BVI News

‘I use cannabis to manage my post-hurricane depression’, drug offender tells court

A Purcell Estate man who claimed he uses cannabis as an antidepressant was slapped with a fine when he appeared before Magistrate Shawn Innocent this week.

Joshanna Rankin, a bush-cutter, was fined $750 after pleading guilty to possession of 80 grams of cannabis.

He is to pay the sum within three months or in default serve 30 days at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.

He was found with the drugs on May 30 while he was living at the Purcell Estate Community Centre with other hurricane-displaced persons.

He claimed that he lost ‘everything’ in the 2017 hurricanes and, at the time, was suffering from depression.

What happened

The court heard that on the day in question, members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force were executing a search warrant at the centre.

When the police searched Rankin’s quarters, he hurled a ziplock bag containing cannabis through an open window.

The bag and its contents were retrieved and Rankin was subsequently arrested and charged. The cannabis in question had a street value of $800, the court heard.

When questioned by police, the offender admitted to throwing the substance through the window but claimed that he did not sell drugs.

He insisted that the drugs were for his personal use to assist him to manage his post-hurricane depression.

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  1. YoungBlackMale says:

    Better the fine than jail time but in all honesty, How are the powers that be dealing with people battling depression? I see it all day everyday just walking through town both young and older folks, in this case this young man uses herb but what about the people that dont smoke/drink and can’t afford to go to a specialist? What measures are put in place for them?

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Stop the stupidity of prosecuting otherwise harmless individuals for using the national recreational relaxant of choice.

      It’s like Germans being prosecuted for drinking beer.

  2. PTSD says:

    While not here for Irma I was on St Croix for Maria. While not as devastating as Irma I can relate. lots of people still suffering.

  3. Eagle eye says:

    He already can’t afford and apartment and y’all finding shows that a lot of educated people is actually dump.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  4. Ausar says:

    What bothers me is that the judiciary with its laser focus precision on drug usage always has the right charges on the ready,while more serious crimes seemingly gets a slap on the wrist.

    Marijuana usage is now the norm with many of the learned in this country advocating for its medicinal usage.

    When will our representatives legislate the laws neccessary for its legal usage,so that our people will find themselves having little to no need for the system that prevented its usage in the first place?

  5. Brad Boynes says:

    Marijuana is illegal. What part if illegal people understand? Until it’s legalized for what ever usages, people will be arrested for use and possession.

  6. Mankind says:

    I BURN WHEN I WANT IN MY YARD IM AN ADULT AND PUDT WHAT I WANT I MY BODY..GROWN THE FIRE F THE POP.ihave got the fire lock,whatsaap to ur door yall want more of that chemd..soon

  7. Uncle Buck says:

    Such a waste of everyone’s time. All that’s happened is that a suffering man suffers even more. That ain’t justice.

  8. island man says:

    $750. st.for 80g thomas man fined 5k. for 60g good maths.

  9. Elis Loo says:

    I don’t think that it is justice. A man is suffering from depression, he’s lost a lot, his emotional state is damaged. 80 grams of cannabis, really???? why do we neglect the emotional health of this man??? why did the fact that he lost almost everything was not considered at the court session? I don’t think that this was the best option for that man. fine?? really?? he just did self-treatment and tried to cope with his depression.

    I use cannabis to treat my depression as well. And I see nothing wrong with that. It helps! my Mig vaporizer is what I use from time-to-time to feel well and not let bad thoughts arise in my head. That’s why I support this man.

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