27 Sep September 27, 1978
The Virgin Islands Daily News
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaican reggae singer Peter Tosh who made popular a song he wrote entitled “Legalize It” was arrested on charges of smoking marijuana in a public square in the Kingston capital.
Police said that Tosh was seen smoking a big cigar at the Half-Way Tree Square and when questioned on his choice of “smoke” allegedly hit a police officer and cut him over the left eye.
The popular bandleader, who at one time sang with reggae superstar Bob Marley, said later to reporters that he was beaten by police during the incident last week and suffered a broken arm and had to receive several stitches in the head.
Tosh was charge last Tuesday with smoking marijuana, attacking policeman, resisting arrest and using indecent language. The marijuana charge carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and-or a $30 fine while the charge in connection with the attack of a policeman is punishable with a heavier fine and up to ten days in jail. Tosh had previously been arrested for marijuana.
At the police station house, friend Bob Marley tried to negotiate bail for Tosh, which was set at $160. The police apparently wanted to keep him under custody, Tosh said.
Jamaica law does not require the posting of bail on the spot unless the person charged doesn’t appear at a subsequent hearing. Tosh’s hearing was set for Nov. 7.