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Legal Marijuana? No Time Soon

Health Minister Dr Duane Sands.

Health Minister Dr Duane Sands.

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands said yesterday the government is monitoring global trends in the decriminalisation and legalisation of marijuana, but doubted the Bahamas would “follow suit” in the immediate future.

However, in addressing the matter from both a personal and a professional standpoint, Dr Sands in an interview with The Tribune contended the Minnis administration would be “objective and open-minded” in its discussions on the issue.

This comes on the heels of National Security Minister Marvin Dames’ suggestion the Bahamas should consider decriminalising marijuana “at some point”.

Dr Sands said while there are many people who would advocate for the outright legalisation of marijuana, there needs to be a proper discourse on all the pros and cons related to the topic.

“Let’s watch how this thing play out and let’s pay attention to the pros and cons,” he told The Tribune.

“We have agreed that we are going to participate in the activities of CARICOM who has started to get the evidence of medical marijuana and we will participate in that discussion.”

Dr Sands continued: “When asked this question previously, I would have said the Bahamas is not likely to lead this discussion and so, I do not believe that the Bahamas will be the next dominoe to fall. I think it is very important that people look for the evidence and there is evidence for and against. I may have my own personal views, but when I speak, I speak for the Cabinet and the government of the Bahamas.

“And so, the measured commentary that the government of the Bahamas has, is that we are going to be conservative and that we are going to be objective and open-minded in terms of our change and approach to marijuana.”

Asked of his personal view on the topic, Dr Sands stated: “Minister Dames would have made some comments which I share and support that the idea of dramatic changes in the life of a young person because of possession of small quantities of marijuana, it is something that clearly we would not want to have life-altering implications.”

However, he said even if that view is adopted nationally, it would not result in a complete turnabout on the issue in the coming years.

Mr Dames on Wednesday told the Nassau Guardian that he is a “firm believer” those persecuted for possession of small amounts of marijuana should not face a life of ridicule.

The Mount Moriah MP also insisted that before the country can look to decriminalisation, the nation must consider a series of complex issues, including the drug’s medical implications.

To date, several US states have legalised marijuana for recreational and medical use.

Moreover, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to legalise marijuana across Canada by July 2018.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 1 week, 4 days ago

The actual information is out there. Benign with many medical benefits. Just legalize it and let me open my shop...

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TalRussell 1 week, 4 days ago

Comrades! Knows anyone in market with some cash buy new fleet drones?
What bummer. Legal marijuana under red shirts is not coming no time soon. And here I sits with all me licensing application paper work under preparation but I guess I won't be delivering me baked brownies by me fleet drones no time soon across the archipelago that makes up the 700 Out Islands and Cays da Bahamaland. Damn you red shirts.

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John 1 week, 4 days ago

Tal your dreams, though not yet legal, may not be as far fetch as you think. UBER has applied for licenses to operate air taxis. And the mode of transportation will be unmanned drones. These drones will take passengers across long distances either to their destinations or to closest stations, where they will continue on their journey via auto taxis. The first places these unmanned drones will operate is the United Arab Emirites and Dubai . Unmanned drones to deliver weed?

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baldbeardedbahamian 1 week, 4 days ago

the politicos see no need.................................. to legalize the weed,.............................................. they are happy using rum..................................... to make their brain cells numb.............................. Refuting Robert Nestor's creed............................

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bogart 1 week, 4 days ago

We don have ILLEGAL ....workers, ......haishuns, chinese...Jamaicans...migrants,.....electricity hook ups, ?...water hook up, .....illegal satellite hook up....dark tinted windows,.... license plates, ....taxi hackers, ....price goughers during hurricane, ....shanty towns.....illegal guns.....illegal businesses without license......fishing....illegal gtouper...illegal conch...illegallobster....boats....tiefing....murders....human smuggling ....hacking...illrgal cigarette smuggling ....sign boards...illegal money laundering....illegal conterfeit money.....former number houses ...business contracts ....etcetc....well mudda tek sic.....so what the big deal in having weed to settle the nerves from the rest of the other illegal stuff....

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jamaicaproud 1 week, 4 days ago

You never cease to utilize every chance to spit on Jamaicans. Don't you have anything better to do with your life?

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John 1 week, 4 days ago

When marijuana has become legal for some time authorities in the Bahamas will still be stopping vehicles and digging down in young men’s draws and socks for the ‘legal contraband ‘, because that’s what they do. But seriously standing by the comments of Barack Obama, while the possession of weed is becoming more tolerable and by fact ‘decriminalized ‘ to an extent, there should be no rush to legalize it. As he further stated, the minute Mary Jane becomes legal, companies toile the ones that now sell tobacco and alcohol will seek to commercialize it and make it a legal multi billion industry. That is when the harmful effects of cannabis will surface and outweigh the benefits of weed. There is already a significant drug and alcohol abuse problem in this country, especially among the young people. Every one seems to have a need to lose reality or get wasted. Several radio stations play songs that promote the use of opioids and Xanax, percaset, and Molly. Most definitely when these drugs are taken with marijuana and alcohol they not only change moods but change personalities. Young men become angry and violent and some young ladies become extremely friendly and generous with their bodies. And agree to with the good doctor that the marijuana cookie should be kept in the bag of other illegals for a while longer. BTW most herbalists agree that most of the benefits of marijuana do not come from smoking it.

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John 1 week, 4 days ago

"On November 8th at Web Summit in Lisbon, Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden used his full twenty minutes with thousands of journalists and tens of thousands of attendees to detail the company’s plans for … flying cars. Given the year Uber is experiencing, it might be understandable for Holden to try to divert attention away from some glaring issues. But Holden was deadly serious and added significant details to Uber’s previously announced plans to introduce a local air taxi service. Holden announced that Los Angeles will join Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai as pilot cities for the Uber Elevate service test in 2020. That’s the year that arrives in 25 months.

Uber Uber Elevate Concept Air Taxi

Uber is working with NASA and several aerospace and property development partners to get the pilot project off the ground. The schedule is no less aggressive than the pricing strategy Holden announced for the air taxi service: Uber Elevate will be price competitive with Uber X when it launches. That’s right: if your pick the right destination, you could ride in a VTOL aircraft for the same price as being ferried around in a hipster’s Prius."

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bogart 1 week, 4 days ago

Interesting to see taxis dodging Amazon drones carrying packages. But back to the topic will the taxis be flying to Colrado to buy weed.

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 4 days ago

Late again Bahamas. So tired of the backward people that determine our fate. Legalising cannabis is a no brainer. Do it and STFU. Keep your moral dilemmas to yourself. We want progress and modernity not theocrats!!!!

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Greentea 1 week, 4 days ago

We are going to be late again with this one- when we should be innovating in an industry we might actually know something about and might be able to compete effectively in the global marketplace. These fellas are cowards and jokers- The medical and legal fields are two of the most conservative visionless professions I have ever seen and they have led or rather mis-led the Bahamian economy for almost 50 years.

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mandela 1 week, 4 days ago

Call it Decriminalizing,call it what you want, the fact of the matter is that until we stop locking persons up, wasting time with police paper work, wasting court time,giving persons a criminal record, for a joint or even less, then expecting them to be productive e.g. get a job, when soon as employers ask these persons to bring their police record they never return for that job, they then go on the blocks and be idle, because we all need money to help us survive they then more than likely turn to stealing or robbing cause they wont be able to survive legally { a honest paying job) as an employee, this goes especially for the younger generation, the younger generation is/will more than likely experiment with marijuana. Given all the stress with life in the Bahamas i personally would rather they smoke than drink, My belief is one has a passive tendency reaction, the other has an aggressive tendency reaction, STOP MAKING CRIMINALS BECAUSE OF A JOINT P.S believe it or not: not only are the young people smoking marijuana but Doctors, Lawyers and Indian Chiefs too..

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happyfly 1 week, 4 days ago

A few weeks ago an American tourist was caught entering the country with over 5 grams of high grade medical marijuana that she had bought with a prescription in California. A Bahamian Judge tried to convince her that marijuana was a dangerous substance and after she disagreed he let her go, to enjoy the rest of her vacation here. I also know a young Bahamian that can never (ever) travel to the USA because a Bahamian judge charged him with possession of a dangerous substance (half a lousy joint) So you see the backwardness only applies to some and we all continue to let it roll.

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bogart 1 week, 4 days ago

Actually Freeport used to have a number of medical offices exploring new areas of medecine, cancer treatments and even recently stem cells studies. Grand Bahama would be ideal for any marijuana research, developments, strains for the medical area. Other noted producers from Freeport with qualified professionals Syntex, Franklyn, Gist etc.And coupled with the port as hub production, research and developments unlimited potential job creation. Other medical research areas should be in local bush teas, bush medicine, jelly fish material now used in drugs,natural sea salt with so many other minerals in it, etc and excellent to see BAIC selling natural sea salt and bottles of 21 Gun Salute made in the Bahamas.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 4 days ago

Legalizing marijuana is totally different from decriminalizing marijuana ...... we have de-criminalized alcohol and many white Bahamian families are multi-millionaires as a result of Bootlegging ......... Please just decriminalize marijuana so black Bahamian men won't be sent to Fox Hell Jail for one ounce of weed ......... Place on the law books a reasonable amount of weed that a person may possess (say half pound) and a number of trees a person may grow with a license (say two) for his/her personal use ......... but we must not make marijuana legal like Colorado or California ......... That is way, way out of control!!!!!! ......... But the growing of marijuana and trafficking of marijuana is so freely done in The Bahamas today, that it is a joke for politicians, lawyers and police to act as if Bahamians are "victims" of a big global drug trade.

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bogart 1 week, 4 days ago

Agree with you Sheeprunner on the charges for small amounts as a former AG said about signing nollie instead of having some tourist caught eith small amount having to come back for court. The volume of paperwork and time spent by lawofficials is much costly than a policeman having the power to or not to arrest or charge on a small amount. Medical marijuana is actually cultivated in many industrializrd countries for medically prescribed uses. I agree it is out of control judging fron the many arrests of bulk quantities. On the alcohol matter DrSands needs lo look into NIB iinvestment of shares in the alcohol company. While dividends and capital appreciation is good the end result of related medical treatment will outweigh it Police should have the authority for discretion on small amounts to manage what exists but relaxation should not be to the point of creating new users.

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TalRussell 1 week, 4 days ago

Comrades! Here's the reality: The same arguments calling for the decriminalization of marijuana apply to every drug, from hash to heroin. We need decriminalize All drugs, not just marijuana,,, but its good starting point to allow our policemans's, judges, and holy than thou politicians, preacherman's and citizens time to adjust to a new decriminalization of drugs Bahamaland.
Amen!

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John 1 week, 3 days ago

Another danger about marijuana is to convince officials that it is actually marijuana. Drug dealers are now steeping weed in hash oil, mixing it with indian hemp, sprinkling it with angel dust, lacing it with cocaine and even intentionally putting substances in the weed to give to persons who can't afford it and come begging. of course this substance sets them off, not unlike flakka and many go out of their heads. Sometimes one must wonder why there are so many variances in the taste of beer and stout brewed locally. Of course it is known fact that some people buy expired brew and erase the dates off the bottle and resell it. Then there are rumors that even the brewery sells off bad brews locally. And since there are no quality control inspectors, who is to say they do or don't and who is to stop them?

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proudloudandfnm 1 week, 1 day ago

John. Hash oil and Indian hemp are marijuana... lol...

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proudloudandfnm 1 week, 1 day ago

Say angel dust. Lol. Nothing like a 70s myth to make a good debate.. lol...

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