Magistrate scolds parents for using ganja at home
Two parents were considered “unfit” by a Bridgetown Magistrate today, after both admitted using marijuana at the home they share with their three children.
Cassandra Kelly-Ann Layne, 31, and Dwayne Anthony Crichlow, 28, of Phillips Road, St Stephens Hill, St Michael pleaded guilty to possession and cultivation of a small quantity of cannabis and having apparatus intended for use in connection with the illegal drug.
Sergeant Martin Rock told the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today that on July 4, police were carrying out an operation at St Stephens Hill, Black Rock. As they approached, they saw a man grab a bag and run through a gate, into a yard. When police pursued, he jumped over a paling and escaped.
While in the yard though, police saw a pot containing a cannabis plant. After obtaining a warrant to search the premises, they also found a small amount of cannabis on the couple’s dresser, along with a grinder. Both Layne and Crichlow told police the items were theirs.
Layne told Magistrate Frederick today that she was “very sorry and it is something that will never, ever happen again”.
“But why did it happen in the first place?” the Magistrate questioned.
The woman replied that she used it in tea and smoked it.
“So do you give your children this tea too?”
“No Sir,” she answered, “they have their own tea”.
“So why not? . . . The one that is 15 knows it is drugs, right?”
“Yes Sir,” Layne answered.
“When they start using drugs, then what? . . . The children are watching and then doing all of these illegal things. That is how the courts keep getting work,” he added.
“You are not leading your children right at all. You are unfit and this is something that the Child Care Board should really be involved in,” Frederick stressed.
When it was Crichlow’s turn to speak, he explained that he “would never encourage them (the children) to do drugs, Sir”.
“But you’re using it in front of them,” the Magistrate pointed out.
“When they start to bring home drugs, what are you going to tell them?”
“Not to bring it there, Sir.”
“You ain’t telling her to come back nor she ain’t telling you come back. Every time you put a little water to that plant, you should be saying, ‘I wrong’,” Magistrate Frederick said.
Both parents are first-time offenders.
Crichlow, who works every day, was fined $1 000 in two months with an alternative of two months in jail. Layne, who works four days a week, was given 140 hours of community service. She returns to court on September 24.
“Try to keep marijuana as far away as possible from that house,” the Magistrate warned finally.
“Although it is not physical abuse, this amounts to some type of parental breakdown.”