Respect due!

AG gets flak for exiting ganja meeting early

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is not the most popular person within this island’s Rastafarian community at this moment — and not just because both he and his Government have so far failed to entertain suggestions coming from that segment of society on the legalization of marijuana either.

Last night, Brathwaite, who is also the Minister of Home Affairs, drew the ire of a vocal group of Rastafarians after he made an early exit from a town hall meeting on marijuana after delivering a few opening remarks.

The public meeting, which was hosted by the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Home Affairs, formed part of a series of regional consultations which aim to get the views of CARICOM citizens on the treatment of marijuana.

However, after delivering his eight minute address, Brathwaite excused himself from the meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre for what he said was a prior commitment.

This drew an angry response from several audience members, including the outspoken Ras Ifill who, though “saddened” by the testimonies given during the two-and-a-half-hour consultation on the medical distress suffered because they were unable to legally obtain the herb, said “the worst thing of all” was the disrespect shown to him as a citizen of Barbados by the Attorney General under whose ministry “people are getting penalized and incarcerated”.

Ras Ifill fuming last night.

“He don’t want to hear what is going on,” the St Philip resident bitterly complained in Brathwaite’s absence.

“Is that leadership? That is downright ignorance.” he said, asking: “How are you going to walk out of something like this with the most people that get locked up every day?

“It is under his ministry and he don’t want to hear people speak the truth,” the angry Rastafarian said.

Writer and popular calypsonian Adonijah, who called for a moratorium on arrests for ganja possession while the matter was being debated, shared Ifill’s sentiments.

Adonijah (left) and another brethren of the Rastafari community (centre) chatting with Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite (right) before the meeting began.

“I am so disappointed that the Attorney General found it possible to leave this evening,” the entertainer said, adding that while “some people will say he ran away, to me it is disrespect, not only to the Rastafari community that has been trying to confer with him for years, but for everybody.

“This is a national issue and as the chief law officer in this country he needs to be here, and not depend on nobody to bring back any stories to him,” he stressed.

Adonijah, who said he had been using the herb for 47 years, described the practice of arresting people for smoking weed in the privacy of their homes as “state-sponsored madness” and even “state-sponsored terrorism”.

“There is something fundamentally nonsensical about a situation where you can be at home in your house harming no one and somebody has the right to come and carry you away because you using a plant,” he said explaining that part of what he wanted Brathwaite to hear was his wish “to see, as soon as possible, a moratorium on arrests for ganja, because it makes no sense to be discussing legalizing or decriminalizing something and at the same time while you talking you still locking up people”.

A recent study done by the Office of the Attorney General found almost half the Barbadian population had tried marijuana, one in four smoked it regularly, and 30 per cent supported its legalization for medical or religious purposes.

And with public opinion seemingly mixed on the treatment of the drug, Brathwaite has stated repeatedly that he was neither for nor against legalization, but that he wanted the right decision made in the interest of Barbadians.

“As a country we have not closed our minds to the  medicinal properties to be derived from the marijuana plant,” he told last night’s consultation, explaining that “if  there is some derivative of the marijuana plant  that you can show has medicinal properties that addresses whatever ailment that you have, there is an opportunity for us under our present legal regime for you to write to the present head of the Drug Service, explain to her, get your doctor to provide the prescription, and we will source the capsule or the oil or whatever it is that you want”.

However, he stayed clear of the discussion on legalization while focusing on the “properties of the plant and how we can exploit it as a people”.

“Let us be broad-based in our discussion because we want the best out of the plant as possible,” Brathwaite said, adding that “this discussion is too valuable for us as a people and as a region for us to miss the opportunities”.

24 Responses to Respect due!

  1. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams September 29, 2017 at 12:17 am

    I have asked the guys who want to light up, to do it far from me and my house but no, they want to sit outside your door, not their mother’s door but your door and smoke the stinking bush. I’m saying if you want to smoke, go in the gully but no, they want to take it to town, take it a a fete, take it to a football match, take it to work, smoke on the public transportation, a bloke is riding up the street smatting in broad daylight. That is just plain stupid for users of a plant which is espoused to make one wise.

    • Skilnic Skyy
      Skilnic Skyy September 29, 2017 at 4:52 am

      Bun down Rome….you surely one of Babylon soldiers

    • Epaphras D. Williams
      Epaphras D. Williams September 29, 2017 at 4:56 am

      Skilnic Skyy You are only confirming why we cannot decriminalize marijuana.

  2. Boyce Jr Angus
    Boyce Jr Angus September 29, 2017 at 2:26 am

    Ignorance is bliss is all I’m saying

  3. Sonia Seale
    Sonia Seale September 29, 2017 at 4:08 am

    It cannot be said that he did not meet with the Rastafarian community, but how effective was it?. Strategy is a clever tool. If you are going to attend a meeting but already have your mind made up , what is the sense in going and not be present for the duration of the meeting? Strategy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Tryasyoulike September 29, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Perhaps if the meeting were convened by Pfizer the AG would have stuck around…

    This government is wilfully ignorant.

  5. BaJan boy September 29, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Look at the scorn on his face for the men he is suppose to represent and who put his hungry ass in Parliament after he came back her and couldn’t make a cent as practicing poor Attorney. Like his leader they think they are more than the minions they represent. Got to go

  6. charjoy September 29, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Drinking alcohol legal

  7. Andrew Simpson September 29, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Might personal use be decriminalized, with limited cultivation legalized but sale of cannibis for ‘other than prescribed medicinal purpose’ so strictly regulated and with such a level of taxation, that discourages commercial abuse?

  8. charjoy September 29, 2017 at 8:54 am

    @Andrew Simpson good analysis but AG aint dealing with nuttin so. He was looking at the bretheren with great disdain and scorn….like why are you proletariat talking to me to-the-manor-born Adriel Brathwaite? Pompous dotard. Gotta luv politicians

  9. kk September 29, 2017 at 9:08 am

    i see how he looking at the men but respect is due to the Rastafarian community, men don’t back down, look how they looking back at him, says to me “Yeah we hey, we got something to say, you plan to listen or just watch me cause you don’t like de hair on we head? Listen people, nobody is legalizing marijuana in barbados, study it? What would the police do then? Who would the harrass? Who house would they go to at 3 in de morning,without a warrant to beat bout? At the end of the day the people tell themselves they have to give the police something to do and running bout behind people for smoking a lil spliff is the order of their day.

  10. Jennifer September 29, 2017 at 10:01 am

    All this blah blah bout a house negro – until we as a black people realize who is in control we will always fall short of the chair. Only, and only when the white man has legalized and is in FULL control (money) of this substance will any change occur. The benefits will be revealed and a full monopoly will be already gotten. e.g Alcohol, Msg, cigarettes, Amphetamines. tobacco, narcotics, opiates, pharmaceuticals etc.

  11. Alex Alleyne September 29, 2017 at 10:40 am

    You 2 guys watch too many times the 1967 movie “THE LOVE-INS”.

  12. Jennifer September 29, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I would like to know from these Rastafarians if Marijuana is legalized what would be their future ventures.

  13. Alex Alleyne September 29, 2017 at 11:06 am

    @Jennifer, they will own land grow weed and build a hut in the center and call it “THE LIVE-INS’.

  14. N. Payne September 29, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Legalize It! All progressive countries in the world moving forward with legalization. Get on board, Barbados.

  15. Ossie Moore! September 29, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Better be smoking a joint than selling ammo under the table! That round may be the one to take a life! I gone cuz!

  16. bobo September 29, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Ref to the above–Democracy equal-laws are created and implemented to be respected —the Attorney General is there to respect the laws–if the Rastafarians ideology is against the state laws –the prison is always there –why should loyal Tax Payers accommodate Rastafarians ideology–my opinion Rastafarians are a disgrace to human dignity.

    • Jennifer September 29, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      @bobo – I see your point in reference to the law. But to say that Rastafarians are a disgrace to human dignity is somewhat harsh. The disgrace is being effeminate and in Christianity. At least these me recognize THEIR ROOTS and the 12 tribes of ISRAEL and the lion of Judah. Not in some pale azz edomite, and living in share pshch bondage.

  17. bobo September 29, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Ref to the above–Democracy equal-laws are created and implemented to be respected —the Attorney General is there to respect the laws–if the Rastafarians ideology is against the state laws –the prison is always there –why should loyal Tax Payers accommodate Rastafarians ideology.

    • charjoy September 29, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      I bet you bobo aint got the guts to identify yourself and mek that statement. Fraud!

  18. Alex Alleyne September 29, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Barbados done flooded with “Rum-drinkers” and that is bad , now you 2 want to flood the Island with “Dope-smokers”. We are going down hill, you all should use that same energy and try to stop the slide.
    You guys will pay attention when you all have to “FOOT YOUR OWN HEALTH BILL”.
    Cos you know they will “Boost Potency” time after time.

    • Jennifer September 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      @Alex I see what u mean but to go a little deeper, there needs to be a grip on the benefits of this plant if there is any. This is where we as a people will begin to STALL as this requires research, trials, testings, etc i.e pharmaceutical investment. This is why nothing can be done until whitey takes this lead and monopolize e.g phizer, glaxo Smith kline, Novartis, biocon etc. This is where the education of this people comes up short leaving this people at the bottom of the ladder.

  19. Helicopter(8P) September 30, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I see that non-traveller; closed minded; contributed their one sidedness to a style of living and practice on a democratic way of life that Barbados was surposed to be. I would wonder if the same persons were to visit or live in Amsterdam or Morroco would they insinuate or advise? As we have seen middle management in the Royal Barbados Police Force had been engaged in mallicous theft of ammunisions; where our very own leaders of law and order could have been eliminated covertly. I pray, that good will over comith evil!


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