Keep on the positive lyrics but stay way from the drugs. That was the advice of Bridgetown Magistrate Douglas Frederick to a 22-year-old musician after he pleaded guilty to having cannabis in his position.
Police were conducting an operation at Temple Yard on March 9 when, with his permission, they searched Ambokile Ato Sadiki Welch, of Grazettes New Road, St Michael.
The illicit drug was found in his pocket and, Welch said: “That does help me with my vibes. I smoke a joint before I play my music.”
His attorney-at-law Sian Lange told the magistrate that the first time offender was not only a musician but worked outside the industry, was Rastafarian by faith and so too is his family.
In asking that his record be kept clean, she went on to point out that the quantity of drugs found was a small which his used for his religion and his art.
“He must know that it is also illegal . . . and until the law is changed I am a creature of the law and therefore I will impose the law on you,” Frederick told Welch even as he asked the young man what was his genre of music.
“I sing all genres but I am now focused on reggae. I have 30 songs that I have written . . . one of them is Conquering Lion.
In a melodious voice he then sang a few lines of the song when asked by Frederick.
“Nice voice, positive lyrics . . . keep up on the positive lyrics but stay away from the drugs . . . . I also believe that you have a skill that can be used in a positive way,” Frederick said as he imposed 80 hours of community service. No conviction will be recorded against him once he completes the order.
Welch will return to the No. 1 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on May 31 for on update on his community service.