MP for Bain and Grants Town Travis Robinson.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAIN and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson criticized the country’s marijuana laws Friday night and appeared to express support for some form of marijuana decriminalization.
He was speaking during the final night of the Free National Movement’s youth convention hosted by the Torchbearers Association.
He said: “When I think about my brothers on the blocks and on the streets in our inner city communities who are taken before the courts for being in possession of small ounces of marijuana, it causes me to pause and wonder what about their futures. I understand their struggle and I’ve lived their frustration. Smoking a joint should not make you a criminal and it sure doesn’t make you a murderer. Our current laws on marijuana cause unnecessary confrontations between decent young people and police. A country should not throw a 16 year old behind bars for being caught with a joint, only for him to be released a year and a half later with a police record that says 'in possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply.' Now he can’t get a job, can’t get a visa, can’t travel, and can’t take care of his family. The government has set up a commission to examine these laws. I eagerly await its findings. I say to the constituents of Bain and Grants Town that I will be a passionate voice of reform on this issue.”
The Minnis administration formed a commission in 2018 to examine marijuana issues in the country. The commission’s report will cover five areas: the medical use of cannabis such as the treatment of diseases and side-effects; the economic and industrial use of cannabis be it for paper, alternative plastics, concrete, biofuels or other uses; the religious and ceremonial use of cannabis for the Rastafarian community or other communities that may use it as part of their ceremonies; the recreational use of cannabis, including potency edibles and tourism; and regulatory issues related to age restriction and legislation.
Progressive Liberal Party leaders Philip “Brave” Davis and Chester Cooper have, in varying degrees, come out in support of marijuana decriminalisation. But among members of the governing party, only Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine has previously expressed support for decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.