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Churches Hold Firm Against Marijuana

THE Bahamas Christian Council does not support plans for a marijuana or a hemp industry, saying this is not the solution for the country’s woes.

The body released a statement days after Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced that his administration will begin the expungement of records of those convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana next year.

Dr Minnis also said the government is reviewing the possible legalisation of the hemp industry and will update the public on this after further consultation. Last week, it was also revealed that the Economic Recovery Committee has recommended that up to two ounces of marijuana be made legal for personal use, after similar suggestions were made by the Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana.

In response, BCC said it is all too familiar with the devastating effects the sale, distribution and consumption of marijuana has had in the community. The group called for more consultation with religious leaders before any changes are made to the law, noting that Dr Minnis has not invited BCC or the church for consultation on the issue.

“We have seen first-hand the physical, emotional and mental damage this drug has had on the lives of countless families, leaving in its path a trail of destruction of homes, property and most importantly human lives,” BCC said in a statement.

“Schools as well as social workers have also struggled to cope and manage the anti-social behaviour of students within our school system who have been determined to use marijuana on an either frequent or infrequent basis. Reports are that young people using marijuana often struggle with attendance, missing countless days and hours of school and the ability to focus in class is a daily battle and more devastating are reports of physical confrontations with teachers and other students.

“Coupled with many other serious issues that the country is facing in recent times, including but not limited to, ongoing criminal activity such as murders that have included a number of innocent children, the impact of Hurricane Dorian and more recently the invasion of COVID-19, we like many Bahamians were a little surprised that the prime minister and his government would decide to still press forward with matters relating to marijuana when there are so many other more important matters that need addressing. We were equally taken aback by the recent announcement that the government was also considering introducing a ‘hemp Industry’ here in the Bahamas.

“The Bahamas Christian Council believes that marijuana or the introduction of a hemp industry is simply not the solution that the country is seeking or needs to address our many woes. We can also see no societal or national advantage with the proposals submitted to the Government by the Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana.”

The BCC said no law should be changed in this regard until there is a nationwide comprehensive consultation process.

“It is also worthy to acknowledge that the prime minister has not mentioned, invited or sought to date any consultation with the Bahamas Christian Council or the church within the country on the above stated matters,” the group said.

“We have found that much too often church leaders and their members are pursued and courted by politicians especially when a general election is near, but we equally recognise the distance and treatment the church is given once political aspirants are successful.

“It is our belief that if the influence of the church is valued in pursuit of high office then equally the influence and the input of the church on important social matters regarding marijuana, should have been sought before being placed before the Parliament.”

The group urged the government to meet with social stakeholders as well as families affected by the drug before passing any laws. It also urged officials to consider the impact easing marijuana restrictions will have on the country’s “already fragile social and economic conditions”.

Comments

K4C 1 month ago

I am old enough to remember when the churches wanted to BAN certain records and movies in Nassau, interesting how times have NOT changed

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joeblow 1 month ago

... yet look at how morally bankrupt we are as a people. High rates of single parent homes, crime, increasing levels of sexual perversion and STD's in both youth and adults, skyrocketing drug and alcohol abuse, an intellectually dumbed down society and the list goes on. All because we refuse to be more morally disciplined.

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DWW 1 month ago

if you believe that the "For-profit Church" cares 2 hoots about morality... well you sir are a lost soul. If you are a so called "Christian" and are in favour of ruining a young man's or young woman's life with a criminal record as a result of the simple act of smoking a little harmless joint then you sir are THE PROBLEM. How much do you fleece from your flock every week?

Perhaps the immorality to which you speak is a direct result of the so called "Christian Values" of these profitable churches? The congregation watch the holy man on the pulpit pontificate on morality and then turn around and steam up the car windows on go slow bend - what is the congregation to think? As usual, Do as I Say, Not as I Do right? The BCC has no right to determine what is moral or what is not. The BCC lost that reputability a long time. and now the BCC is losing its relevance as Generation Millenium questions the worth and the benefit of giving away their hard earned paycheck so the preacher can drive lexus and give his sweetheart a new car too. Go read the bible again.

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joeblow 1 month ago

... you conflate unrelated issues. The law is the law, it doesn't matter if it is the law of men or God. When a person break the law, there are consequences. When we break moral law, we have moral problems. When we break civil law we have societal problems. If a person does not want a consequence, they should not break the law. Keeping the law is an issue of personal responsibility and nothing more. But if you like our country as it currently is, then people should just keep doing what they are and blame others, simple!

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K4C 1 month ago

now apply your theory to the political arena

back to you

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DWW 1 month ago

go back to sleep grandpa. so called "Christians" advocating for young men and women to go to jail when instead what is needed is a "Christian' approach of understanding, forgiving, helping and healing. The gangs of nassau get their funding from illegal activity like the black market. you take away the black market by making it legal and you take away the funding of the gangs. take away the money you take away the power of the gangs. These "Christians' know full well that young boys and girls turn to gangs for support when they lack it form their homes. The BCC is a dinosaur that is dying out losing relevance. Look at how "Christian" big business churches are. go back to sleep grandpa.

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DWW 1 month ago

Did the BCC ever consider that perhaps the use of narcotics is the end result and not the cause?

And why is the BCC not campaigning for another prohibition of alcohol? gambling?

Guess what the cost of a little maryjane is per week? maybe $10 or $15. Guess how much a person typically spends on numbers a week? $50 to $100. Maybe your efforts are misguided BCC. a gambling addiction is far more damaging to the family than a little green.

Are they really just worried that they will lose the lucrative tithes from the congregation who might end up going to a rastafarian church instead?

And why does the BCC not believe that a person can be responsible for their own actions? go read a book.

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banker 1 month ago

LOL. The more that is spent on legal marijuana, the less ends up in the collection plate at church. Maybe it's the marijuana that adds clarity to not giving money to those psalm-singing donkey charlatans -- men in dresses. Did Jesus ever take up a collection? Nope. He fed 5000 people loaves and fishes, from his own pocket -- er bag of magic tricks.

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Comrade Banker, still living off the colony?
Whilst there is no mention of Jesus having passed around the collection plates, wouldn't there still have to have been money sources for the scriptural mention of the moneybag carried around by Judas, and don't we all know em's' character makeup - befitting for bagman's?

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mandela 1 month ago

For thousands of years, from the beginning of time marijuana was being used whether it was smoked or drank as a tea or used in edibles, this was not discovered by Christopher Columbus, this was created by GOD ALMIGHTY, from in the beginning, you sow a seed and it grows, it does not kill so it must help in some ways. EVERYTHING CREATED BY GOD IS RIGHTEOUS So BCC if you guys have a problem please go and take it up with GOD ALMIGHTY the CREATOR and leave his people alone.

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proudloudandfnm 1 month ago

NO CONSULTATION WITH RELIGIOUS LEADERS PLEASE!

Thank you...

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