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A Comic's View: Marijuana – If We Legalise It, We Must Also Decriminalise It

By INIGO 'NAUGHTY' ZENICAZELAYA

I have long stated that the barbershop is one of the last bastions of free speech.

My theory was proven correct on my last visit. When I ended up in quite the spirited debate, regarding the legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana.

It’s working, Portugal and Uruguay, are two successful models that can be drawn upon for input, along with the USA.

All I’m simply saying is, if we take that step as a nation, to legalise and decriminalise marijuana, we must do our prior due diligence, to ensure the move is beneficial to all involved on multiple levels.

And, of course, no legalisation without the appropriate decriminalisation.

The two must go hand in hand, there can’t be one and not the other.

Let’s look at the US model. (Why not? We copy cat everything else they do as a nation.)

Here are states with legal recreational marijuana:

  1. Alaska
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Oregon
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Nevada
  7. Washington

Here are states with medical marijuana:

  1. Alaska
  2. Arizona
  3. Arkansas
  4. California
  5. Colorado
  6. Connecticut
  7. Delaware
  8. Florida
  9. Hawaii
  10. Illinois
  11. Maine
  12. Maryland
  13. Massachusetts
  14. Michigan
  15. Minnesota
  16. Montana
  17. Nevada
  18. New Hampshire
  19. New Jersey
  20. New Mexico
  21. New York
  22. North Dakota
  23. Oregon
  24. Pennsylvania
  25. Rhode Island
  26. Vermont
  27. Washington

So if we look at the USA, we can have the best of both worlds, recreational and medical usage.

Take for example Bahamian youth no longer facing travel bans, lingering police records, unemployment, etc., for being caught with minor amounts of marijuana.

Decriminalisation on small recreational amounts is long overdue.

A good model of this is the District of Columbia, which decriminalised recreational marijuana, making it legal for residents to carry up to two ounces of cannabis and own six plants.

However, it’s still illegal to purchase pot in the District, or to be found in possession of amounts over the legal limits.

(Rastafarians in The Bahamas would love this, they do it now allegedly, but it would finally be legal.)

The legalisation of recreational marijuana gives rise to a whole new economy surrounding the sale of cannabis, oils, lotions, edibles and paraphernalia.

Medicinally, medical marijuana is legal in 27 states in America, just as there is a market there, we have one here, countless Bahamians suffer from various maladies from :

AIDS (HIV) & AIDS Wasting

Alzheimer’s Disease

Arthritis

Asthma / Breathing Disorders

Cancer / Nausea

Crohn’s / Gastrointestinal Disorders

Epilepsy / Seizures

Glaucoma

Hepatitis C

Migraines

Multiple Sclerosis / Muscle Spasms

Pain / Analgesia

Psychological Conditions

Tourette Syndrome

Terminally Ill

So, moving forward, we truly must as a nation, objectively look at the pros and cons of the entire matter, and the beneficial effect it could have on so many levels locally, if we decriminalised medical and recreational marijuana.

Not to mention the lucrative benefits financially and socially of legalizing marijuana, as well as its positive affect on the crime and murder rates.

Until next week, be safe, I’m off to catch “Pineapple Express” on Netflix. How ironic!

Comments

John 6 months, 4 weeks ago

FACTS: if it is legalized it automatically becomes decriminalized. But the reason they don’t want to do either is because this country continues to support the US in its attempts to send every little Black boy to jail and get him criminal record that he must carry on his shoulder for the rest of his life. Many Bahamian police officers don’t realize the consequences of their actions when they grab a little Black boy and put him before for a joint when America is selling over $13 Billion in ‘legalized ‘ marijuana every year. And Marvin Dames bring in the black hawk helicopters to launch assaults on his own people. Assaults that make international headlines saying the Bahamas is a drug trafficking nation. But we get mad at the state department when they issue travel warnings against this country. But you are the one who took them on the drugs raids and posted pics of 10 year old marijuana on the front page of your newspaper! When will this comedy end? Think Bahamians think!

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Chucky 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Oh the old argument about new economic benefits of legalization. That’s a farce, if that’s your argument why not legalize everything? And if people presumably are buying and using now, the economic benefits already exist.

We have enough problems from legal alcohol , why do we want to ad more?

When will the moral decline stop.

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John 6 months, 4 weeks ago

First of all legalizing or even decrimilizing marijuana cannot reverse the damage that was done by making the substance not only illegal, but a schedule 1 drug and using that law to send many young Black and Hispanic men to jail for long periods of time and giving them criminal records that handicapped them for life. At least not in a lifetime. Secondly a lot of marijuana available on the street today is not a natural substance, but a product that has been altered and genetically modified, probably with most of the medical benefits removed and its addictive properties enhanced along with other negative effects. Some people have become zombies who live only to smoke. At least decrimilizing marijuana will allow persons access to the natural plant and force much of the harmful and dangerous modified intentionally developed products off the market. China has developed and sells artificial marijuana which is actually bath salts and is very dangerous because not only does it cause users to hallucinate but cause medical issues that include complete kidney failure. And there are strains of marijuana being sold that are up to 100 times more potent than natural marijuana.

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Schemer18 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Tell these people to go & sit down about decriminalising marijuana. Bahamians like to ride on stupidity, & they never create any educational findings on their country, but to adopt to other countries bad habits.

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Giordano 6 months, 3 weeks ago

This place need to deal with a bunch of issues, and priorities need to be acknowledged by the authorities elected to solve those issues of great public concerns. Currently,we have an increasing amount of children (boys & girls),adolescents or young adults deambuland or walking wild on the streets of a high numbers of local neighborhoods really SOCIALLY EXCLUDED by the government failure of holding a proper public program to RESCUE them from further damage and abuse from the concky-joe local community which is reclutting them into "the wrongdoing" like using abandon houses as head quarters to collect or store stolen items like car's batteries, radios,also using and selling illegal drugs and getting involve in unlawful sex with other minor girls. We already have "social services" , Ministry of education, Ministry of health,Ministry of housing,Tourist Police among several other institutions,some of them private and international like UNICEF and WHO which could work TOGETHER and RESCUE those SOCIALLY EXCLUDED BAHAMIAN YOUNGSTERS.

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Chucky 6 months, 3 weeks ago

why is everyone always asking for more laws, different laws, changes by government etc etc Cant we see that the more they have legislated, and the more they have changed things, the worse it has gotten. If we could have 1 wish, I'd wish for the undoing of so many things done since independence...

Everything government touches gets worse.

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