ANOTHER CVP EXCLUSIVE: It’s official: The youngest son of reggae great Peter Tosh is headed to trial in September for 65½ pounds of pot that Mahwah police found in the trunk of his car on Father’s Day Weekend 2013.
Jawara McIntosh, 35, didn’t have a license — and had open bottles of booze on the front seat — when officers stopped his rental car for recklessly cutting off other motorists on Route 17.
He and his passenger, 24-year-old Carlotta Z. Leslie, “denied any knowledge that the marijuana was in the vehicle,” police said at the time.
Having refused to accept pleas, both were brought to court in Hackensack yesterday to begin the process of scheduling a trial.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Keith Travers previously said he’d offered the Dorchester, Mass. couple five years in state prison each — 12 months of which they must serve before being eligible for parole — if they pleaded guilty to first-degree possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
McIntosh — also known as Tosh 1 — has been free since posting a $200,000 cash bond in December 2013.
“There are just too many medical reports and medical professionals who believe in the medicinal benefits of marijuana to ignore the big government push to limit access,” McIntosh told CLIFFVIEW PILOT last year.
“The only ones who should fear it are the pharmaceutical companies whose medicines rarely work, or work with enormous side effects,” he said.
A California/Colorado non-profit group called Cannibas Patriots Unite (CPUnite.org), meanwhile claims McIntosh was arrested for “driving while dread[locked” and contends that he merely had an herb that in dozens of states is considered to have medicinal value.
“It belongs into the hands of the people, for it provides treatment at fraction of the cost of currently sanctioned healthcare,” they say.
For those who follow the African-based spiritual ideology known as Rastafari, pot is a sacrament — “whether it be a stick or a ton,” the group adds.
Grammy winner Peter Tosh (Winston Hubert McIntosh) was a member of Bob Marley’s Wailers, arguably the most accomplished reggae band in musical history. Although an international recording star, Tosh didn’t achieve fame in the U.S. until his 1978 duet with Mick Jagger on the Temptations song “Don’t Look Back.”
He fought publicly against apartheid and for the legalization of marijuana for much of his career.
The officer who pulled over the 2013 Nissan Maxima said McIntosh appeared under the influence of some type of drug. McIntosh and Leslie also gave conflicting accounts of where they’d come from and where they were headed, he said.
The vehicle was searched, with McIntosh’s consent, after other officers arrived: They found two large pieces of luggage in the trunk that reeked of pot, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said at the time.
The officers found two bundles of marijuana inside one and a third in the other, Batelli said. One was shrink-wrapped, he said, and the other two were wrapped in duct tape.
Both were arrested on charges of marijuana possession with the intent to distribute the drug. McIntosh also was charged with two counts of driving under the influence of drugs, driving with a suspended license, improper passing and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.
STORY / PHOTO: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.