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American visitor fined for having cannabis

An American visitor has been fined $300 for bringing more than 30 grams of cannabis on a cruise ship.

Appearing in Magistrates’ Court this morning, 67-year-old Roberta McQueen pleaded guilty to having 33.12g of the drug in Sandys on May 27.

The court heard that police were called to search her cabin on board the Anthem of the Seas after cleaners noticed a strong smell of cannabis.

A ziplock bag containing 18 “homemade cigars” was found in the cabin safe and another bag containing eight one-inch pieces of plant material were also recovered.

McQueen told officers that she uses the drug for her arthritis, adding: “It was a nine-day cruise and I use it for the pain.”

In court today, McQueen said she did not have a medical prescription although she had told her doctor of her use.

She said she comes from Delaware, where the possession of the drug has been decriminalised up to an ounce.

Marc Daniels, who was acting as duty counsel, added that McQueen was on a family cruise and that she was only supposed to be in Bermuda for one day.

He noted that McQueen uses the drug to cope with a series of medical conditions.

Mr Daniels also pointed out that she had never been in trouble before, let alone arrested, and asked for “as much leniency as possible”.

But Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo said McQueen entered a contract with the cruise ship company and should have known that Bermuda is a jurisdiction that does not tolerate the possession of cannabis.

However, taking her guilty plea and upfront admission into account, as well as her use of the drug for medical reasons and that she comes from an area where it is decriminalised, he handed her a fine of $300.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.