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:
Here are states with medical marijuana:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
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
Asthma / Breathing Disorders
Cancer / Nausea
Crohn’s / Gastrointestinal Disorders
Epilepsy / Seizures
Multiple Sclerosis / Muscle Spasms
Pain / Analgesia
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!