Philippines Tourist Gets 12 Years For Personal Puff
Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, October 23, 2004An Australian traveller was sentenced to 12 years in a Philippines jail this week, after being convicted of possessing 15 grams of marijuana (just about half an ounce). Francis Freeman was picked up by a frisker at the departures area of Manila International Airport in April and was convicted after authorities refused to accept his explanation that he used grass to treat his arthritis (People's Tonight, Philippines)
The Australian was treated relatively leniently under the Philippines' ultra-draconian zero tolerance laws, which dictate 12 year sentences for possession of anything up to 5 grams of cannabis then life for larger amounts. The country also introduced the death penalty for people possessing more than half a kilo of marijuana or more than 10 grams of cocaine or ecstasy, in 2002, and local politicians are continuing to call for even harsher penalties, despite the already merciless regime.
In 2002, the country also introduced the death penalty for anyone possessing more than half a kilo of marijuana or more than 10 grams of cocaine or ecstasy, which drew cross party support from local politicians, notably one Senator Robert Barbers.
"It's not just enough to file proper charges against collared drug suspects in court," Senator Robert Barbers complained last November. "We have to line them up against the wall and shoot them." (The Philippines newspaper)
Ironically, Mixmag included the Philippines in their Ultimate Global Clubbing Guide in their current issue describing it as "the closest you'll get to finding a tropical paradise this side of a Bounty advert'. However, their generally euphoric piece included one note of caution.
"Don't take Yabba!", they advised, "The Philippines is a hotbed of crystal meth production so avoid this minging (ugly-slang ed) drug."