Connell – ‘Stop arresting for a bomb of weed’
April 21, 2011
Connell – ‘Stop arresting for a bomb of weed’

“The system is creating criminals. It is time for the law to stop creating criminals and stop arresting for a bomb of weed.”{{more}}

This is the opinion of attorney Grant Connell, expressed outside of the Serious Offences Court on Monday, April 18, shortly after his client was arrested and charged with possession of one “bomb” of cannabis.

On April 18, Connell’s client pleaded not guilty to possession of the marijuana and prosecutor, Inspector Adolphus Delpesche, then withdrew the matter against Connell’s client.

“Arresting someone for one spliff is a waste of judicial and police time. It is time we adjust and amend the laws…” Connell said.

The lawyer pointed out that according to the law, persons charged with possession of 15 or more grams of cannabis are charged with intent to supply. “What is one bomb? You going to bring a man to court for that?” Connell asked rhetorically.

Connell recommended that a person caught with one spliff be given a ticket on the first charge instead of being dragged before the court.

Highlighting the fact that his client was arrested on April 16, Connell said it made no sense that a man should not be granted station bail for the small amount of marijuana.

“The issue of station bail is police law. There is nothing in the law that says you can’t get bail for marijuana possession…It is the discretion of the police officer,” Connell pointed out.

Connell said there are instances where men abuse their spouses and are arrested and then given station bail, but the same does not apply to a man charged with a spliff.

“When the man that abuses his wife gets station bail and and abuses his spouse again, which one is likely to be more of a risk, the man charged with the one bomb or the man who abused his spouse?” Connell stressed.

“If the police do not have anything better to do, they can go and look for these “monsters” who are getting these nine year-olds pregnant and leave the one spliff man alone,” Connell contended.

Connell commended Inspector Delpesche for what he did and stated that “he has taken off the blinkers and seen the larger picture.”

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Delpesche, who holds a Bachelorof Laws (LL.B) degree was this time in agreement with the defence Counsel.

“If a man has one spliff or bomb and pleads not guilty, to my mind, you have to get the drug tested and analysed. It costs a lot of money to get it done,” Delpesche said.

According to Delpesche, it would more than likely cost more to have the drug analysed than what the court would charge the person. “The court may just reprimand and discharge the person or a small fine would be imposed,” Delpesche stated. He also explained that there is no law which states that a man can’t be given station bail for drugs, stating that he has granted station bail in the past for a person arrested for drugs.

“If a person is caught with one bomb, I don’t have an objection to grant the person bail. There is no law that says you can’t give a person station bail for one spliff,” Delpesche explained. He, however, said there is a policy in the police force that bail is not given for marijuana possession.

“If someone gives bail for ganja, they are not breaking the law,” Delpesche stated.