Cruise Ship Passenger Fined For Cannabis

August 15, 2014

Elizabeth Turk — a 55 year old American citizen who arrived in Bermuda on a cruise ship — pleaded guilty in Magistrates Court today [Aug 15] to possessing around 16 grams of cannabis in her cabin. She was fined $1,000.

Crown Prosecutor Nicole Smith told the Magistrate that on the morning of 14th August, the cruise ship’s security staff had alerted Bermuda Customs to Mrs Turk’s cabin because of the smells emanating from it.

After being alerted, Bermuda Customs had searched the cabin, found the cannabis in the safe, and later called in Police.

Mrs Turk told Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo that she had a medical condition and that a doctor in California had offered her the option of suing steroids which would likely lead to certain complications, or using medical marijuana.

Mrs Turk said that she chose medical marijuana, that the doctor had then prescribed it, and that this was what she had brought with her and had used on this cruise to Bermuda.

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Comments (65)

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  1. Impressive says:

    How dear she have dead flowers “buds” on her. How disgraceful, these plants that grow these flowers have been around since the beginning of time, they are not for us to carry on boats or to bring across borders,, no way!!! Even though this plant has so many benefits, to have it in your possession is just a shame,, she really should be thrown in jail and never be allowed to see daylight again,, what is this world coming to.. mercy me

  2. Terry says:

    Let it go Bermuda.
    She should have been confined to the ship and the drugs disposed of.

    It’s a hard decision to make but lets get real.

    I give up.

    Whats the stats on this. 1 person this year on a ship. Enlighten me.

    I need a rum,

  3. COncerned says:

    Perhaps it should be requested for Visitors to secure a Drs certificate for Medical Marijuana when they travel to Bermuda the certificate should be stamped with the Dr’s name, etc.

    • sage says:

      Perhaps we should abandon a discriminatory, failed, unconstitutional, human rights abuse that makes absolutely no sense at all, how about that?

    • Terry says:

      Very true.
      This you talk about has no relevance here in Bermuda.

      Shalom.

  4. Give me a Break says:

    This is one seriously dumba** practice! More harmful than helpful to the island as a whole.

  5. wow says:

    Smdh!!! Tourism industry at an all time low….do you all really think that her little medical marijuana will hurt anyone? Somethings wrong with you if you do!!!

  6. Hurricane says:

    Are we seriously still going on cruise ships and doing this? Come OBA, I thought you were serious about tourism!

    • bdaboy says:

      I guess they’re just carrying on as the PLP did.

      Seriously, did members of the OBA actually board the cruise ship and enter this womans cabin?

      • Hurricane says:

        Yes, carrying on as the PLP did and the UBP them. Times have changed and we as a country haven’t. I thought we voted for change????

        No, members of the OBA didn’t go on board, but the power for change is in their hands and they do nothing. SMH

        • bdaboy says:

          I though you voted for change when the PLP was elected, they didn’t do anything but set the island back 100 years and rack up a debt. Was that the kind of change “you folks” wanted?

          • Hurricane says:

            So the sh*t continues, what do “we” do? Sure wish I had the answer.

            • bdaboy says:

              Bermuda is an island of people who will actively march Against the granting of equal rights to everyone, as long as they ‘got theirs’ they’re not going to help anyone else. It will be this way for a long time.

    • Terry says:

      Nothing to do with OBA.

      It’s the law.
      Period.

      • Hurricane says:

        @ Terry, you have got to be kidding; are your saying that the OBA don’t have anything to do with change in the laws?

      • sage says:

        They have had a chance to repeal it and don’t want to end this failed policy. shalom.

        • bdaboy says:

          The PLP could have as well, why didn’t they?

          • TheFallacypointerouter says:

            Fallacy! Try again.

          • sage says:

            Same reason.

          • outkasted says:

            PLP are NOT in power. get over it .I voted for change. but it still remains the same. They will lose my vote at next election unless the change to allow medicinal MJ. Period.

  7. concerned mom says:

    I am against the use of this drugs period! However, this matter should not have ended in our court system. Its the cruise ships responsibility to know the needs of each passenger. Passengers should bisclose all medical issues to the cruse line and they should make a decision to accept the customer or not.

    • sage says:

      Are you nuts? Disclose your private medical information to a cruise line? God help us,”i am against the use of this drugs period.” even where it eases suffering and saves lives? You’re the one that is sick, in the head.

      • Naive Observer says:

        How about a simple extra sheet of information sent to cuisers. “Bermuda does not allow marijauna for any purpose, including medical uses. If you must use marijuana please contact us for a full refund. If you do bring marijuana to Bermuda expect a substantial fined and/or to be jailed.”

        • sage says:

          Ah yes,very welcoming, essentially saying, “Hey, don’t come to Bermuda, we are a bunch of backwards dimwits who allow and encourage alcohol consumption and the abuse of tobacco with no restraints for over 18′s, despite knowing full well that these two substances kill millions of people every year, world wide, but we don’t care, or are too stupid to know any better. However we will trod roughshod over your human rights, enter your cabin without you present or even a warrant, open your “safe” and seize a beneficial harmless plant with heath and medicinal benefits, then arrest you, drag you to court and fine you, where our pompous “judges” will berate, demean and scold you before committing highway robbery, you will also be widely featured in our local media and even be forced to buy a plane ticket to fly home, please come soon! Feel the Love!”

      • lily says:

        A simple substription with a doctors signature should suffice. Theres no personal info on there

        • sage says:

          Our Customs, Police and judges laugh at them, look down on them and then prosecute them. They gave one elderly lady 30 days in jail, but freed her with a fine after the uproar, she had her prescription and declared her medicine on arrival. Total lack of respect. It will take decades to change the jackbooted thug mentality used against good people that happen to use herb as opposed to cancer sticks and devil’s soup.

  8. wtf says:

    No one in Bermuda is for this. WHY ARE WE DOING THIS! Ridiculous and a waste of money.

  9. sage says:

    The Isles of Idiots.

  10. bdaboy says:

    “I am against the use of this drugs period!”

    Including prescription drugs, alcohol and coffee?

    • sage says:

      Oh no she embraces those genocidal killers, just ganja is bad,I feel for her children.

  11. Benjammin says:

    Considering this woman is 55 and was offered steroids first, I can assume she is using medical cannabis to rest some form of arthritis. How many of you older Bermudians would be a bit upset if you were rightfully prescribed a medicine which did wonders to your painful arthritis, and then visited a beautiful country which then took away your medicine, sent you to court, and fined you for using it.? Wouldn’t you bit a bit hurt/upset/confused as to why the government on this island would seek you out and persecute you? All for using a medicine less harmful than the steroids which ARE permitted on island! I’m sick of our government prosecuting patients. Why don’t you go find out the multiple violent offenders who have been stabbing people on the island? Oh thats right you’re too busy outside an old woman’s cabin that smells like pot. WAKE UP BERMUDA

    • kj says:

      The law is there for a reason Benjamin. You sound very dumb and illiterate. The stabbing incident is a crime and so is possession of cannabis. Because she is 55 of age the law should pardon her. I guess if a 55 year old assault you I hope the magistrate pardon them. Bermuda customs Officers have authority to go on any of the ship and search any cabin in which they have reasonable grounds to believe illegally acitivity or substance is. Why blame the government when these laws were implemented before you were born. Go and read the misuse of drugs act, go read Bermuda Laws and stop verbalising on your dumb assumptions.

      • Benjammin says:

        You seem to have taken this quite personally “KJ”. She didn’t acquire this medication from a street dealer. It was prescribed to her by a doctor. I’m not saying it IS legal. I’m saying it SHOULD be legal. There is no reason the police should be wasting their time arresting and prosecuting a woman trying to use her choice of medication. You say these laws were implemented before I was born. How old do you assume I am? Cannabis was made illegal in the 70s. I could be in my 50s right now and have experienced cannabis’ legality in Bermuda. I’m not “verbalizing on my dumb assumptions” (i think?) but I am saying that the police department, our country, and our communities can be better assisted through a legal cannabis system. Especially for medical patients who want to use it for legitimate reasons; like this woman. Do some research on what is going on elsewhere. Broaden your mind “KJ”.

      • Sam Fraser-Smith says:

        @kj – I hate to be the one to tell you this, kj, but after reading your unfair criticism of Benjammin, the words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ immediately spring to mind. In fact, in this instance you may well be the poster child for “wrong and strong”. Perhaps the best medicine for your unfounded hostility is education. Here are a few resources that may help you better understand the issue. Best regards, Sam Fraser-Smith :)

        http://www.tdpf.org.uk/
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4hT2CJlw28
        http://www.leap.cc/

      • lily says:

        Kj u r the one who sounds dum now obviously we blamming the government they r the one who has all the control. N the 55 year old woman did not insult anyone she only was guilty of having a perscription from her doc… did she know that our lame government will prosicute her even for havin it been prescribed?? I agree that the governments attention is focused in the wrong places n its all about money but they r responsible for puttin us in the perdicimint were in. Jus becuz something has been around for a long time doesnt mean its good or perfect kj

      • outkasted says:

        This law is stupid and it needs to be changed. A natural Plant for crying out loud. For the love of Pete take your head out the clouds and use some frakin’ logic!

    • lily says:

      Benjammin nailed it

  12. St. D says:

    Passengers need to read the small print – if they are caught with narcotics (not sure which country’s definition dictates) then their vacation is cut short – good bye ship! Then, yes, they are subject to the laws of the land.

    • Heavens says:

      Exactly. The Cruise Company should be WAY more bold in letting people know that they are going to FOREIGN countries. I know Americans think that nothing else exists beyond its own borders but for the love of God.

  13. Jeff says:

    While half of the island is smoking it. Bermuda is a joke.

  14. C says:

    Do you know how much money insurance companies would loose if we had medical marijuana here! That’s why there is no legislation allowing it. Do u know how much money we as a people would save no having to take pills!! Stop using man made crap and get back to what God put on this earth. It’s a plant, with many many benefits!!!!

  15. Jay Maloy says:

    Great. We’re spending loads trying to get people to come to Bermuda while discouraging them to want to return and getting unnecessarily bad reviews. She will remember the bad experience and tell 20 friends never to go.

    All while we are stuck with our thumbs up our a trying to figure out how to get more people to return to the island and gain more revenue somehow.

    Hmm, how about providing tourists with a beneficial product from a multi-multi-billion dollar a year industry which can be heavily taxed.

    WE will eventually do it. Probably after the US has done it and it no longer makes a difference and t can no longer set us apart as a destination to go to.

    • sage says:

      Heavily tax the obscene corporate profits of IB, not a medicinal freely growing plant that needs to be brought down from the price of gold to reasonable levels when legal.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Oh what a positively genius idea !
        You seem to have quickly forgotten what IB did when PC and the PLP decided to increase the payroll tax on them .

        You really think they’re here to let govt put their hands in their pockets to pay for a bunch of whiners ?

      • Creamy says:

        ….thereby ensuring Bermuda becomes the Haiti of the mid-Atlantic.

  16. MAKE MY DAY says:

    You need to produce a “prescription” from a REAL doctor on his letterhead or “prescription form” from his office to try and pull this one off!!!

    So…. What is the law in BDA – if a “Bone fide” US doctor prescribes medical marijuana for you to treat a medical ailment or condition???

  17. Mumbojumbo says:

    Legalise license and reap the rewards!…..Let me ask you this……why should a hand full of people be allowed to monopolise the profits????????!….especially with all the addictive and harmful additives innit?Legalise it!

  18. MAKE MY DAY says:

    Don’t mess with Texas…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxX-qhJTfkI

    A Powerful Texas DA (District Attorney) gets 45 days in jail for a DUI offense + $4000 fine + loss of her license for 180 days!!!

    Maybe BDA should start jailing people who get DUI convictions!!! They would soon learn a hard lesson!!

    • sage says:

      Why don’t they qualify for the stoplist when convicted of DUI? Not as grave an offense as possessing one seed or a microscopic particle of herb? HYPOCRITES!!!

  19. Alan Gordon says:

    This is the result of our police andf Customs officers misunderstanding the degree of discretion they have.

    In every single case, a police officer or Customs official has the discretion to “let it go”.

    They /used/ to know this, but since the ‘Caution’ policy was introduced, the officers have been wrongly trained to think that their discretion is limited to small amounts in special circumstances. That is simply not true — ‘Caution’ is limited to special circumstances, but every officer has the discretion to not even issue a caution, at any time. They have the power to seize the cannabis and do nothing else, or even to return the cannabis to its rightful owners.

    Where it is medical, they should so so. I do not blame the officers here, as they have been mis-trained by their superiors so as to not understand what they can and cannot do.

  20. Alan Gordon says:

    But since the police command structure has not properly trained their officers, then we should just scrap the law, which, as Sage said, is

    * simply a total failure,
    * worsening all cannabis problems
    * violating human rights,
    * degrading the economy, and
    * failing to prevent any cannabis at all.

    • Ruthless says:

      Alan Gordon you should also know that the Police Command structure doesn’t allow Police Officers on the ships anymore. Has been that way for at least the last two years. What’s going on aboard the ships is all customs. Get ya facts straight.

  21. Ruthless says:

    Drugs on ship. It’s all fine until you’re on a ship with your family and one of these jacka** drug users high as a kite throw your young daughter overboard or sexually molest her in an elevator or drags her in his cabin and rapes her. Sure let everyone use drugs on a ship. As long as they don’t interfere with your family it’s okay!!!!

    • sage says:

      Are undercover BDA officers still flown over to be spies on cruises back to Bermuda?

      • sage says:

        My reply to you, wukless, is that drunks are responsible for the behavior you describe in the majority of cases, oh but it’s probably your drug of choice, so it’s ok. Bottoms up!

    • outkasted says:

      YOU ARE a Straight up fool. Are you serious? Find me a case where you have found someone that has raped while high. Rape and molestation is a diabolical act that takes thought and a process. Victims of those crimes are often hunted like prey. This is a thought out diabolical act! NOT when someone is high!

    • front brake only says:

      You have weed smokers confused with police officers catholic priest and drunk family members ——- when I smoke weed I dont want to do any of the things that you speak of —- You’re a DUMB C**T

  22. Smdh says:

    Ruthless you obviously know nothing about cannibas let alone medical cannibas. Many many many prescription drugs would cause hallucinations and other horrible side effects. But cannibas will never turn a normal person into a sociopath. Get a clue.

  23. Njweedman says:

    Stupid policy – this article is now circulating on the internet via US potheads who are discouraging travel to Bermuda now.

    • PBanks says:

      What bugs here is that Bermuda’s getting the blame for Americans who choose to take drugs to a foreign country. I mean, even if you think weed should be legal, etc, if you’re taking these drugs, prescribed or otherwise, across a national border, and you’re unaware that you may get in trouble, then you kind of come across as silly and petty.

      Problem is that of course Bermuda needs tourists and does not need negative publicity, so we ‘have’ to kowtow to them. On the flip side, Bermuda loosening their standards with regard to possession or importation could put them in hot water with the US Counsel and the big boys in DC. Can’t win.