Reggae Icon’s Son Was Caught With Marijuana. It Nearly Cost Him His Life.

By Lulu Cohen

Jawara McIntosh was dwelling an excellent life in June 2013. A budding recording artist, father, religious Rastafarian and son of a legend, he was touring from New Jersey to his residence outdoors of Boston.

With dreadlocks swinging and music mellowing, McIntosh heard sirens. He was pulled over, his automotive searched. Police officers discovered a considerable amount of hashish within the automotive and arrested him. He was taken to the Bergen County, New Jersey, Jail in Hackensack.

McIntosh’s arrest reads very similar to some other scene by which a person was taken into custody for possession of a substance that in immediately’s world is turning into authorized. The key distinction is McIntosh’s household, who hopes his story will shine a light-weight on cannabis-related injustices.

McIntosh is the youngest son of reggae legend Peter Tosh. In 1976, Tosh’s debut solo album, “Legalize It,” was launched in 1976, close to the arrival of the U.S. struggle on medicine. A founding member of the unique Wailers, together with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, Tosh and Marley co-wrote probably the most celebrated pot anthems, “Get Up Stand Up,” which has been tailored quite a few occasions to varied freedom struggles throughout the globe.

Peter Tosh performing, 1978

Peter Tosh with Robbie Shakespeare on the Bush Doctor tour, 1978

“After years in court and after posting $200,000 bail with help from of one of our father’s fans, Jawara accepted a plea bargain,” his sister, Niambe McIntosh stated. “He was required to return to New Jersey to serve out the last six months of his sentence.”  

In 2017, McIntosh returned to the Bergen County Jail to complete his sentence. With solely about one month left to serve, Jawara was brutally attacked by one other inmate. The assault left him paralyzed and in a coma.

“Part of their logic in accepting the plea was that Jawarra would be able to serve his time in county jail rather than in state prison,” stated Joseph Tully, one among McIntosh’s household attorneys, who characterised jail as sometimes populated by extra violent offenders.

McIntosh had sustained extreme traumatic mind accidents and was hospitalized at Hackensack Medical Center in New Jersey. His tight-knit household was with him in hospital and instantly rallied behind him to proceed their pursuit of equal rights and justice.

“Some states have begun legalizing cannabis; but far too many people continue to be stripped of their freedom for cannabis related charges resulting in mass incarceration, brutality, and murder, depriving individuals of their constitutional rights,” stated household lawyer Jasmine Rand.

Exactly one month after New Jersey Gov. Phil  Murphy took workplace in January, all costs have been vacated in McIntosh’s case. Murphy has made hashish legalization one the state’s prime priorities.

Phil Murphy

Phil Murphy Governor of New Jersey

“Maybe Gov. Murphy taking office helped change the zeitgeist in the New Jersey court system and that created a different environment or attitude towards cannabis cases,” stated household lawyer Joseph Tully, stating that it wasn’t Gov. Murphy who was answerable for the decision. “Perhaps it was that our case could only be delayed so long by an unwilling prosecution in the face of the obvious justness of our request and repeated demands by phone, email, and in court.”

New Jersey can be the most important state on the East Coast to legalize hashish. One proposal being thought-about would legalize possession of small quantities of marijuana, restrict fines to $100 and provides the state’s Department of Law and Public Safety the facility to manage licenses for growers and sellers. Currently, New Jersey regulation points a $1,000 positive and/or six months of imprisonment for possession of 50 grams or much less of hashish.

McIntosh was moved to a hospital close to Boston. He stays in a coma whereas the household continues advocating for change within the insurance policies that have an effect on equal justice.

“Jawara has since been moved to a hospital near us in Boston where the care is better,” stated Niambe McIntosh. “ … Doctors told us to give up, but we refused. Jawara is a strong man of faith. He’s more stable now but remains unable to talk. Recently, he held my hand and his eyes followed me across the room, but that’s rare. We will never give up on him.”

In April, Brian Latture, supervisor of the Peter Tosh Estate and Brands, traveled to Washington, D.C., the place Niambe McIntosh was scheduled to talk on the National Cannabis Policy Summit.

“Jawara’s charges were vacated and dismissed, justice was finally served,” Latture stated.  “Niambe went to DC to make sure the voiceless have a voice.”


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