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Don’t jail them, says AG

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite does not want young people found with small amounts of marijuana sent to jail, but placed in a treatment centre and guided away from drug use.

And he has suggested that substance abuse by the youth should be seen as a medical issue rather than a criminal matter.

Speaking yesterday at the Bank Hall Church of the Nazarene where members of the National Council on Substance Abuse attended a service to launch National Drug Awareness Month, Brathwaite also said he held no position on whether Barbados should legalize or decriminalize marijuana.

“I am neither pro or against the legalisation of marijuana. I don’t have a view one way or the other about it,” he insisted.

But on the matter of the State instituting criminal proceedings against youngsters found in possession of the illegal drug, Brathwaite implied that although his position was newly adopted, he was firm in the conviction.

“I am a convert, even an evangelist to the fact that we need to treat to the addiction as opposed to look at the criminal behaviour. We need to go to the root cause.”

He referred to recent media reports of attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim, QC, criticizing the magistracy for remanding to prison a 51-year-old man who was charged for possessing a small quantity of ganja.

“We [Government], and certainly as Minister, I have sent the signal that we would rather not incarcerate individuals for having small quantities of marijuana.

“What we would like to do is to put them into the Drug Treatment Court programme and see how we can divert them from the abuse of substances,” said the Government’s spokesman on legal affairs.

The Barbados Drug Treatment Court opened its doors last year, and Brathwaite said the first batch of offenders who were sent there for treatment would graduate this month.

He said that following this graduation officials would analyze its successes.

“But the feedback I’ve received suggests that we’ve gone in the right direction in terms of trying not to criminalize behaviour where addiction is the issue, but trying to address what can correctly be described as a health care challenge.

“If in doing that then that diverts the individual from criminal behaviour, then it’s more of a success that sending them up to Dodds where they might not necessarily have the type of care and attention that is required,” he stressed.

11 Responses to Don’t jail them, says AG

  1. Steven Layne
    Steven Layne January 12, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Let the uwi do a study,or read a book .

  2. Bernard Pinder
    Bernard Pinder January 12, 2016 at 10:15 am

    My good don’t lock them up u started out sounding with since but send them to rehab now idiot weed is a healing drug what ya want rehab for give somebody your job that know what gine on big man now go back pun de dlp farm wid de rest off de animals educational idiot.

  3. Pat-bb Patricia
    Pat-bb Patricia January 12, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Rehab???? So wait, ppl ain’t suppose to get healed d God given way???????? This is sheer madness, U is who want rehab coz U full a sh%#….well well well

  4. jrsmith January 12, 2016 at 11:34 am

    This is a fully wasted ,political term in Barbados. everything from the government, try this , try that, and promising this , promising that , that’s all our Attorney General has done. the guy ,who seems not to recognize , what his title or job is for…

  5. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay January 12, 2016 at 11:50 am

    treatment centre!?[ help mah wid de old saying[.he is two fah paddy and 10 fah knight.

  6. Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma
    Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma January 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    This is sound.I am in full agreement. However, it must be identified who are using and who are selling. If selling, then the purpose is defeated because the objective of the seller is to gain money. Those ones will continue to sell and they will in fact sell to the same users and/or other newbies to using marijuana/drugs. While marijuana may be reputed to be harmless on its own, many mix it with other harder drugs. It seems that marijuana on its own is not sufficient for some.

  7. Arte Maria Benn
    Arte Maria Benn January 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Isn’t this a complete 180 from him. Well done!!

  8. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce January 12, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Lock he up instead! our. “We need to go to the root cause.” Refusing to abide by the LAW.

  9. dap January 12, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Is weed good for us when we smoke it or use it as a tea

  10. J. Payne January 12, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Drugs / gangs / and guns moving around together so might as well legalize all and just accept that you’re an ineffective leader to handle any of that trilogy.

  11. Stephen Allan January 13, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Its a known fact that Ganja has healing properties. Barbados needs to get with the program. Legalization in small quantities is the only way.


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