Bishop Hanchell denounces marijuana decriminalisation


Tribune Staff Reporter


BISHOP Walter Hanchell has denounced marijuana decriminalisation, saying it will cause moral destruction, a spike in criminal activity and greater social ills.

“The decriminalisation of marijuana and legalisation for medicinal use is all about the mighty dollar, money,” he said in a statement by Citizens for Justice Bahamas. It is not clear how many people are a part of the group. “Marijuana is a mind-altering drug and not food or a product to be sold in our stores. Proponents for the legalisation of recreational marijuana have been sharing their version while advocates wait in the wings to invest in their pot shops. The government is looking at income that may be derived from taxes on this drug.”

Bishop Hanchell wants a national education programme on marijuana “before the findings for the Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana’s Report is debated in Parliament”.

The BNCM recommends decriminalisation of up to one ounce of marijuana, according to its draft preliminary report leaked to the media.

As part of its work, the BNCM surveyed Bahamians’ views through several town-hall meetings. Nonetheless, Bishop Hanchell said: “We will not allow the government to ram this down our throats as was done by the former PLP administration after losing the gambling referendum. It is our request that the government of the Bahamas conduct widespread public consultation and nationally broadcasted town meetings in each constituency. Speakers will debate the pros and cons of marijuana use. The views of the people should be heard before parliamentarians begin debate in the House of Assembly.”

Bishop Hanchell said he is awaiting the position and recommendations of the Bahamas Christian Council on this matter.

Council president Bishop Delton Fernander said Monday he will refrain from commenting until the official report of the marijuana commission is released.

“Everything America and Europe does, our leaders somehow believe that they are obligated to follow,” Bishop Hanchell said. “They have no vision for a prosperous, godly and safe Bahamas. We do not need to follow the crowd, nor should we as a nation allow ourselves to be bullied or intimidated by the United Nations, the European Union, the United States of America or any of their agencies. The Bahamas must truly remain a sovereign nation under God and different from other nations.”

“What the Bahamas needs now more than anything else are leaders who care and have a heart for the people. We need leaders who are smart enough to understand that they are servants of the people and not their masters. May God give us wise, humble and caring leaders with courage and integrity in the church and in government.”


Chucky 4 years, 6 months ago

He will so right! What good will come from this?

Profits for those connected people who get the production and sales license?

How is that good or worth it.

TheMadHatter 4 years, 6 months ago

This is why we remain in the dark ages. This is why we've only had 4 prime ministers in 46 years of "independence." This is why cancer patients and others suffering from seizures in this country just continue to suffer. This is why we have so many YOUNG people in our prisons whose lives are being ruined simply by being there (mentally and physically) and also from their now lifelong "criminal" record. This is why the population simply accepts year and year a D average from our schools.

Where do people like this Bishop come from?

You've just got to LOVE the position stated by the Christian Council ... "...will refrain from commenting until the official report of the marijuana commission is released." Reminds me of Luke 5:17, when the Pharisees stood by waiting to see if Jesus would heal the man on the Sabbath day and thus break the "law". Pathetic.


momoyama 4 years, 6 months ago

My friend if you think having 4 Prime Ministers in 46 years is a bad thing, consider this: Singapore has had 3 in 55 years, while Latin America has had on average 20. The stability of longserving governments is one reason the Bahamas and Barbados are the most developed black countries in human history in human development terms Or maybe you would prefer to move to one of those other paradises which have had multiple leaders unable to consolidate a single development policy.

hrysippus 4 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if this bishop likes to eat chocolate or candy. Does he realise how many thousands of people die each year from diabetes complications, a disease most often caused by an excessive consumption of the pure white and deadly, sugar? We must ban sugar imports not marijuana growing. Very few, if any at all, people die from ingesting this plant.

joeblow 4 years, 6 months ago

... it was recently reported that almost 25% of those discharged from Sandilands were for marijuana related concerns. Zero percent of those discharged related to sugar consumption!

The Bahamas has long ceased to be a country that leads, we have become a nation of mindless followers of fads and trends!

DWW 4 years, 6 months ago

great comparison there. numbers are wonderful arent they? 125 people out of sandilands vs. 52,000 people suffering from Diabetes in the Bahamas

joeblow 4 years, 6 months ago

... @DWW, the point quite simply was that if marijuana was so harmless those discharges from Sandilands should not even exist. BTW,its a pretty well known fact that eating sugar does not cause diabetes (the causes are usually multi-factorial) !!

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 6 months ago

Concerns hey? What a croc....

xtreme2x 4 years, 6 months ago


DrP 4 years, 6 months ago

Why is it that when the issue of cannabis arises, that the media trots out some nobody, self-proclaimed "moral Christian"to tell us all how it should be. There is absolutely no evidence that this man shooting off his uninformed mouth, that deviance, or negative effects arise from the legalization of cannabis. Simply get off your indolent posterior and look at the research results. Those legalized jurisdictions have not befallen to torrents of Godless sin and abandonment. Our friend Bishop Hanchell seems to be living in some villa in the sky, unable to see through the clouds onto reality beneath. Such hubristic, antediluvian, and ersatz moralistic philosophies permeate and percolate at the top. Witness the the same phony nonsense spewed out by the lemming, pensioner politicos who represent themselves/parties, not their constituents. Why would anyone want to visit the Bahamas when there is the threat of being arrested for, are you ready for it, "Dangerous Drugs". I believe in Science, not hurtful, dark Christian dogma.

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 6 months ago

It's always the same BS argument from the proponents of marijuana legalization. They simply point to other harmful ingested products, e.g. alcohol, tobacco, etc., as the basis for allowing the infliction on our ailing society of yet another most harmful product. As if we don't already have enough people living among us who can't think straight and behave as if they are brain-dead. There's loads of medical research evidencing that the genetically modified strains of marijuana grown today essentially fry the mind forever with no cure. Just look at what highly concentrated genetically engineered THC in large doses is known to do to lab animals. One would be better off as a snorting cocaine addict. This is all about money for a greedy government and the select favoured few in our society who undoubtedly will be smart enough never to ingest the stuff themselves or permit their children to do so.

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 6 months ago

Do you have a book of false facts you refer to for your "arguments"?


Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 6 months ago

Clear the pot fog from your head...if you can...and do your own research using reputable web sites.

CaribCreed_Bahamas 4 years, 6 months ago

If you think cannabis is dangerous, try the residual effects of colonialism. Respectfully, the 'Bishop' need to spend more time reading about cannabis and science + Capitalism, belief systems and slavery about the dangers of white bleached sugar, rice, flour, about salt, fat and high fructose corn syrup... and alcohol.

Chucky 4 years, 6 months ago

Idiots who support this!

Have a look at the statistics and increases in use in Canada now that it’s legal

banker 4 years, 6 months ago

No impact on crime at all in Canada.

Cannabis legalization has had little impact on crime, disorder: Calgary city police


tom1912 4 years, 6 months ago

So does deadly night shade [Bella Donna], So does the Fox Glove [Digitalis] They both contain deadly toxins yet if controlled and processed and used carefull benefit humanity. If cannabis is treated the same as the above all well and good with its byproducts

It is without doubt and has been proved that over use of cannabis over a long period, especially the skunk variety, results in psychosis along with psychotic episodes! Most certainly in developing brains of the young. Notwithstanding that those smoking it mixed with tabbaco with potassium soaked papers who inhale deeply, [ Greater than an ordinary tobacco smoker] expose themselves to major lung, cardiac and stroke problems.

So it is worth dwelling on the matter of Cannabis and for the Bahamas not rush in any "foolishness" :-) based on the biases of vested interests never mind religious uses, after all Haile Selassie did not take cannabis in any form so it's all BS from the Rastafarians!

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 6 months ago

What a croc of nanny.

Especially the skunk variety????

Where do you get this crap???

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 6 months ago

No need to identify yourself as a heavy pot smoker. LMAO

tom1912 4 years, 6 months ago

Not from ignorant and head in the sand people such as yourself, the facts are out there, so when your body is clear of the residuals of cannabis. [ Yes unlike cocaine and heroine it stays in the body for a considerable time] you may be clear of mind enough to actually look at the research and learn something :-p

TalRussell 4 years, 6 months ago

I personally thought there was much promise back in 2019 when colony's government announced funding for an enterprising body of youths to become tomorrow's Bee Growers - but whatever came of all the excitement surround funding this new decade of locally cultivated bee healing products? Didn't government at that time not at time also announce that they had already sponsored some dozen students learn craft Bee Growers? Likes does Cannabis, Bees too can produce mystical healing powers. Also, colony has opportunities train cannabis and Bees specialized registered nurses for new medical services career opportunities. So many progression opportunities waits those who for all right reasons, become involved with Cannabis and Bees.

DWW 4 years, 6 months ago

so lets continue to young men and women behind bars for smoking a little grass! it cost your/us taxpayers big time money to house and feed these henious pot smoking criminals. I would bet money that Henchell along with all the pundits above have a real reason to oppose the liberalization. I would put good money down that the biggest opponents of this are the one with the most to lose, like big liquor sellers, bar owners, the corner hustler. And i would bet good money that the people making the most money from it being illegal have paid Henchel to say this. Consider the persons involved in the illegal pot racket, they would lose their very lucrative incomes. Guess what! if you take away the cash incentive to smuggle and sell illegal drugs you get rid of the gang problem. simple economics people. Next thing they are going to make aspirin a perscription schedule drug... the insanity.

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 6 months ago

And while we're at it, why don't we legalize violent crime in order to prevent so many of our young men and women from being locked up behind bars. LMAO

joeblow 4 years, 6 months ago

... maybe some nonviolent crimes like housebreaking where you steal less than 5 items or stealing by reason of employment where less than $5000 is stolen and other such "petty" first time crimes should also be decriminalized as well.

tom1912 4 years, 6 months ago

If you have been a recipient of such behaviour, seeing the fruits of your labour being stolen, vandalised by some low life SOB and you don't mind, go for it! It's the slippery road to an uncivilised society. In the end a good education and good parenting are the key!

bogart 4 years, 6 months ago

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is well known for old tried and used " bush" remedies.

Regretably, these "bush" remedies, elixers etc. with vast potential seems to be untapped until some some foreign entities develop industry.

Fever grass-fever, headache,eczema, acne, Cerasee-digestion, fever, pain relief, Breadfruit-leaves- high blood pressure, diabetes, Neem already in established production in Abaco, many more....vast potential to take local "bush" remedies etc from 10% to 100% development, jobs, profits.

sealice 4 years, 6 months ago

He's just mad like all the other religous leaders at the fact that Bahamians are acting on their own and not looking to the church ( and it's book of lies (really any real historial facts in there??))for advice....., Most of the religous supposed leaders are terrified of open minded and free willed Bahamianas, They know the government of the Bahamas has only given the people a rudimentary (lucky if u and YA "D" could read....) education so for a lot of reasons the general populace does need guidance....just in the right direction.

Icelaverne 4 years, 6 months ago

Most organizations require pre-employment drug screen for marijuana and several other drugs before employed and even to satisfy regulations. Should marijuana be legalized , not only would Pandora box be opened.. so would Pandora TRUNK... Most companies mandate a negative marijuana screen before an individual begins employment, but if it is legal according to the government laws, I foresee individuals not being employed, if they ever test positive. Then we will wait for the first test case.... Businesses have a right to hire, fire and create their own policy/procedures that governs their operations. I am sure no one wants a "High as a kite MD" performing a gastrectomy....

JackArawak 4 years, 6 months ago

A lot of uniformed people out there. The same people who believe you'll be "tossed in a lake of fire and burn forever''.....can't take them too seriously. Legalizing will not create a rush of new smokers, people who want to smoke already do so. Colorado has been legal for 5 years now, society is fine, millions in taxes have been raised and teen use is down.

DWW 4 years, 6 months ago

well god already smote Abaco and Grand Bahama for its lack piety. We wouldn't want to risk being smote again for smoke.

DWW 4 years, 6 months ago

How many of these opponents commenting are employed by the liquor industry the pharmaceutical industry or the gambling industry or big business prison or lawyers who make lots of money off of putting people behind bars or getting them out from behind bars.

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