While pleading guilty to four drugs offences Friday, an unemployed woman informed the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court that she was using cannabis as treatment for sickle cell anemia.
Forty-four-year-old Mary-ann Gooding of Rogers Road, St Michael, explained to the court that she boiled the leaves to make a drink that helped her illness.
Gooding was reprimanded and discharged on charges of possession, possession with intent to supply and cultivation of cannabis. However, she was initially ordered to pay a fine of $2,250 for trafficking, which Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant later amended after an emotional appeal by the accused woman who told the court she would have to wait on the Welfare Department for money.
Gooding was therefore sentenced to three months instead. And, in a further show of compassion, the magistrate suspended that sentence for six months, during which time Gooding must be on her best behaviour.