BVI News

Man fined $2,600 for cannabis possession


Donnell Blyden of Cane Garden Bay has four months to pay a $2,600 fine for possession of 47.5 grams cannabis.

If he fails to pay, he will serve six months at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.

Magistrate Ayana Baptiste-DaBreo handed down the sentence on Wednesday.

The court heard that Bylden’s early guilty plea, as well as him having no previous convictions, served in his favour during the sentencing hearing.

Blyden had also been charged with possession of cannabis with intent to supply but that charge was withdrawn.

What the court heard happened

At about 11 am on August 27 last year, police were conducting a routine stop-and-search operation in the vicinity of Sage Mountain on Tortola when they noticed the offender driving a pickup truck.

They signalled for him to stop then asked if he was travelling with anything illegal. Blyden said he had an ounce of cannabis and gave police consent to search his vehicle.

Police subsequently found a paper bag containing the drug. A further search uncovered a small ziplock bag with a few empty dime bags and four dime bags containing more of the substance.

He was subsequently arrested and charged.

When questioned by police, Blyden reportedly said the cannabis in the paper bag was for his personal use while the cannabis in the ziplock bag was given to him as payment by someone who owed him money.

Initially, he was charged for having 65 grams of cannabis. But a subsequent drug analysis showed the weight of the substance to be considerably less.

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  1. Legalize It says:

    What a waste of time…its so unfortunate every time someone is charged or threatened with incarceration for possession or use of marijuana.

    Its time our legislative arm decriminalize its use similar to tobacco and alcohol. The effects of these two are more damaging on the body than marijuana itself.

  2. Eagle eye says:

    We soon have to put our feet down on these sell out black people who works for the colonial slave masters because they are a big part of the demise to our race.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
    • @Eagle eye says:

      Amen!! Many, many first have to be removed before the real work of securing the freedom colonialism and its absentee masters can begin.

  3. Herb says:

    this is the Caribbean it is a cultural thing & this is not a violent crime. This situation needs to change

  4. Errrrr says:

    Give the man a ticket and community service and call it a day. This should not warrant jail time if he don’t pay the fine that is imposed on him. Damn you people is going all hard for a little bit of weed.

  5. island man says:

    one question did man create the so called weed (herbs) plant or was it created by god. if this plant is so illegal and it was created by God then all animsls snd other plants are too so all of us are illegal too.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is time to decriminalise marihuana.

  7. Just Ice says:

    Ridiculous waste of taxpayers money prosecuting this man

  8. OH Cannabis says:

    To think here in Canada you can go online and legally buy 30 grams. Not interested in doing so myself but at least recreational smokers or those using for health purposes won’t get thrown in jail and have a record. Seems there are far worse crimes to be focused on.

    Seriously, you want to increase tourism, legalize marijuana. Just don’t let them jet ski or drive mortorcycles high.

    Think of all the young entrepreneurs that are now getting thrown in jail because of personal possession of a natural plant that can bring relief to many ailments. Maybe they’ll become farmers and earn an income giving back to the economy and their communities.

    Curious, are magic mushrooms still legal in the BVI? Never has made much sense why a mushroom is acceptable yet a plant is not.

  9. waste of time says:

    waste of court time

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