I smoke marijuana to cool my temper, Lusaka man tells court

A 27-year-old unemployed man, who was caught selling marijuana to inmates at Chilenje Police Station, has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that he smokes cannabis to cool his temper.

But Lusaka Magistrate Alice Walusiku has sentenced him to four months imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in said drug, noting that a lot of youths were roaming the streets due to madness after taking illicit drugs.

In this matter, Hendrix Mwansa was charged with trafficking in Psychotropic Substances.

Particulars of the offence were that on October 7, 2019 in Lusaka , Mwansa trafficked in psychotropic substances of marijuana weighing 51.4 grams without lawful authority.

And when the matter came up before magistrate Walusiku, Monday, Mwansa admitted to the charge.

He told the court that the said marijuana was for smoking and not selling.

Asked why he smoked the said drug, Mwansa said it was because it cooled his temper.

Facts before court were that on the material, officers from the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) received information that a male person was dealing in suspected drugs and was detained at Chilenje Police Station.

Acting on the information, DEC officers proceeded to the area where Mwansa was found and identified.

A constable Sikambotwe, from Chilenje Police Station then handed over Mwansa to DEC officers.

He explained that whilst on duty, he found Mwansa selling cannabis to suspects in police custody through the window.

Mwansa was shown what was found and he admitted ownership of the drugs.

He was then picked up and the drugs were seized.

The suspected drugs were taken to the Food and Drugs Control Laboratory where a public analyst confirmed the drugs to be marijuana, a herbal product of cannabis with a total weight of 51.4 grams.

Under warn and caution statement recorded from Mwansa, he gave a free and voluntary reply admiting the charge.

He was then formally charged and arrested for the subject offence and detained in custody.

In mitigation, Mwansa asked for forgiveness and a second chance outside prison, saying his future would be ruined.

He said he had learnt a lesson and would never repeat what he did.

“If you send me to prison my future will be ruined. I have learnt a lesson during the time spent in custody,” said Mwansa.

But magistrate Walusiku sentenced him to four months imprisonment with hard labour, saying cases of drug abuse were becoming rampant and the court must be seen to be reducing such cases in the community.

“A lot of young men and women are roaming around the streets due to madness as a result of taking illicit drugs. To show that what you did was wrong, I sentence you to four months imprisonment with hard labour,” rules magistrate Walusiku.

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