Thursday, August 01, 2013

Chipata man gets 4 months over marijuana
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Wed 17 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

COMMENT - No one should spend one day in jail for the possession of hemp. The so-called 'war on drugs' bloats the legal system with non-violent offenders, and takes away prison places for violent offenders, making society more violent. And most of all - most of the so-called illegal drugs can be had over the counter. The world's bigges opium dealer is not Khun Sa in the Iron Triangle, but Glaxo Wellcome in Tasmania. That is where all the legal opium comes from.

I quote from the GlaxoSmithKline website: "1999: With over 700 growers and more than 10,000ha under cultivation, Glaxo Wellcome is firmly committed to consolidating and expanding its role in the world market." End the drug war, end the hypocrisy and the mass incarceration of non-violent offenders. - MrK

THE Chipata Magistrates' Court on Monday sentenced a Chipata resident to four months imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in psychotropic substances.

Before resident magistrate Sanford Ngobola was Whyson Mphande who was convicted after the prosecution called two witnesses.

Mphande was arrested by Drug Enforcement Commission officers on May 15, 2013 after they found 18 grammes of marijuana in his yard.

According to court records, after a tip off, DEC officers went to search Mphande's house but could not find the marijuana.

The officers only found the 18 grammes of the marijuana when they extended the search to the outside yard.

Mphande however told the court that he was not the owner of the marijuana and that he suspected foul play.

The convict could not call any witness other than himself when he was put on his defence.
In mitigation, Mphande said he was a married man with four children.

He said his house was burnt and that he had borrowed money to buy maize to assist his family.
But magistrate Ngobola said the case that Mphande committed was a serious one and that the sentence could go up to 25 years.

He said the four months sentence was with effect of the day of arrest.

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