PM tells police to give weed users a break

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne has told police officers that he doesn’t expect them to continue incriminating marijuana users in light of government’s intention to decriminalise the drug.

Amendments to the Misuse of Drug Act are now before a joint select committee of the Parliament after its first, second and third readings in the Lower House.

The new law will allow individuals to legally have in their possession up to 10 grams of weed.

But even as the law is pending, Browne said he expects the attitude of law enforcement to the use of marijuana to change.

Speaking on his privately-owned radio station Pointe FM over the weekend the prime minister said, “I want to signal to the members of the police force, in the interim that they desist from incriminating individuals.”

He said this is “because the government has made its policy very clear. Even though the law has not been changed, at least they must respect the intent and to give those who use marijuana a break.”

He urged the police “not to take a puritanical position that we have not passed the law yet and therefore they have the right to incriminate these people. What we are trying to do is make sure that no one has a criminal record as a result of the use of marijuana.”

The prime minister expects that the decriminalisation of marijuana will take place “within a matter of weeks” and will also “wipe the records clear of every single Antigua and Barbudan who would have been convicted for the use of marijuana.”

The law is expected to limit smoking to people 18 years and older and smoking will not be permitted in public places.

The government also intends to embark on a public education campaign “to dissuade” marijuana use.

Prime Minister Browne said once the drug is decriminalised the question of supply must also be urgently addressed.

“If you going to facilitate the use, then the whole issue of the supply needs to be taken into consideration which means that at some point we need to look at the possibility of allowing for some controlled amounts in terms of marijuana plants being grown, at least to provide the supply. Failing this you will be importing marijuana plants from overseas.”

“I am of the view that there are certain individuals within the community who have been growing marijuana for many years to make a living. I am also of the view that if they didn’t have access to those proceeds many of them will be criminal elements in the society, hotting up the place. So why not provide them with licenses to grow marijuana on a controlled basis  so that they can continue to earn a living and to do so legally while at the same time supplying the demand to supply up to the ten grams.”

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23 COMMENTS

  1. The Prime Minister did not say that oh Lord me belly hot me.You all stop lying on the world boss.He is so prim and proper.laugh out very hard till all you belly bust.

  2. He is a crazy how can he tell the police what to do and the law has not been past these young people going smoke it like crazy hope they plan to built a another crazy house well one thing i can say now the police will past them straight now no need to even look at these young people any more weather not if they have big bag a week let them do what they want and let see what happen next

  3. Hmmm Antigua wants to lead the way here amongst the Caribbean nations, but at what cost? Yes I see the tourist dollar increasing mucho but I am very nervous about this move. We were taught in Caribbean social studies marijuana is a gate way drug… So do we start rewriting the texts and revise the wording to say ohhhh only if you use more than so many grams… Courting trouble much?

      • A lot of education is BS really. We need to learn to open our minds and not be conditioned to simply accept things just because it is what we were taught. There is a lot to life that our mindset prevents us from ever accessing or knowing.

  4. Yal acting crazy, do people in Antigua look out on the outside world? First thing first decriminalization makes no sense because all that says is that u can have 10 grams on you but where is the weed coming from? all it does is provide to a black market, the initiative should be legalization with ABST being applied on Marijuana so that the country can benefit and a controlled market being put in place.
    Second there are many places in the world who have legalized Marijuana and no people didn’t start going crazy the next day, fun fact Marijuana is actually an anti-psychotic compound. What the people need are the facts and to be educated.

  5. The HEMP Industry is the Green Industry, of the future of huenanity.
    The ‘female’ plant, of a particular species of the HEMP family of plants, the one which produces THC, is a plant well revered for centuries. She is despised, for her ability to soothe, and that she does.
    The remaining males, hermaphrodites, females, of other species are useful in everything, from the finest of silk cloth, to canvas used on yachts, schooners and the likes; oils for healing, massages, cosmetics; lumber(would come in quite handy, right about now, to help rebuild Barbuda); hempcrete – tensile and compressed strength, equals that of concrete, in many cases, yet very green and environmentally friendly…FOOD, medicine…ask why CANADA and America are in a race, to control the PATENTED products….ECONOMICS….ECONOMICS…. did somebody say, HEMP is one of the highest trading commodity in all WORLDS

  6. Then we wonder y the country is so lawless. How can the prime minister declare that the officers should not do their job bcuz there is an intent to change the law? That’s like saying that if they were willing Barbuda Council could sell title deeds in Barbuda before the law is enacted. So really n truly anything the PM says is automatically law n needs no legislation.

  7. @ vere Edwards well said w/o knowledge about something u will only fall victim to propaganda…alcohol is legal and very dangerous but it seems like the fact tht its legal we turn a blind eye to the dangers we hv under age drinking on a high in this country,but all these ppl who’s illiterate to the God giving plant all they can think about is tht everybody gonna be smoking…when there are so many use to this wonder plant

  8. I am so stunned at all the comments in relation to marijuana, is this another political gymnastic to get the votes of the Rastafarian community. No one said that smoking marijuana makes any one crazy, but statistics have shown that people who use marijuana have really serious problems, particularly those who smoke it on a daily basis. Lord Have Mercy, What next are they going to give way to

    • Three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. I don’t know what statistics you have but you may need to dig deeper. And also ponder why the world itself is moving in this direction generally. Could it be because the previous “science” on the matter was not true?

    • Can you provide a credible link to these statistics please. The most recent research on the matter actually proves the opposite.

  9. Firstly, the PM Garbage Browne as usual is spewing crap again. If you would remember when he gave praises to Minister Yearwood a few weeks ago, he made it clear that yearwood and I quote “was an investor and was not sitting around like them people on their butts smoking ganja (marijuana)”. to that effect. I was there with hundreds and some of our Rasta brothers felt disrespected and even the boys pon the corner when he made that statement. it was like who the hell or what he talking about?

    This lead most of us to start to believe and follow in PM Garbage. He has a mental issue, and we want to believe that he is mixing mary-jane with either cemetery dust or sour-sop bush when he puffing. No body can say one thing a few weeks ago and then come say something different a few weeks later unless they puffing something out of the norm.

    You can check it out for yourselves, it was either VC Bird Day or somewhere around there when he made that derogatory statement.

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