Use of Marijuana Rife in Kanye

| May 4, 2015

Kanye police’s head of diamonds and minerals protection unit, Assistant Superintendent Manyaapelo Chepete says her policing area is flooded with marijuana, a habit-forming herbal drug outlawed in Botswana.

Ass Supt Chepete said in an interview that the police had arrested many people in possession of dagga – another name for marijuana – in the many operations they had conducted in Kanye and surrounding areas.

“In Kanye alone, our frequent operations have revealed that people in the area use dagga a lot because in every operation we have conducted, there was a culprit in that respect,” she said.

She added that most of the culprits were found in possession of small packages ostensibly destined for sale or unfinished stubs left after indulgence.

What was harrowing, according to Ms Chepete, was the fact that dagga had found its way into schools because junior and senior secondary students had been found in possession of the prohibited stuff.

Police investigations, she said, had revealed that some homesteads, barbershops, vendor shops, and car-washes, were primary conduits for drug peddling.

Assistant Superintendent Chepete said police attempts to follow leads had proven difficult because people dealing with the drug apparently did not keep it in their homesteads.However, she said in rare cases where they had been lucky to nab the culprits they had been charged accordingly.Out of the 50 cases of marijuana registered in 2014, six involved 10 senior school students, all boys aged between 17 and 19.

She said of only 10 offenders out of 50 had since been convicted and incarcerated, while 17 others were convicted and fined between P1000 and P4, 500.”Eight and five cases are pending before the customary and magistrate’s courts, while 10 are under investigation,” she said.

Meanwhile, Assistant Superintendent Chepete stated that out of the 29 registered cases of illegal possession of marijuana registered this year, one case involves a student.

Nevertheless, Ms Chepete noted that the police had intensified their public awareness campaigns in many forums to sensitize the general populace about the dangers of taking drugs.Drugs and Related Substances Act of 1992 under which marijuana falls prohibits dealing in any habit forming drug or any plant from which any habit forming drug can be manufactured. The act also outlaws possession or use of any such drug or plant.

The Act thus states that anyone found to be dealing with a habit forming drug or plant shall be guilty of an offence and shall be sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine and without the suspension of any part thereof, for not less than 10 years or more than 15 years and to a fine not less than P15 000 or in default thereof to an additional term of imprisonment of not less than three years or more than five years.

“Provided that, in connection with an offence relating to cannabis, the punishment shall be imprisonment, without the option of a fine, and without the suspension of any part thereof, for not less than five years or more than 10 years and to a fine of not less than P7 000, or in default thereof to an additional term of imprisonment of not less than one year or more than two years.

Any illegal possession or use of the drug except in connection with an offence relating to the possession of less than 60 grams of cannabis, shall be liable to imprisonment for not less than one year or more than five years and a fine of not less than P1 500 or more than P5000, or in default of payment of payment imprisonment for not less than one year or more than five years.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: News

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