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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 21:36 GMT
Marley's sons held on dope charges
Reggae singer Bob Marley
Marley regularly smoked marijuana
Two sons of the legendary reggae singer, Bob Marley, have been arrested in the United States on charges of marijuana possession.

Police discovered the marijuana after stopping the brothers - Julian Ricardo, 26, and Stephen Nesta Marley, 29, - for speeding in the southern state of Florida.


In searching the vehicle we found eight big joints of marijuana

Hugh Cutchen, Florida Highway Patrol
Bob Marley, who died of cancer in 1981, advocated smoking marijuana as part of his Rastafarian beliefs.

Ganja, as it is known in his native Jamaica, is considered a sacrament in the Rastafarian faith and Jamaican lawmakers are considering a move to decriminalise its use in small quantities.

Powerful smell

Florida Highway Patrol officers stopped the two brothers as they were driving in a Mercedes-Benz on an interstate highway near the state capital Tallahassee, police said.

"I walked up to the driver's door and smelled a strong odour of marijuana," said Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant Hugh Cutchen.

"In searching the vehicle we found eight big joints of marijuana," he added.

One of the marijuana cigarettes was in a jacket owned by Julian Marley and the others were found under the passenger seat where Stephen Marley was sitting, Mr Cutchen said.

Fined

Stephen Marley, who admitted smoking marijuana, was charged with possession of the drug and drug equipment including rolling papers, police said. His brother Julian was charged with possession.

The amount of marijuana was less than 20 grams.

They were taken to the Gadsden County Jail in Quincy and after paying bail of $500 each they were released.

The brothers are both reggae musicians and were returning home from a concert in New Orleans when they were arrested.

See also:

13 Dec 00 | Health
Cannabis driving danger measured
25 Jan 02 | Africa
SA blocks Rasta cannabis plea
10 May 01 | Music
Marley's legend undiminished
28 Mar 01 | Music
Early Marley music reissued
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