|A Zambian reggae fan smoking marijuana during last May’s Bob Marley memorial concert in Lusaka|
A court in the African nation of Zambia has convicted and sentenced a 24-year-old man to six months in prison with hard labor after finding him guilty of marijuana possession.
Magistrate Bathromeo (“Bathromeo”?? Shit, and here I thought “Steve”
was a cool name) Kaonga of the Siavonga Magistrates’ Court slapped the sentence on Lucky Shamahoko, who was facing one count of trafficking in a “psychotropic substance” (cannabis) contrary to the laws of Zambia, reports the Lusaka Times
The court then suspended the six-month sentence imposed on Shamahoko, on the condition that he “does not indulge himself in any psychotropic substance related offenses.”
Shamahoko, of the Machavika village “in Chief Chipepo’s area” in the Siavonga district, allegedly trafficked in marijuana on December 25, 2011.
When the food and drugs laboratory at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka analyzed the seized substance, it confirmed that it was marijuana weighing 2.5 grams, according to the court.
Shamahoko admitted the charge and said he was using the cannabis to treat his younger brother, who had an ear problem.
He told the court that his grandmother advised him to use marijuana as medicine, saying it was the best drug for ear problems.
Lucky Shamahoko isn’t just bullshitting, here; the most common way to use marijuana medically in ancient Greece, according to the Little Black Book of Marijuana
, was to steep green seeds of cannabis in either water or wine, remove the seeds, and use the warm liquid extract to treat inflammation and pain resulting from obstruction of the ear.
Shamahoko pleaded for the court’s mercy, saying he is a double orphan and looks after his siblings.
However, the unpleasant magistrate said the offense committed was a serious one, and he reminded Shamahoko that it carries a maximum sentence of up to 25 years.
Magistrate Kaonga added that marijuana “offenses” were “on the increase” in the area.
The judge observed that, considering the age of the convict and the small quantity of marijuana found in his possession, he “decided to give him a second chance.”