Eternal debate of Rasta culture in court

The court sentenced a man for possessing and selling cannabis.

This forty-year-old man was arrested by the police while in possession of 268 grams of cannabis divided into 123 bags. He simply explained that he cultivated cannabis and resold it "to feed his children". A native of Dominica and of Rasta culture, this man could not see what the problem was. Nevertheless, both methods are punishable under French law, explaining his appearance yesterday before the criminal court of Saint- Martin.

This case revives "the eternal debate about Rasta culture in the Caribbean", said the Vice-Prosecutor Michaël Ohayon, who requested a warning suspended sentence of six months in prison.

The man assured that he no longer cultivated since his arrest a year ago. However, he acknowledged that he still is smoking. His last joint smoked before coming to the stand was right before coming to court.

To make a living, he does unreported small jobs. He lives with the mother of one of his five children. He is currently renewing his residence permit; he has met with the judge for family affairs as part of this process.

After deliberation, the court has imposed a suspended sentence of four months in prison. It also ordered him to stop selling cannabis.






Estelle Gasnet