British woman jailed for smoking marijuana in Zambia


A 40-YEAR-OLD British woman of Kansenshi in Ndola has told the Ndola Magistrate’s Court that she found solace in smoking marijuana after her marriage of over 20 years irretrievably broke down.
In mitigation last Friday, Mary-Jane Gibbons, alias MJ, of house number 28, Chintu Road, told magistrate David Simusamba that she had realised during her incarceration that she should have turned to God for solace instead of resorting to smoke marijuana.
This is in a case in which Gibbons was charged with trafficking in a psychotropic substance.
“Your Honour, I was found with the marijuana which I intended to smoke. I am asking for your forgiveness for what I have done.
“This is so because I just came out of a broken marriage of more than 20 years. But instead of finding solace in God, I found solace in smoking. Please forgive me Your Honour,”Gibbons pleaded.
Gibbons on February 13 this year in Ndola, trafficked in 5.2 grammes of marijuana.
Gibbons pleaded with the court to exercise leniency on her because she was a single mother of three and vowed never to smoke marijuana again.

She submitted that the two weeks she spent in incarceration were traumatising to her family, especially her children.
Gibbons also promised to seek counselling over the marital problems she has gone through and promise to be a better person who would be an example to others.
“I convict you on your own admission of the charge. But I have heard your mitigation hence I will give you a second chance at life.
“I sentence you to six months simple imprisonment but the sentence will be suspended for 12 months. Ensure that you undergo counselling as you have said because if you do not, you may go back to your ways of smoking,” Mr Simusamba said.
Facts before the court were that Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) investigations officer Sydney Ngulube received information that a woman of Kansenshi was abusing marijuana.
Mr Ngulube visited Gibbon’s house and executed a search warrant.
He found suspected marijuana weighing 5.2 grammes in Gibbon’s handbag
The court heard that Gibbons was taken to Kansenshi Police Station whilst the suspected marijuana was taken to Lusaka for a chemical analysis at the Food and Drugs Control Laboratory where it was confirmed to be marijuana.


Zambia Daily Mail