Magistrate speaks out on marijuana

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The Magistrates court has issued a strong statement against marijuana and its link to mental illness in young people.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea in sentencing a man to prison over possession of the illegal substance, said Marijuana is one of the dangerous substances under the Dangerous Drug Act and that court must impose punishment that will deter others from committing such offence.

Jimmy Mau faced two counts of possession of marijuana on separate dates and is sent to prison for 10 months. His co-accused, Michael Maehaka, who faced one count of marijuana possession, is fined $500, to be paid before March 22, 2021.

Court also orders that the 10 months imprisonment on Mr Mau be backdated to the time he had spent in prison.

Iomea said marijuana is one of the causes of mental illness in the country among some young people and like-minded offenders must refrain from involving in such activities.

He said the first incident against Mau occurred on May 31, 2020.

Police were attending to a report of someone using abusive words at the Mbokona area in Central Honiara.

Police arrived at the scene and arrested Mau.

They escorted him to the Central Police Station and it was when they did a search on him they found what appeared to be a roll of marijuana on his left side ear.

The second incident on June 5, 2020, also at the Mbokona area, this time involving both men.

That night, Police received information from a security officer at the Mbokona area that a group of boys were preparing rolls of Marijuana to sell at a market stall near the school area.

Upon receiving the report police officers drove up to the said market stall and saw two at the very spot.

Police conducted a search at the stall and found 31 short paper-rolled marijuana and a newspaper parcel containing marijuana branches.

They also found a paper-rolled marijuana on Maehaka’s left ear.

The two were then arrested and taken to the Central Police Station.

Police Prosecutor Iete Tebakota prosecuted the case in court while a lawyer from the Public Solicitor’s office represented Mau and Maehaka.