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Accused claims he had marijuana for medical use

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Fairhall resident Sean Browne was on Wednesday ordered to pay a fine of $800, after pleading guilty to possessing marijuana, which he claimed he had for medicinal purposes.{{more}}

When Browne appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to possessing 519 grams of cannabis.

Chief Magistrate Sonya Young ordered that Browne pay $500 forthwith and the remainder within one month, or in default, he would spend three months in jail.

He was also charged with possession of 10 rounds of ammunition, but after pleading not guilty to that charge, the prosecution withdrew that charge, following which he was discharged.

On September 6 at about 5:05 p.m., Corporal Duane Bailey of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) along with other members of the unit, went to the Boat Yard entertainment spot in Villa. When they arrived at the Boat Yard, Browne was seen sitting on a wall with a package in his hands. Apparently recognising the police presence, he began running.

Bailey gave chase and Browne ran into an abandoned building. He was caught hiding behind a concrete pillar. A brown taped package was found in the area.

When cautioned, Browne replied “Officer Bailey, the weed is mine.”

Browne’s attorney Grant Connell told the court that the drug was worth about $580 on the street and that his client had it for medicinal purposes, because he had injured his back.

“It was for this purpose, even though this country has not established that yet,” the lawyer said.

Connell added, “We are heading in that direction and it is good to see the Prime Minster is seeing the light. I know he might get some flack unnecessarily. I hope we don’t miss the train. We have to move with the times, Connell said.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has called for discussion on the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.(KW)

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