Twenty-two year old Alexander Douglas Smith -- son of Rhodesian Premier Ian Smith -- pleaded guilty at a Salisbury Magistrate Court on Tuesday 21st March of illegally possessing or acquiring daga -- the African equivalent of the drug marijuana.
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Background: Twenty-two year old Alexander Douglas Smith -- son of Rhodesian Premier Ian Smith -- pleaded guilty at a Salisbury Magistrate Court on Tuesday 21st March of illegally possessing or acquiring daga -- the African equivalent of the drug marijuana.
Mr. Alexander Smith obtained nearly half a pound (220 grams) of the drug while on holiday with friends in Malawi. He was arrested at the Rhodesian border post of Nyamapanda -- about 125 miles (200 kilometres) north-east of Salisbury -- while crossing from Mozambique in a bus on 20th December. The dagga was found by customs officials wrapped in banana leaves on the roof of the bus. Four friends arrested with Smith were later released on his testimony that they knew nothing of the drug.
On Tuesday the magistrate formally found Mr. Smith guilty. Before releasing him without bail pending sentence of Friday (24th March), a letter form his mother -- Mrs Janet Smith -- was read in court that described him as "a decent and honest person". Defence Counsel said that Mr. Ian Smith had associated himself with - but not signed - the letter in case it should be felt that he was influencing the court.
Sentence was passed on Friday (24 March). Mr. Smith was fined 116 pounds sterling and given a sentence of six months, suspended for three years on the condition that he is not convicted of an offence involving drugs during that time.
Passing sentence, Magistrate Gerald Rose said: "I find that the accused is genuinely penitent and determined to desist from the use of drugs in future."
Under new drug laws passed recently by the Rhodesian Government, Smith could have been fined up to 1,160 pounds sterling, jailed for up to two years, or whipped for up to ten strokes, or any combination of two of these penalties.
SYNOPSIS: The Magistrate's Court in Salisbury, where on tuesday the son of Rhodesian Premier Ian Smith pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana.
He bought nearly half a pound of the drug while on holiday in Malawi, and was arrested while crossing into Rhodesia from Mozambique last December.
Because of his public position, defence counsel said that twenty-two year old Alexander Smith would suffer more than usual and should not be sent to goal. Three days later he was sentenced to a fine of one hundred and sixteen pounds sterling, and a six months suspended sentence.