A woman who performed at KAABOO Cayman over the past weekend appeared in Summary Court on Tuesday, when she pleaded guilty to possession of a small quantity of ganja.
Crown counsel Scott Wainwright said the ganja was discovered when officers had cause to search her bag at Owen Roberts International Airport on Sunday, Feb. 17. A rolled spliff was discovered in a plastic container. The spliff weighed 0.03 ounce or 1.06 gram.
Defense attorney Clyde Allen said the defendant did not know the ganja was in the bag. He explained that she had received it in California, where it is legal. In fact, he said, she had warned members of her entourage against bringing anything illegal.
“She didn’t intend to disrespect the laws of the Cayman Islands,” the attorney urged. He said she had no previous convictions and was of good character.
“She intends to come back next year to perform,” Mr. Allen said. He, therefore, was asking the court not to record a conviction, which could potentially bar her from entering these islands.
Magistrate Valdis Foldats asked what kind of music her band performed. Mr. Allen said it was reggae and something else.
“OK, good,” the magistrate commented. He said this was not the usual factual situation in which people knowingly bring drugs with them. In this case, he pointed out, she took steps to ensure that her entourage didn’t bring anything.
“All individuals should ensure that their luggage doesn’t contain anything that could be illegal in another country,” he said.
The magistrate indicated that Mr. Allen had made a very strong point in mitigation and he agreed that no conviction would be recorded. He gave the defendant an unconditional discharge. Instead of a fine, he imposed a cost order in the sum of $300 to be paid forthwith, with an alternative of 30 days in custody.
The defendant confirmed that she had been treated fairly by everyone who had dealt with her matter.
The Cayman Compass does not typically name defendants when they have no conviction recorded.