smoke for true.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available