American National Freed of Drug Charge for Hemp Seeds, Not Cannabis Print E-mail
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Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00

In December 2013, American national John Downard was busted at the Phillip Goldson International Airport with what authorities said was illegal drugs, 461 grams of hemp seeds. Downard was charged with one count each of importation of a controlled substance and distribution of a controlled drug.

His trial began back in February of this year before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. Downard’s attorney, Rachel Montejo, submitted a no case application at the beginning of the trial based on the fact that hemp seed is not a controlled drug. On Monday, April 7th, Magistrate Leslie Hamilton upheld Montejo’s no case submission and ruled that Downard had no case to answer to for drug trafficking of cannabis seed. That was after Forensic Analyst Diana Bol-Noble’s report concluded that “no cannabis resins were detected”. In her view that meant that whatever was in it was psycho tropic.

The prosecution indicated to the court that they will be filing a notice of intended appeal. According to Downard, hemp seed is used for many purposes; including for paper, medicinal purpose, as spray for mosquito bites, etc. At the time of his arrest, Downard was returning from Colorado where recreational marijuana use is now legal.