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Rastafarians Joseph Pelage and Edison St Luce were at the wrong end of a traffic police blockade along the Barre De L’isle on November 10, 2012.
On the day in question the two men were heading toward Castries from the vicinity of Dennery. On reaching the Barre De l’isle, the driver of the vehicle, Edison St Luce observed a police roadblock and attempted an illegal turn. This action drew the attention of Sergeant 391 Chiquot who ordered the driver stop and to step out of the vehicle.
Once St Luce exited the vehicle, Chiquot observed a quantity of green plant-like substance in the back pocket of his pants. When informed of Chiquot’s suspicion and cautioned, St Luce replied, “Officer that is a little smoke.”
Officers also asked Pelage, who was also in the vehicle, for permission to conduct a search on his person. The search came up negative, however Chiquot observed a quantity of green plant material on the seat where Pelage had been seated. When informed of the officer’s suspicion that it is cannabis (weed) Pelage replied, “Just a little smoke that dere.”
The two men were cautioned and arrested. They were formally charged and read their rights at the Traffic Department.
While the two men were in custody, it was discovered that the insurance on the vehicle had lapsed. An additional charge driving with no insurance was then read to the driver of the vehicle, St Luce.
The cannabis was placed in an envelope and sealed in the presence of the two men. Each set of cannabis had an estimated value of $100.
In his defense Pelage stated, “I am a Rasta man, I does smoke weed. I does not sell weed.” Pelage was fined $200 for the possession of cannabis. The fine is due to be paid by February 8, 2013, or in default he will spend 14 days at Bordelais.
St Luce stated in his defense: “In terms of my religion, I only smoke. I don’t sell or supply. For my insurance, I usually pay it in November. I did not realize that it had already expired.”
St Luce was also fined $200 by February 8, 2013 for the possession of cannabis. In default he will spend 14 days at Bordelais. He was also charged $500 on the charge of no insurance. This amount is payable by March 1, 2013. In default on this charge, he will spend 30 days in prison.