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No way!

0728_wvmarijuanaThere has been swift reaction to a recommendation by a sitting High Court judge for the decriminalisation of ganja in Barbados.

When Justice Randall Worrell addressed the opening of a national consultation for a comprehensive Anti-Drug Plan for Barbados at the Amaryllis Beach Resort, in Christ Church, he suggested that the laws should be reviewed to decriminalise marijuana for personal use only, as one way to prevent the clogging up of the court system.

Former psychiatric nurse and head of the Centre for Counselling Addiction Support Alternative, Orlando Jones, told Barbados TODAY, while he understood what Justice Worrell was saying, he did not see his recommendation solving the drug problem in the island.

“I believe decriminalising ganja would exacerbate the problem. In fact, it would give young people, who already smoke openly and don’t see a problem with using the drug … a licence to abuse marijuana even more,” Jones argued.

He said his agency dealt with many young people who were referred to it by the Probation Department or schools for drug counseling, who insisted that they did not need any help, because they were not doing anything wrong.

“Many people don’t see any harm in using drugs. Nobody speaks a lot about the harm. We see a lot of young people at CASA who are using marijuana,” the drug counsellor noted.

“Barbados is going the way of other countries on the global scene. So much pressure is being placed on small island states now to conform. Young people are reading the Internet and the message is reflected in what is happening globally. A number of states in the US have decriminalised marijuana,” Jones stated.

Head of the Police Drug Squad, Superintendent Grafton Phillips, said any decriminalisation of marijuana would mean the need for more trained professionals and facilities to treat users.

“People would be using the drug more openly,” Phillips observed.

However, he said that as law enforcers they would have to adhere to whatever the law required, whether or not the drug was decriminalised.

The senior police officer reasoned that at the moment, there were some drug offences for the courts they would usually withdraw or for which they would be convicted, reprimanded and discharged. For instance, he cited persons who possessed one gram or less of cocaine. He explained that any amount more than that would constitute a traffickable quantity.

Phillips said the two offences carried separate and distinct penalties. (EJ)†††

One Response to No way!

  1. Nicolas Sobers March 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    It still disappoints me to see that the older generations of Barbados are so incredibly resistant to change. The reality is that due to the technological marvel we call the Internet (that allows the sharing of information and ideas from around the World) + modern scientific research (which shows not only the many medicinal uses, but also how the human body + brain is programmed specially for this plant), people have the evidence to show what a majority of humanity has known for years – that cannabis is NOT as toxic to the human body as we were once made to believe. In fact, there has not been ONE RECORDED DEATH/OVERDOSE of cannabis in history….not ONE.

    With regards to the argument that usage leads to psychosis and other mental issues (such as the ‘abusers’ at CASA and Verdun House), it only requires simple common sense to ascertain that those individuals would have had to have a predisposition to mental illness INHERENTLY, and the usage of cannabis amplifies the pre-existing condition. The amount of people in the World who use cannabis in its various forms and suffer absolutely no mental trauma/illness easily exceeds the amount of ‘marijuana psychosis’ patients at least 1000 to 1. After all, it is the most common recreational ‘drug’ in the World – surely if so many people have used this ‘psychosis-enducing’ plant then a lot more people would be crazy? Once again, simple common sense proves that the plant is not harmful.

    Is cannabis usage for everyone? Of course not. Alcohol should not be consumed by everyone – we know the ill-effects it has on the body, not to mention the social and psychological effects….yet alcohol is completely legal. In fact, many people do not know that only 100 years ago the roles were completely reversed – alcohol was ILLEGAL, and cannabis LEGAL. That is until the Powers that Be decided to make alcohol legal…but this is a story many can research on their own ( The proper way to prevent mis-use and abuse of the substance is the same for anything in life – EDUCATION. Instead of trying to scare people with horror stories from a minuscule % and fabricated evidence, it’s time for us to publicly discuss how Barbados can move forward from this period of ignorance and re-discover the many qualities of this plant that has been a part of human life for millennia.

    “Barbados is going the way of other countries on the global scene. So much pressure is being placed on small island states now to conform. Young people are reading the Internet and the message is reflected in what is happening globally. A number of states in the US have decriminalised marijuana,” Jones stated. <– This is not because of 'pressure'… it's because the people of the World know that the reasons for the prohibition of marijuana do not make sense. It is a plant that actually heals, not harms. Our World has been harmed enough in the last 100 years – it's time for some healing. And yes, this was written entirely under the influence of cannabis…just in case you were wondering.


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