Man claims marijuana heals him

A 68-year-old man from Fasito’o-uta, who suffers from chronic kidney disease, has admitted to consuming marijuana claiming it has healing properties.

Laeli Leaitu, an unemployed male, recently appeared before the Supreme Court for sentence on two charges of possession of marijuana and narcotics. 

Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke presided the matter. 

Leaitu who was not represented by a lawyer pleaded guilty to the charges. 

According to a summary of facts accepted by the defendant, in December last year an off duty police officer witnessed his co-defendant giving him a wrapped piece of paper. 

The off-duty police officer was waiting for a bus at Fasito’o-uta where he saw the exchange, the Court heard. 

Leaitu did not deny that inside the wrapped small paper were three small branches of marijuana and 144 marijuana seeds. 

He was later taken to the Police station where he was cautioned and charged.  

Attorney General’s Office lawyer, Quentin Sauaga, did not seek an imprisonment term for the defendant. 

In a letter from the Probation Service it is noted that Leaitu stated that the consumption of marijuana was strictly for health reasons. 

“You have provided to me and I have cited a medical report from the National Health Service confirming that you suffer from chronic kidney disease,” said Justice Leiataualesa.

The 68-year-old does not have any prior convictions.

“I accept that you suffer from a serious medical condition,” the Justice added. 

“I accept also that what you have told the Probation Service that you had used marijuana for medical purposes.

“You however are far too old to be behaving like a foolish young man. You should know better, and you need to obtain medication that is prescribed and is legal.”

Justice Leiataualesa told the defendant that he is far too old to be standing at bus stations and taking marijuana from people.   

“I accept that a non-custodial sentence is appropriate given all the circumstances of your case,” he said. 

“In that regard, I take into account your first offender status, your age and the serious health condition that you suffer.

“Given your obvious health problems, your age and what the Probation says in their letter of 21 February 2020 that you are unsuitable for programs given your health, I will not impose a supervision term.”

Leaitu was then convicted and ordered to come up for sentence within 12 months if the ordered by the Court. 

He is also directed to pay Court costs of $100 tala within 14 days. 


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