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Will Your Medical Marijuana Referral Help If You Are Busted Abroad?


Medical marijuanaHarvard Professor Arrested Smuggling Marijuana Into Bermuda

I reported yesterday that an elementary school teacher in Florida was arrested after police discovered a grow-op in her garage. She is facing three felonies and two misdemeanors. In stark contrast, a Harvard professor, Mey Akashah, was popped with six grams of marijuana in her underoos. She had arrived on a flight from Boston to visit her husband in Bermuda, when a drug dog sniffed out her stash.

Facing a maximum penalty of ten years, she did what any well-educated, articulate person would do–turn on the tears. And, it worked. The Magistrate Archibald Warner, listened to her medical marijuana defense, but faulted her inability to provide evidence that a doctor had indeed recommended she use medical marijuana. Folks, this is important–if you are planning on traveling abroad with medical ganja, take your physician certification, or at least the direct contact info of someone you trust to send it along. Ideally, your recommending physician would provide a method for verifying your certification. In this case, Akashah, claimed she could not reach her recommending physician in California. No surprise there. No offense to Cali doctors, but lots of fly-by-night certification agencies fail to back up their patients as promised, despite raking in piles of cash.

Magistrate Warner actually recognized the charge would have “an overwhelming effect” on Akashah. Out of mercy, he imposed a conditional charge, so she will have no conviction on her record for the offense. How can we bring this magistrate stateside to teach our judges some compassion?

We need to remember: for all the chatter on the ultimate power, and all-seeing eye of big brother, we still have a diverse range of ways to retrain the system to treat cannabis rationally. Yes, you can vote, but that’s not enough. If every supporter of the movement spoke out with one voice, no one could ignore it. Our judges need to hear from you. In the end it’s not the Supreme Court sitting there when some poor soul like that teacher in Florida is losing everything. Most often, it’s a state or local judge, or jury who has the power to show mercy on the marijuana movement. Laws are not written in books, but in the ethical tone of our society. We must let those in power at all levels hear the change in our ethical tone. The younger generations are authoring a new era, where racially bigotry, homophobia, violent oppression of those who seek herbal relaxation, and xenophobia have no place. I am looking forward to living in that future. We can all help create it now, through communication, compassion, and unified efforts. If you have ideas, information, or anything else to share, contact me here:



About Author

I'm an Attorney, Activist, Chef, and Gardener--poking holes in the media filter that obscures the truth about ganja in this country daily.


  1. LOL…who takes marijuana with them to Bermuda or anywhere in the Caribbean?? It’s ubiquitous there and very reasonably priced….And yes, I keep my card on me at all times. Not sure it would help. I live in Canada in the summer and medical marijuana is legal….just have never been able to get an answer from anyone there as to whether my card would be accepted…

  2. Nice article TJ, very well written.

    It is always so sad to see people go down for cannabis.  That is why it is so important to be cautious in spite of what can seem like slack enforcement. An ounce of prevention…  Black Magic Odor Barrier Bags are convenient and affordable smell proof bags that can help a lot of people like this stay out of trouble.  Safety first everyone!

  3. BermudaInformation on

    For the record, the “conditional discharge” that she was given is regarded as a conviction by the United States government.  From the April 19, 2012 edition of The Royal Gazette newspaper in Bermuda:  “[US Consul to Bermuda] Mr [Adam] Vogelzang also provided The Royal Gazette with a statement from the Consulate which said:?“There has been a general misunderstanding about the effect of Bermuda’s conditional discharge…A conviction is deemed to have occurred because the defendant pled guilty and/or admitted to the facts as part of the process and a penalty in the form of conditional discharge was subsequently imposed.”

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