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Herbalist fined $300 for cultivating cannabis

Herbalist fined $300 for cultivating cannabis


A self-proclaimed herbal medicine-maker was fined yesterday at the Serious Offences Court after he pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis in his yard.{{more}}

Sion Hill resident Izaras Bascombe was charged that on October 2, 2016, he did cultivate 20 plants of genus cannabis contrary to Section 8(2) of the Drug Prevention and Misuse Act, Chapter 384 of the revised edition of the laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines, 2009.

Police say that on Saturday, October 1, around 3 p.m., an officer observed what appeared to be a marijuana plant in Bascombe’s yard.

Armed with a search warrant, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officers returned the following day and uprooted seven mature plants and found 13 seedlings in containers during a search of the premises.

Police say that when cautioned, Bascombe replied, “I grow them to make medicine for the eye.”

Bascombe and the plants were then taken to the Criminal Investigations Department.

During mitigation yesterday, Bascombe told the court that he is a herbalist and normally uses the plants to make medicine.

“I’ve found that the plant cannabis is very useful for the eye; I also have a little glaucoma in my left eye,” he said.

According to him, the plants have helped with his glaucoma.

“The herb is not grown for buds or the narcotics part, just for the leaves, stalk and bark.”

Bascombe also noted that he looks forward to the decriminalization of the plant, so that Vincentians could benefit from its healing powers.

Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias told Bascombe that she understands the situation; however, a physician should treat glaucoma.

She added that although Bascombe may have found “ground breaking” potential for the plant, it must also be used along with proper medical practice.

Bascombe was fined $300, to be paid forthwith; in default, he would spend one month in prison. (AS)