Friday, November 06, 2009

Chipata man in jail for cultivating marijuana

COMMENT - Legalize it.

Chipata man in jail for cultivating marijuana
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Fri 06 Nov. 2009, 04:00 CAT

THE Chipata Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday sentenced a 53-year-old man to six months imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful cultivation of marijuana. Before principal resident magistrate Collins Lundah was Joseph Sakala of Kazembe village in chief Kapatamoyo’s area.

Sakala who readily admitted the charge said he used to smoke marijuana when working in the garden but that he had no authority to do so. According to particulars of the offence, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) received a report October 31, 2009 that Sakala was cultivating marijuana.

The DEC then went to search Sakala’s house but did not find anything. The officers, according to court records, found the marijuana in the garden.

In mitigation, Sakala said he was the first offender and that he was looking after his four children and some orphans.

Sakala said he had a responsibility to look for food for the children and that one of them was epileptic.

In passing judgment, magistrate Lundah said being an elderly person, Sakala was supposed to lead an exemplary life so that young ones could learn from him.

“Chamba (marijuana) destroys people. You see how people who smoke behave. I’m sentencing you to six months imprisonment with hard labour so that’s how lenient I can be,” said magistrate Lundah.

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