SVG: Drug charge discontinued against traditional cultivator

L-R - Junior 'Spirit' Cottle, Thurston Pompey and Attorney -At -Law Carlos James

(By Ernesto Cooke, – In a historic move by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution on Thursday Troumaca and Chateaubelair resident, Thurston Pompey, walked out of the court a free man after prosecutors discontinued a charge against him for possession of Cannabis.

Pompey was charged on April 13th, 2019 contrary to section 7(3) of the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act for having in his possession 23, 332 grammes or 58 lbs of cannabis. Pompey, a member of the Cannabis Revival Committee (CRC) was at the time cultivating cannabis with the hope of being a part of the Medicinal Cannabis industry.

Noted Attorney-at-law, Carlos James, who represented Pompey and the CRC, lauded the move by the office of the DPP as a step in the right direction. The Attorney said that Pompey’s matter can be seen as somewhat of a victory for traditional cultivators, who are a part or hoping to be a part of the medicinal cannabis industry.

“I want to thank the office of the DPP for giving serious consideration to this matter and in my mind applying the public interest test in this case.

It has been an entire year of struggle for my client who endured a series of hardships, with a dark cloud of a possible conviction and imprisonment hanging over his head for what he genuinely thought was his compliance within the legal framework of the medicinal cannabis space. In my mind, this is not a situation where he cultivated with an intention to trade illegally,” James said.

According to James, at the time of Pompey’s arrest, he was encouraged to participate in the medicinal cannabis space through the Cannabis Revival Committee, who at the time had sought permission to conduct scientific research on cannabis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“At the material time, you had a lot of investors showing interest in the THC content of our local strains and the cultivators were happy to facilitate the scientific advancements in this industry. Mr Pompey was one of those cultivators,” James said.

James noted that Pompey’s matter will likely give traditional cultivators a lot more confidence in the medicinal cannabis industry and encourage their participation in the legal cannabis space.

President of the CRC Junior Spirit Cottle says that he is elated by the decision that the court took on Thursday.

Cottle said it is a historic one, one which goes to the heart of the struggle of traditional cultivators.

The activist said it is not only historic in that light but also historic because it is the first time that a Director of Public Prosecution is intervened within the framework of the amnesty law.

Cottle expresses thanks for the collaborative efforts of the Government, the Medical Cannabis Authority, the CRC and the Office of the DPP.

The stated that Pompey will now return to his community and encourage other traditional farmers who are in the high lands to come down and take advantage of the Amnesty, and begin planting Cannabis within the framework of the Medical Cannabis Authority laws.


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