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Marijuana reform activist, Junior "Spirit" Cottle. (iWN file photo)
Marijuana reform activist, Junior “Spirit” Cottle. (iWN file photo)
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A prominent activist on behalf of marijuana farmers says he believes police officers were trying to make political mischief when they destroyed a first-time marijuana grower’s crop in Richmond Vale on Tuesday.

The activist, Junior “Spirit” Cottle, who is head of the Cannabis Revival Committee (CRC) said he believes that the farmer, Cecil Hamilton Edwards, of Fitz Hughes, should be compensated.

Cottle, however, noted some of the legal challenges to the state offering such compensation.

Edwards, 69, told iWitness News, on Thursday, that police destroyed his field Tuesday morning, although he is awaiting the processing of his traditional grower’s licence application.

He speculated that the police might have done so out of political spite as his son provided an electricity connection for an opposition village meeting in Fitz Hughes the previous night.

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But Cottle told iWitness News separately, on Thursday, that some police officers are not pleased with the changes to the nation’s drug law — which are yet to come into effect — and might be trying to derail the process.

Cottle said Edwards is a member of the recently-formed and registered North Leeward Medical Cannabis Growers Cooperative.

He said that he personally encouraged Edwards — who has traditionally grown root crops and fruits — to plant cannabis for the medical cannabis industry.

Cottle said that when he got the call about Edwards’ marijuana plants being destroyed, he “called some people in the higher authority and when I called them, they were annoyed and they immediately called other people and the two gentlemen who were taken up were released”.

Two of Edwards’ employees were arrested and taken to Kingstown when officers from the Rapid Response Unit destroyed the marijuana.

“So I was here when they were released, so due to our effort from the cooperative and my personal standpoint, but we knew before that the people were threatening to eradicate certain guys in the area,” Cottle said.

“From my information, there is clique of policemen who are bent on hindering the process,” he said, adding that police officers have said, “Alyo ah get wah alyo want? Them a fool alyo’ and word to the effect”…

Cottle said that some police officers do not support the government’s move to liberalise the marijuana laws.

“So that has been going on down there for one reason or the other,” Cottle said.

Edwards said that the police destroyed his marijuana and left those on another farm next to his standing.

Asked why he thought that was done, Cottle said that is a good question.

“So you think — and these are some of my arguments — a government who is supposed to be calling election soon, you think any government, whether NDP, would be so stupid to go in an area where there is a slim margin, where they themselves just have a one-seat majority, do your own calculation. Why one field?”

Destroyed marijuana
The farm in Richmond Vale, showing some of the marijuana that was cut down.

Cottle said that Edwards visited him Wednesday and told him there is a field next to him, owned by a member of the cooperative, who Cottle encouraged to plant marijuana.

“And the idea was also to eradicate Deane them field,” Cottle said, adding that the field also belongs to known supporters of the NDP.

“So I think it was orchestrated, I don’t know where, but it was deliberately done to get at the government and the MCA (Medical Cannabis Authority) and derail the process. It is sad,” Cottle said.

“But I am saying to the politicians. Oh gaard, alyo keep traditional growers out of their political war when comes to the medicinal cannabis industry. It has been going on all the time, it happened under potato, it happened under tannia, it happened under arrowroot, it happened in all areas of the economy…”

Cottle said he felt badly hurt, knowing that he had encouraged Edwards to get into the industry and his crop was later destroyed.

“I think he should be compensated for what he had lost – some form of compensation,” Cottle said, adding,   “I know it cannot be a legal compensation because it’s a policy, government policy position, it’s an amnesty, it is not legal, it is a pardon that is being extended, like you have amnesty on guns…

“So legally, you can’t challenge it. You can’t go in the court and challenge it. I think it should be raised at the level of Parliament and look at what caused it and those traditional growers should be given some kind of compensation because it is not right to know that different entities involved, there are different stakeholders, the police, the state and traditional growers and traditional growers are the one who end up the most victimised, or the main sufferers.

“So from that perspective, from the perspective of CRC, which I lead, from the perspective of the traditional growers, of whom I am one, and from the perspective of the North Leeward Medical Cannabis Growers Cooperative, of which the guy is a member, I think he should be compensated,” Cottle told iWitness News.

Commissioner of Police Colin John told iWitness News that when he received word that the officers were destroying the marijuana plants he called and “told them about the government’s policy as regards the amnesty and everything like that and told them they should desist from doing that”.

15 replies on “Cops cut down ganja to get at gov’t — ‘Spirit’”

  1. That farmer should be compensated,,police should be delt with, this should never happen again, politicians should set the bars,,,

  2. So the Commissioner of Police, THE HEAD OF ALL POLICE DEPARTMENTS did NOT know that this alleged action was going to be executed beforehand? He was only briefed AFTER THE FACT?

    The Rapid Response Unit has the authority to do an action without first consulting and then receiving the approval from the TOP COP?

    There is no protocol, SOPs etc in the police force?

    I am simply dumbfounded.

    1. Agreed. How can an operation like that take place without the order of the top CoP? Who is in charge? Order and protocol need to be established.Government must compensate Mr. Edwards.This must not happen again.

  3. Yoh na hear wah de idrin ah say!

    Ah utter foolishness ah go arn yah! De brotherman warr naam some food but watch yo nah, see de foolishness dread, look yah nuoo, see de PM ah go ah Russia fo talk bout de climate!

    Ah nah foolishness dat dready?

  4. The law is the law, one needs to have a license before growing ganga. Without a license the activity becomes illegal. No one is above the law Mr Colltle. The authorities are involved in a situation of double speak. One one hard they are saying there is anmesty is in place and on the other hand it is deemed to be an illegal activity.

    1. It is true that the law is the law, we can’t argue that. I ain’t no lawyer but I’m “the law” stipulates that all are supposed to be treated equally under it; every weed field in the area should now be destroyed then. Alyo need to stop blaming persons carrying out orders and blame the ones issuing them.

  5. Rawlston Pompey says:


    This is likened to ‘…rotten eggs’ being thrown at, and smashed on the face of Commissioner of Police Colin John.

    A Commissioner, in fact, ‘…is deemed to know or reckless not to know’ what this apparent team of ‘…ill-informed or non-informed, or misguided officers’ were going to do.

    This is viewed from the perspective that a’… Commissioner of Police’ who is aware, officially or otherwise, of a ‘…Government Agricultural Policy,’ and exhibited apparent ‘…Gross Negligence,’ in informing his subordinates of such policy.

    Adding insult to ‘… injury to the farmer/grower and apparent ‘…mismanagement,’ by the Commissioner, the officers were reportedly informed while his ‘…Destructive Machine,’ were in the act destroying the farmer’s ..Marijuana Cultivation’ [IWN: January 16, 2020: Last Paragraph].

    Though that it is not necessarily about the ‘…illegality or legality’ of the cultivation, but the apparent ‘…reckless, malicious and mischievous action of the officers.

    This is very troubling, as it appeared ‘…selectively discriminatory and punitive.’ Moreover, this is inexcusable.

    Even so, from a compensatory standpoint, the aggrieved farmer not only has to show ‘…legitimacy of the cultivating’, but also ‘…illegitimacy of the actions of the police’ when no law exist or exclude him from such drastic measure.

    Now as the Commissioner sought to deny that such action was ‘…influenced by the environment,’ then what had motivated these errant officers to move against this farmer in such destructive manner?.

    Have never seen a tail at the rear end of a dog, ‘…Pit bull, Chihuahua or Mongrel or German shepherd,’ wagged the dog yet.

    Guess the ‘…Answer Is Blowing In The Wind’ [Stevie Wonder: You Tube].

  6. Cottle and everyone who reads this article and agrees with him are themselves helping the true culprits who are the politicians. The police cannot wipe their arses without permission from the politicians. They would be out of a job in five minutes if they did this off their own backs.

    1. Rawlston Pompey says:


      So ‘JG’ is saying that if the ‘…Commissioner and his subordinates’ hands’… deliberately or accidentally’ touched ‘…Smit,’ (believe this word is wrongly spelt), they can’t even sanitize their hands without permission?

      Sad state of affairs.

      Hope Cottle is not a ‘goon’ or naïve or brainwashed.

      Do believe that he is suppose to know what is happening or likely to know though.

      Among the ‘…stakeholders’ and seemingly, a prominent member and spokesman of ‘…CRC.’

      By the way,in the neck of the wood, is he related to any Judge in anyway?

  7. Urban Alexander says:

    How did Mr Cottle arrived at that decision? These guys are so political that they don’t know where to draw the line. Since the idea to legalise the planting of marijuana for medical purposes no one has been issued a license so the police still has the right to enforce the law. The law has passed and not assented so weed planting is still illegal. The amnesty period is not yet enforced.
    Only the commissioner of police seems to know of an agreement that says police must not cut down farmers marijuana; the other rank and file members are not aware of such an agreement.
    Spirit Cottle on the other hand has jumped to a conclusion with much haste. Is Cottle privy to information that not even the commissioners is aware of?

  8. Amos Greaves. says:

    Mr Cottle are you the best person in the land to speak about political corruption? Just a question , we’re you the same person who were convicted years,ago of a capital offence? Are we to suddenly belive that you are rational in your thinking?

  9. Cottle is right. Stop running around like chicken without heads, first you have tax everybody who farming/selling marijuana. Nobody is above the law. (what is the law?)(you need police for that, what a lala!) but BB Gonsalves them don’t figure out what they doing yet (I doubt if they make proper calculations?). These things takes years really to work out (after yo done do it) (more than a political term). But they will talk a lot about it and then do nothing until somewhere down the pipeline it becomes another mess of corruption. And, threatens to bring down one or more of the elites.

  10. Cottle is spot on with this one, (after-all,) Saboto, Camillo and Ralph Gonalves said that they had already secured millions of US$ in licenses. Now they turn around and kick the small man(in he wallet). That doesn’t make sense. So alyo lying.

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