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Rastafarian “herbalist” guilty of supplying cannabis from Dalston market stall

Lloyd Thomas. Pic credit: Central News. Lloyd Thomas. Pic credit: Central News.

Friday, August 24, 2012
11:19 AM

A Rastafarian dad-of-24, who sold cannabis from a “herbalist” market stall in Dalston, urged the government to legalise the drug for medicinal use after being sentenced to community service on Wednesday.

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Lloyd Thomas, 57, exchanged the drug for “gifts and donations” from his Makabights stall at the Harmer Indoor Market, in Ridley Road, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

The grandfather-of-18 was caught with almost 100g of cannabis, as well as an ounce of the drug for personal use and two pre-rolled joints, when police raided his stall on September 9 last year.

Thomas, of Lansdowne Road, Tottenham, admitted possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Prosecutor Philip Levy told the court Thomas was a “genuine herbalist” but offered cannabis alongside legitimate products. “He was at the market stall for the last 12 years, but since this incident he no longer wishes to operate,” he added.

Leanne Ballato, defending, said Thomas was born in Monserrat and serves as chairman of the island’s steering group and is in close contact with MPs.

Sentencing Lloyd to a community order and 40 hours unpaid work, Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: “I have no doubt you have been a benefit to the community with all your good intentions and your community work, which has been evidenced with letters from MPs and commendations in your visitors’ book.

“But it’s a fact that you and I know that possession and supply of cannabis is against the law.”

The judge also banned Thomas from supplying any remedy containing or consisting of cannabis for the next five years.

Speaking outside the court, Thomas said: “The government should find a way to legalise the herb on a medicinal level and then for personal use, after they have found out more about the effects of it.”

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