Branson sticking to his position on weed

British billionaire Sir Richard Branson has hit back at a Barbadian criminologist who last week accused him of being way off the mark after he recommended decriminalization of marijuana use.

The Virgin Atlantic boss, who addressed a business seminar here last week, got drawn into the controversial and emotive domestic debate and ended up calling for the use of small amounts of cannabis to be made legal here.

However, Director of the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit Cheryl Willoughby immediately brushed aside the suggestion, arguing that the local criminal justice system was by no means inundated with people charged with using small amounts of ganja.

In fact, the criminal justice expert said that nearly all of the marijuana-related cases in Barbados were linked to possession and trafficking of large amounts of the illegal substance.

Nonetheless, Sir Richard stuck to his guns.

In a statement issued Tuesday seemingly in response to Willoughby, he maintained that criminalization and tough law enforcement did nothing to make societies like Barbados safer.

“We all know this. Cannabis is everywhere in the Caribbean, freely available to anyone who wants it and looks for it, and yet, the entire market is controlled by people that have no interest in ensuring that potent, harmful types of cannabis stay out of the hands of minors.

“If the safety of your child matters to you, this cannot be an acceptable situation,” the business mogul stressed.

While advocating strongly for policy reform, Sir Richard however made it clear that he was not encouraging use of drugs.

“But I believe strongly that as with alcohol in the United States, only decriminalization helps and will free the law enforcement resources needed to focus on organized crime,” he said.

Sir Richard further warned of the need for a new approach to regulation, suggesting it was the only way to ultimately protect children and communities from the drug scourge.

“The approaches of Colorado or Washington in the US, now followed by many others, including Canada and Uruguay, will show that (as with alcohol), sensible drug policy reform means taking control, not ceding it,” he said, adding, “I hope this thinking will catch on in the Caribbean, too.”

In support of comprehensive reform of global drug laws, Sir Richard, who is a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, further cautions that “the so-called war on drugs launched in the 1970s, has been a costly and deadly failure that has taken tens of thousands of lives, needless incarcerated millions and wasted trillions of dollars in taxpayer money globally.

“Yet the global drug trade continues unabated, and many countries, including some with zero-tolerance drug laws, have recorded dramatic increases in drug abuse and overdose deaths,” he added.

32 Responses to Branson sticking to his position on weed

  1. Wayne Dixon
    Wayne Dixon May 10, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Perfect for #DOMAINNAME Tourism not enough to keep growing CARIBBEAN ECONOMY.

    • Peter May 10, 2017 at 9:44 am

      If all of you people who seemingly, opposes this move have travelled or travels often enough, You would not be so ignorant of what Sir Richard is suggesting. Look at our own Rihanna. she has a song called Diamonds in the sky. That is a subtle remake of the Beatles’ Lucy in the Skies with Diamonds. they are referring to the narcotic drug LSD…. Lucy, Skies< Diamonds. -. Beatles. Use of same letters subtly changed around … Like a Diamond in the Skies. Same letters.. Come on Bajans, Get smart. No one can stop the use od drugs. Nor can they stop prostitution, gambling, Scam projects, money laundering and fraud among many high ended money making ploys and this include those evangelists and Pentecostal overnight self appointed priests, and corruption across the board. A mixture of certain herbs in different states – liquid, baked, granulated et al, are used by herbalists globally to cure all kinds of diseases including poor vision, erectile dysfunction and you name it. I is known internationally as TCM I Traditional Chinese Medicines. Do the research. it's amazing.

  2. Sheron Inniss May 10, 2017 at 5:45 am

    I believe if we deal with the root of the problem this conversation would never have arisen. Some people have never and will never go that road. Why? It never happened in their environment, they self-esteem may not be the highest at times but they knew what was expected of them by their parents – especially my mother as my dad smoked cigarettes. It all starts in the home. Right or principled living goes a long way. Sometimes you fall but you get back up and move on – we are not perfect. However the abyss is not where Barbados needs to go. What works globally is not always what is needed in small island states. From everything I have been reading about marijuana I agree with C Willoughby.

    • Jennifer May 10, 2017 at 6:01 am

      This was also a debate in the UK. Which was kicked into the long grass in 2012. Today cannibis still remains a class B drug, with a 28 day imprisonment fine. This drug is mainly used by white middle class youth. Mr Branston needs to talk to his people who run the UK government to have weed legalized or reduced to a class C drug over there first, see how things go and then come back with his opinions.

      • Jennifer May 10, 2017 at 6:18 am

        Point being the UK has a lot of OLD MONEY and gold bars within their federal reserve aka bank of England. England has the resources to fund treatment facilities/drugs, hospices, research facilities etc. And truth be told black people have a habit of taking things to a whole new level i.e to prove I can smoke more or be a better drug smoker than the white man. Leave things the way they are.

        • Peter May 10, 2017 at 9:23 am

          You write a lot of unfounded, confounded rubbish. What the hell do you know about British federal reserves? Absolutely NOTHING! You are guessing and presuming. Psychological research of your comments I sent to three experts in the field. Two in the USA one works for US intelligence and the other a noted British university research analyst. All indicate that you are a dysfunctional individual who cannot get along with anyone, Is obviously black wishing you were white, among several other short comings, and to which you only use Barbados Today to vent your narrow feelings. I promise you I’l show you the analytical report based on your writings when we meet in August> that is if you will be permitted back in the UK.
          Incidentally, Barbados Today is owned mainly by White people. and they know everyone who comments in their mediums throughout the Caribbean.

  3. Walter Prescod May 10, 2017 at 6:27 am

    I am with you Sir R.B. I wonder why Barbados has not come of age. Here people can smoke it free in public, you can get it special shops. you are allowed to have plants for your own consumption
    but not to sell. Jamiaca, and some states in America it’s legal to consume it. Why is it that spirits are legal? a killer of many. has anyone ever overdosed on marijuana?

  4. Michele Antoinette
    Michele Antoinette May 10, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Blind and broke you will be for sure…

    • gaza May 11, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      so richard is blind and boke, what about wiz khalifa and snoop dogg they also some weed silly rabbit

  5. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn May 10, 2017 at 7:34 am

    It takes a white man again to teach these jackass in the Caribbean sense. This man know what he is talking about. Not even the great America cannot cannot win no war on marijuana. Marijuana is not a Drug. It’s a plant. These foolish BLACK PEOPLE need to wake up. They getting paid to talk foolishness. Because most of their friends benefits from marijuana. That is why they don’t want to legalized a small amount of Marijuana. You can buy marijuana any time anyway, once you have money to buy it. Putting people in jail for 15 years for marijuana, who benefits, the state benefits from it. No all they doing is wasting tax payers money.

  6. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn May 10, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Marijuana will be legalized when this government change. They will legalized a small quantity. For health purposes. Also I will not charge no one if get caught with one spliff. Too much taken up in court.

  7. Jay Manny
    Jay Manny May 10, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Legalize it !!!

  8. Tessa Trotman
    Tessa Trotman May 10, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Take mr branson advice he planes can land other places don’t be powful foolish the man could add a third flight to Barbados .

  9. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn May 10, 2017 at 7:53 am

    The AG know he is going to be soon out of office. That is why he is refusing to legalized a small quantity of marijuana.but if black people have sense. No one should haired him to represent them in court when he is out of office . supposed someone get caught with 500 pounds of marijuana and the former AG was to represent them in court. It will be interesting to hear his argument in court. That is how I know that these politicians are actors. They just play games with the average person head.

  10. Reds Lucombe
    Reds Lucombe May 10, 2017 at 8:23 am


  11. jrsmith May 10, 2017 at 8:41 am

    If all this time and shouting about ganga , was directed at our corrupt politicians remove them from office one by one , we sure would be better off…………………………

  12. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt May 10, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I am all for the legalisation of it. If dirty rum that kill more people than guns can be legal the grass that was created by god can also. Speed up thr process. The ag can be seen drinking alcohol beverages at places of his choice around this island. These people do not want to see this legalise but will represent a person that get caught or got frame . All for the lovd of money. Bloody bastards.

  13. Sandor Barker
    Sandor Barker May 10, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I totally agree with Sir Branson he is well informed.
    How can an independent state like Barbados worry about what the USA federal government thinks when their State laws decriminalized marijuana for recreational and medical usage.
    A moral dilemma, if a Minister or the said Criminologist was diagnosed with cancer or a love one of theirs’ was and the only way to prevent its return is to use medical marijuana they would use it but all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

  14. Mikey May 10, 2017 at 9:51 am

    When marijuana and other drugs are legalized, then we have to earn more money to treat the addicts, the brain, heart, lung, kidney and liver patients. Who and which countries in the Caribbean have that sort of money to treat the sick addicts ?
    IF MR. Branson wants to sit on his little Island in the Virgin Island Chain and smoke away his life , he can do that, he owns the Island, do not worry about the other islands, walk the beach with smoke coming out of your nose, You have the money to buy the stuff.

    • jennifer May 10, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      @Mikey – well spotted. That is what I am saying. The uk has the resources to treat the arising health issues. Bim don’t have a pot to pi$$ in and looking for more issues in order for the rich to come and smoke weed freely. They do not even have to worry as they ain’t going to get locked up if caught. LEGALIZE IT IN BRITAIN FIRST, WE LIKE TO FOLLOW.

      • jennifer May 10, 2017 at 12:04 pm

        And if the goverent say a cigarette size is what is allowed. Them people will smoke a cigar size. They are ingrunt like that. Fact.

    • gaza May 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      marijuana causes none of the side effects u mentioned do ur research silly rabit

  15. Alex Alleyne May 10, 2017 at 10:37 am

    And CHARLES MANSON sticking to his position saying , When I get out “I will sue and own the State of California”.

  16. Helicopter(8P) May 10, 2017 at 10:37 am

    The main ingredient here is all persons’ cranium can not decipher through their axons at the same nano-seconds and the transmittal relays may be compromised by fatty acids which inhibit normal responses. Persons who ingest cannabis should be diet conscious and be vegetarian for clear processing of though!

  17. seagul May 10, 2017 at 11:43 am

    And we grow stronger
    And dem can’t assault we
    So haile Rastafari love
    And exhalt he…

  18. Sheron Inniss May 10, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I happen to have an old Reader’s Digest with some info about the people who funded the research for medical marijuana in the USA. Believe it or not it is all about the money. None of them have ever smoked the thing. This research was ongoing from the late 80s or early 90s.

  19. Johnathan May 10, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    @Angus Benn he never represent a fellow. He is a clown and she suffers from small island sickness..

  20. jrsmith May 10, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    All black people can do is talk talk and pray , this is the white mans world,what every he says goes , what ever he wants happens , black people is never ahead of the game , because the game always carry very high stakes and foolish black men losing they lives……………. protecting who………………………..
    Look who ends up in prison in barbados , look who’s plants is always burnt to the ground but yet still , the drugs keep flowing and the guns keep coming…………….
    @, Jennifer, hail , hail , good shot , (12.01) legalizing the weed in barbados , wouldn’t make any difference its already under control by you know who………………………………….

    • Jennifer May 10, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      jrsmith – Well said. Black people IS THE GAME, there to be hunted and preyed upon as usual. Just because the man got planes and building ships he is suddenly qualified to give health advice. Not a researcher, medically qualified nothing. What nicons.

      • Jennifer May 10, 2017 at 6:47 pm

        Whenever it is legalized that slick fork tongue serpent will be in full control like they got the tobacco, alcohol etc mark my words. And the black men will be the only ones STILL filling the jails and mental institutions for growing it in their back yards and smoking a potfull at a time.

  21. Sam Clarke May 11, 2017 at 7:23 am


  22. Roger Hannant May 11, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Of course Branson’s right, anyone that believes otherwise uninformed, ill informed or just plain stupid.


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