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Cruise passenger fined for cannabis in cabin

An American tourist was dealt a $1,200 fine in Magistrates’ Court yesterday after cannabis was discovered in his cruise ship cabin.

Jason Vladich, 51, from New York, plead guilty to a charge of importing the controlled drug into the island on April 16.

The court heard that on that morning, customs officials were on board the Norwegian Joy when a drug-sniffing dog showed interest in a guest cabin.

Inside the cabin, the dog alerted them to a white suitcase, which was found to contain a number of pre-rolled cigarettes, a bag of plantlike material and a vape.

A total of 27.6 grams of suspected cannabis were found by the officers in the cabin.

Questioned by customs officers, Vladich acknowledged that the material was cannabis and that it was his.

While prosecutors suggested a fine of between $2,500 and $3,000 given the quantity seized, Vladich apologised and asked the court for leniency.

He told the court that the cannabis was for his own use and that the quantity of the drug found was legal in New York City, where those over the age of 21 are allowed to possess up to three ounces, or 85 grams, of cannabis.

Magistrate Maria Sofianos noted that Vladich had accepted responsibility for the stash when first approached and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, and said that the quantity of cannabis was at the lower end of the spectrum of importation cases.

She fined Vladich $1,200 and ordered that the fine be paid forthwith.

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