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‘TB patient’ fined for ganja

By \\\\\ Innis Francis innis.francis@trinidadexpress.com

A Cocoyea man who claimed he was using drugs for a medical condition appeared in the San Fernando Magistrates Court yesterday charged with possession of marijuana.

Aulden Slater, 37, of St Andrews Park West, said he suffered with tuberculosis and used the substance to breathe easily.

Slater appeared in the San Fernando First Magistrates’ Court for possession of 62.4 grammes of compressed marijuana packets.

Court prosecutor Cleyon Seedan read, on July 18, police officers visited Slater’s home with a search warrant for arms and ammunition. On searching Slater they found in his right front pants pocket a blue plastic bag containing 11 plastic packets of marijuana.

His attorney Subhas Panday said in 2000 and 2001 Slater had similar convictions. 

Panday said he was instructed that Slater used the substance for his tuberculosis condition and it helped him to breathe easier. He said the man worked as an electrician at Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington said: “He works there, no wonder why the apartments have so much problems.”

Slater was ordered to pay $5,000 in seven days or in default serve a sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment.

In another matter, Neverson Cheeseman said he used marijuana to ease his stress. He said the drug was used as an alternative for a prescribed drug, Prozac.

Police on patrol duty at Blanche Frazer Street, Mon Repos, found Cheeseman acting suspiciously while riding a bike. He was wearing a black knapsack.

The officers stopped the 59 year-old man. He was searched and officers found 8.36 grammes of marijuana in a foil packet with three plastic packets in the backpack.

Cheeseman told Wellington he had been stressed by noise coming from a nearby pub. He said he was advised by a physician to use Prozac for relief. Cheeseman said he had not found the Prozac to be effective and he used the marijuana instead, to see if it would have a better effect.

Cheeseman was ordered to pay $2,000 in two weeks or in default serve four months in jail.

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