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Harvard instructor caught with pot in Bermuda

For a time, things didn't look so bright for a Harvard instructor caught hiding marijuana in the capital city of Hamilton, Bermuda
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(CBS/AP) HAMILTON, Bermuda - An instructor at the Harvard University School of Public Health was caught with a small amount of marijuana hidden in her underwear at he airport in the capital of Bermuda, and claimed the pot was legally prescribed for medicinal use.

A judge in the British vacation resort island released her.

Mey Akashah, an environmental health instructor at Harvard, admitted bringing just over 2 ounces of marijuana to Bermuda for a weekend trip with her husband, but said a doctor prescribed it for medical reasons.

Prosecutors said a small plastic bag containing the drug was stuffed in her underwear, and Akashah was detained after her Friday flight when sniffer dogs alerted airport authorities.

At her court hearing Monday, the Boston resident acknowledged that she knew marijuana was illegal in Bermuda but said she "responded illogically due to the amount of pain I was in."

Akashah could provide no proof for the magistrate hearing the case that she had legally been prescribed marijuana for post-operative pain and nausea. She said her doctor in California had all the documentation.

Making note of her education and position at Harvard, Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said he found it "strange" she could provide no proof, but he discharged her from custody with no fine. He said a conviction would have an "overwhelming effect" on the visibly emotional Akashah.

Julie F. Rafferty, a spokeswoman for the Harvard School of Public Health, said Akashah graduated with a doctorate last year and holds a temporary appointment as an instructor that's due to end May 31. Citing privacy rules, Rafferty would not discuss if there would be any disciplinary action.


  • Barry Leibowitz

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