Man on work permit in court for ganja

The consequences of criminal
convictions were spelled out again in Summary Court on Tuesday when a man on
work permit pleaded guilty to consumption and possession of ganja along with
possession of utensils. After Daniel Nelson Barker, 31, entered his pleas,
Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale asked him about himself. He said he was
from the US, was on a work permit as a manager and had been here for two years.

The magistrate asked why he came to
Cayman. He told her he enjoyed the life here — he had come to visit, liked it
and applied for a job.

The magistrate replied, “I can tell
you with certainty your work permit will not be renewed and if you liked living
here you will lose [that right]. Was it worth it?” she asked. Barker said no
and agreed his actions had been a huge error in judgment. He also volunteered
that he had signed up for counselling as a result of the incident.

No details were aired in court.
However, the charges reveal that the ganja and utensils were found inside
Barker’s West Bay residence on 15 April. The weight of the ganja was .573 of an
ounce. The utensils used in the consumption of a controlled drug were a vapour
box pipe, a rolling king cigarette roller and a space case grinder.

The magistrate said Barker would
have to bear the costs of all the lab tests as well as pay fines, so his total
penalty was $2,242.

As a result of those findings,
officers would have requested a urine sample for testing. Laboratory certificates
would confirm that the sample was positive for ganja and would also specify the
weight and identity of the vegetable matter.

The magistrate told Barker that the
demand for and supply of illegal drugs has caused enough of a social problem in
Cayman without a foreigner coming here and adding to it. As someone on a work
permit, he should have considered that he was in another man’s country and
behaved accordingly.

“I cannot accept it
was worth destroying your character to get high. You have lost a wonderful opportunity,”
she told him.

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