Court acquits woman of cannabis plant possession | THE DAILY HERALD


PHILIPSBURG–A 38-year-old woman was acquitted of the possession of a number of cannabis plants by the Court of First Instance on Wednesday.

A.T.P.L. was charged with the cultivation of a number of cannabis plants at her home in Betty’s Estate and the possession of 13 grams of marijuana on July 23, 2017.

She denied the charges and said the plants, which were growing inside a tent with lights and heating in the middle of the living room, belonged to her partner.

The woman told the Court that she obviously knew that her partner had been gardening, but claimed no knowledge of the fact that he had been cultivating marijuana.

She said that prior to this case she had not even known what a marijuana plant looked like and how it smelled. She said she had never watered the plants or taken care of them in any other way, as this was her partner’s business.

In her client’s defence, attorney Shaira Bommel said there had been more herbs in the house, such as lemon grass, and neem leaves which have a large similarity to cannabis leaves.

The defendant also denied the marijuana possession charge and said she only smoked cigarettes. Her lawyer said she was surprised about this charge, as her client’s partner had stated the package was his. However, not the partner, who had confessed, but her client has been charged for this crime, Bommel said.

The Prosecutor found all charges proven and called for 80 hours of community service. According to the Prosecution, it was evident that the defendant had a weed plantation inside her house.

“I find it hard to believe that the defendant did not know that it concerned cannabis,” the Prosecutor said. She also found the possession of 13 grams of marijuana proven, as the illicit drugs had been found in the suspect’s home.

Lawyer Bommel pointed out that the case file did not contain any forensic evidence that the plants that were found at her client’s home were indeed cannabis plants. The lawyer stated that her client’s partner had not used the plants to smoke but to make tea.

The Judge agreed with the lawyer that the police investigations in this case had been “slipshod,” but added that it was “strange” that the suspect had accepted that her partner had turned her living room into a plant nursery.

The Judge said the woman did not give the impression that she was “naïve,” but it could not be proven from the case file that she had given her consent. As the Court was not convinced of the woman’s guilt, she was acquitted of both charges.

At the end of the hearing the Judge gave the accountant by profession some good advice. “Be extra critical next time. You have been walking on the edge. Beware and do not fall or you may lose your job,” he said.

Source: The Daily Herald