Jamaica: Ras Negus Largie fined for offence of possessing ganja

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St James, Jamaica: Charles ‘Ras Negus Largie’, the founder of Ras Tafari Root House, was fined $20,000 for the offence of possessing Ganja on Thursday, 8th February 2024. It is to be noted that the accused was taken to the St James Parish Court, where charges were read against him. 

As per Rastafarian organisations, Ras Tafari Root House is a well-known sacramental space situated in Montego Bay. It is the place where Rastafari elders and other adult members of the community are provided with the opportunity to obtain their sacred sacrament safely and of exceptional quality without any restrictions.

Chumu Paris, the lawyer of Ras Negus, asserted that during the time of arrest, his possession of Ganja was justified as he was using it for religious purposes, which comes under his right to religious freedom. 

It was mentioned by his lawyer that the Constitution recognises religious freedom, and everyone is free to exercise their rights and practise their beliefs and actions. 

As per the information shared by the police authorities, they found Ganja in three transparent bags when they visited Largie’s shop. They also discovered 95 transparent vials and a transparent jar named “Rastafarian Cannabis.”

Subsequently, the officials arrested Ras Negus Largie for the offence of possessing and dealing in Ganja on 18th January, 2024. 

He was taken to court on Thursday and was presented before Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley, where he was imposed a fine of $9000, or he had to spend 30 days in prison for the offence of possessing marijuana. He was also fined $11,000- or 30 days imprisonment for dealing in the drug. 

Notably, the older members of the Rastafarian community got angry with the arrest of Ras Negus Largie and spoke in favour of his right to have cannabis. The community added that Ras Negus is one of the distributors of the Rastafarian sacrament, who has been given the authority to transport and distribute Ganja for Rastafarian sacramental events, which include Rastafari Rootzfest, Herb Curb at Rebel Salute and Canna Corner at Reggae Sumfest.

Various residents of the community also took to their social media accounts and shared their views on the matter. One person with a Facebook account, Akeem Brown, commented, “Rastafarians are too quiet and too peaceful and going through oppression by government systems over the years. Rasta rises up and let your voices be Heard, fight for your rights by any means necessary.”

EI Comandante Mendes commented the following: “The rastafs need to consult with The Office of the Public Defender and Jamaicans for Justice to see what legal recourse they have.”

Nia Roberts
Nia Robertshttp://writeups24.com/
Nia Roberts, journalist at Writeups24, brings academic rigour and storytelling together. Nia's work covers diverse topics and uncovers hidden truths, amplifying marginalized voices. She stands as a paragon of journalistic integrity and a champion for the underrepresented. To reach Nia Roberts, you can email contact@writeups24.com

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