THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6: A retired doctor who brought a herbal mixture containing cannabis into Bermuda to help him quit smoking was today fined.
Charles Reisen, 62, pleaded guilty to possession of eight grams of cannabis on October 5 in Sandys.
The court heard he was a passenger aboard the Norwegian Gem from New Jersey.
Customs officers did a search of the boat and were alerted to his cabin at 10:21am.
Inside the cabin, the officers were alerted to a safe and inside they found two metal canisters containing plantlike material and a smoking pipe.
Reisen was arrested and apologised for having the drugs.
But in Magistrates’ Court, duty counsel Kamal Worrell said the defendant purchased a herbal mixture in Colorado that helps people stop smoking.
He said the mixture contained hemp, which is similar to cannabis but doesn’t have the same effect.
Mr Worrell also said the mixture was prepared “pharmaceutically”.
Reisen said he bought the product to quit smoking after a stressful career taking care of premature babies.
“I find this works and I am so grateful for it.
“I haven’t had a single cigarette since I bought it.
“It was expensive but it works for me.”
The defendant said he had tried nicotine patches and the gum but neither worked for him.
“My intent was not to become intoxicated.
“It was to preserve my lungs.”
Magistrate Juan Wolffe gave him a $2,000 fine to be paid immediately.