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Don’t legalize marijuana

A high-ranking member of the Royal Barbados Police Force is speaking out against either decriminalization or legalization of marijuana in this country.

While noting that many people, including some in prominent positions, have been advocating a change in the law to make the use of cannabis legal, acting Assistant Commissioner Eucklyn Thompson said he has witnessed, first hand, the damage caused by drug use.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Eucklyn Thompson

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Eucklyn Thompson

“A discussion on the subject will no doubt identify what some consider to be positive uses of the substances, while others will be able to produce weighty data as to why the status quo should remain,” he noted.

However, Thompson asserted, “I have been around long enough to recognize the debilitating effects of illegal drugs in my own family, amongst friends and loved ones. The serious damage resulting from the use of illegal drugs is very evident today, particularly in the younger members of our population.”

The acting assistant commissioner also pointed out that analysis has shown that the majority of crime, both major and minor, are linked to illegal drugs.

Speaking last evening at the launch of the neighbourhood watch group in Grassfield, Duncans, St Philip, he said the police force could not win the war on crime on its own, though he disclosed that lawmen have implemented appropriate strategies to combat the worrying number of illegal activities, especially those involving guns and knives.

Thompson, during his address, also spoke about the changing face of Barbadian life and the impact it was having on “normative values and principles”.

He said this was causing young people to gravitate towards a life of crime and violence and to display other anti-social behaviour.

“Politeness, good manners and other social graces are no longer embraced by our children as we, the adults, have forgotten that these attributes were at the core of our upbringing and development. Thus, it is easy for some of us to come in defence of our children as our value systems are not in consort with the best practices of our foreparents and nation builders,” he said.

“Suddenly our children have become adults and we are not able to speak to them in the conventional mode of parents to children. Worse of all, the roles have now changes. Parents are the ones taking the instructions. You have failed to set good examples of love, of charting a path of steady growth and preparation for every stage of their development.”

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