Commissioner: Marijuana still illegal - and you'll be locked up if caught with it

COMMISSIONER of Police Paul Rolle.

COMMISSIONER of Police Paul Rolle.

By Earyel Bowleg

Tribune Staff Reporter


COMMISSIONER of Police Paul Rolle made it clear on Friday those found with “dope” will get locked up until the law changes as possession of the substance is still illegal today.

His warning came after Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced on Wednesday that the government will next year begin expunging records of those convicted for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

While at Englerston Park, Mr Rolle emphasised the commissioner of police is answerable to the law and once the law is changed then one wouldn’t be criminal anymore.

“I believe that possession of marijuana, next year it’s still going to be illegal,'' the commissioner told reporters. “You have to look at what the recommendation says. It’s only specifics that will be exempted. It’s not that everybody will be able to go out and puff a joint - that will still be illegal.

“Once it reaches that point, parliament will of course have to pass legislation to amend the Dangerous Drug Act or create a new expungement act. Right now, we have the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. So I don’t know which course they are going to take but whatever I’m answerable to it.”

Earlier this year, the Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana recommended that possession of up to one ounce of the substance be decriminalised for people over 21. Recently, the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) recommended that up to two ounces of marijuana be made legal for personal use in The Bahamas.

Yet, it has not been revealed by the current administration how much of a “small amount” possession of marijuana is constituted.

However, Dr Minnis revealed the government is also reviewing the possible legalisation of the hemp industry and will update the public following “greater public consultation”.

Apart from this, the prime minister also previously announced the government's intention to extend the country’s state of emergency until November 30.

Mr Rolle maintained the police are prepared to carry out whatever the mandate is.


John 3 years, 9 months ago

He really sounded like a retard. Fully ignorant. If the world says marijuana is not a dangerous drug and it was only criminalized to put young, black men in jail and break up black families and this retard says ‘as long as it’s on the books, he will enforce the law for the smallest amounts.” A pure Uncle Tom. He should be encouraging his officers to do a quick frisk and discourage them doing these intimate searches that results in them getting corona. A brain dead commish. What is more important: an officer feeling up a guy in the middle of the street to find a joint stashed in his under or having a healthy officers show up to work the next day to deal with more serious crime ?

John 3 years, 9 months ago

People should not be going to jail because they have a drug problem. They should be going to rehab. The commissioner needs to be debriefed.

mandela 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey! you big dummy Mr. Commissioner of police and whomever it may concern yes having a joint may still be illegal whether on the books or not, but as an A-average thinking police chief think, what is the goal of my mission for society, destroy or help? Is it to help or harm, get real and take your head out of the sand, does it make sense to pretend the sun comes up in the west (bulls#$t) when the reality is the sun rises in the east, stop being a robot and only knowing directive actions, my GOD don't you people have a BRAIN, Bahamians of all genre are finding relaxation from smoking cannabis, intelligence and smoking have nothing to do with each other, just because a person finds relaxation by smoking is in my point of view more positive than finding relaxation in alcohol, I can guarantee you that there are many, many intellectual persons in our society relaxing themselves with a joint, why is it ok to drink to a stufa and act like an a$$ when a person can smoke a joint and CHILL OUT. Maybe you are not an A-average RBPFchief but a D-average jocker

Topdude 3 years, 9 months ago

Mandela you are not too intelligent. It is not a joint versus a drink. So please do not conflate the two. You are rationalizing the use of marijuana and that is unfortunate because as an adult you should be aware that marijuana does not relax you. Marijuana creates fantasies in your mind. Alcohol is no better. Both do not add value to living. They subtract from the quality of life. They are parallel tracks On the slippery slope to poor health . One via damage to the lungs and brain, the other via damage to the liver and kidneys and both to diabetes and premature death.

Relax yourself with a good read of the Bible, a nice walk on the beach, some quality time with your spouse and time in the gym among many, many Legal and fun options for relaxation currently available.

It is clear from your desperate attempt to justify the use of marijuana that you are addicted. Are you able to stop at a joint? Let’s be honest. Do you need help?

Porcupine 3 years, 9 months ago

Give it a rest and do some reading. Not just from the 1940's. Sugar is much worse for you. So is delusional religiosity.

DWW 3 years, 9 months ago

beware the devil weed lol!

proudloudandfnm 3 years, 9 months ago

Marijuana created fantasies in your mind????

You have obviously never tried it. That makes you ignorant of it. So please, just be quiet.

C2B 3 years, 9 months ago

LOL!!!!..... the bible!!! ....LOL, LOL..... A book written by men and you live your life by it? Who needs help? Does it ever strike you that the 10 commandments were written by entitled men wishing to perpetuate the politics of the day? Don't steal from me. Don't touch my wife. Don't be jealous because I have more. Relax; when we die, you will inherit the earth. I could go on. Stop believing fairy tales before you lecture someone on their conduct. Look at the time you wasted on this nonsense man. What education level do you have?

Amused 3 years, 9 months ago

This hot air Buffon again

Future 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey, topdud, Weed give u fantasies in your mind then u laff until u buss.

John 3 years, 9 months ago

The War in Drugs was specifically designed to throw young, black men in jail, disrupt families and destroy communities.. the more of these men went to jail for small amounts for long periods of time, the less productive they became and more anti social. The same people who were responsible for sending people to jail were the same ones flooding Black communities with drugs. The cocaine epidemic was created to destroy lives and send people to jail. If governments spent half the funds in youth upliftment and developmental programs and rehabilitation as it spends on its police force, the drug problem and accompanying crime problem would be less than half what it is. Cigarettes and alcohol sales among young people are declining and big companies are jumping on the band wagon to commercialize marijuana. Meaning that , like cigarettes, they will add ingredients to it to make it more addictive. So that is why Barak Obama was more in favor of decrimilizing it rather than making recreational marijuana legal. States that did legalize it, first saw a spike in crime, as people from out-of—state relocated to take advantage of the new law. Then they saw a gradual, consistent decline as many of the drug dealers and turf wars disappeared.

DWW 3 years, 9 months ago

take away the market and take away the dealer and gangs. the Nassau gangs like zoepound get their funding from the black market. if you put that black market product on the corner shop shelf the gang loses its income and the gang disappears. well it wont disappear but it will be severely affected. what do you think the turf wars are really about?

temptedbythefruitofanother 3 years, 9 months ago

where's his little stick that these fat clowns carry around with them when they do dey walkarounds? And why do dey uniforms nevah fit? fat gut always sticking out

Busy keeping the streets of Nassau safe from small amounts of evil marrywanna, got to love it

KapunkleUp 3 years, 9 months ago

Good way to ease the debt crunch. Tax the weed and sell it. Government gonna make mountains of money instead of raising taxes again. Tourists gonna line up for 100% pure Bahamian weed. Time to bring back "It's better in the Bahamas".

bogart 3 years, 9 months ago

"Earllier this year, the Bahamas National Commission on Marijuans recommrnded that possession up to on ounce of the sustamce be decrimolized for people over 21."

Question is why should people at 18 years old voting for National Elections for govt, having ability to contract legally as adult and the Bahamas National Commission puutting the age of marijuana possession for people over 21...???? If you are legally adult at 18 years old then why this registered National entity using for nation the age of 21...???

JokeyJack 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm so glad to know this man is out there dealing with hardened criminals - marijuana smokers are kidnapping children and killing them - some are even taking them to Rawson Square and beheading them right in public, with witnesses !!!! I heard that at least 400 babies have been stabbed to death in the public square by marijuana smokers just this past month. Nothing the police can do about the murders, but at least they ain't blowing smoke.

happyfly 3 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps it would be better if the commissioner would get on board with reality and talk about how helpful it is going to be for the wider population - by NOT having to waste the police force's scant resources trying to incarcerate young men for possessing pathetic amounts of pot ?

BONEFISH 3 years, 9 months ago

Possession of small amounts of marijuana should be decriminalize. Too many young persons are in this country don't have a clean police record because of these laws regarding of dangerous drugs.

They sometimes unable to obtain employment or further their education. You are creating a whole class of people outside this society's mainstream. The parliament needs to review that entire criminal code and make the necessary changes.

DDK 3 years, 9 months ago

Get a life, Commish!

themessenger 3 years, 9 months ago

Okay Commish, time to change feet, open wide............

hrysippus 3 years, 9 months ago

Quite a few years ago the one of the Police Chiefs in the London Metropolitan Police Force announced that the officers under his command would no longer arrest and detain people for simple possession of cannabis.He knew it was a waste of time and resources, and just plain wrong. This was an act of courage and integrity which led to the decriminalization of cannabis possession. Now if only............

mandela 3 years, 9 months ago

The Bahamas Government will spend hundreds to thousands of our ( tax-payers ) hard-earned dollars just to convict a person found with a joint worth $3. to $5.00 at this present time. Our PM says next year he will expunge the records of persons caught with small amounts of cannabis, These people in charge ( the government ) are truly no real leaders, so they will lock you up now just to expunge your record months later. ONLY IN THE BAHAMAS. I can only imagine how countless countries around the world sometimes look at us through our leaders. D Average.

SP 3 years, 9 months ago

Astonishingly stupid!

John 3 years, 9 months ago

Even if the commissioner still beanstalk to arrest persons found with marijuana, he d instructions to his police officers can be simple: do not search a man’s pockets, do not search his wallet, do not search his shoes or his underwear, unless he is being detained and brought to the station on a particular matter that doesn’t involve a joint or small amount of marijuana found in either of the aforementioned places.

DDK 3 years, 9 months ago

PM and his band of minions are all short-sighted, greedy, corrupt, self-serving, power-hungry, glory-seeking, highly dangerous fools. Did I leave anything out?😂🤣😂

TalRussell 3 years, 9 months ago

My Comrades, even during earlier Hurricane Dorian times of deep sorrow the Central Redcoats Authorities CRA Royal Constabulary, couldn't bother maintaining law and order on Abaco, nor has they still to this very day - managed got around perform a proper counting up and identifications the dead bodies.
Not I say but resident Abacoians well remember how the lucky 55 Hurricane Dorian victims' bodies remain unidentified in numbered marked graves.
Shakehead once for Yeah, anything red supervised or touched has ended up in the doomed for confused object failure's Dumpster, Twice for Not?

Topdude 3 years, 9 months ago

We are in trouble as a nation when so many people demonstrate their addiction to a harmful drug by coming up with rationales from all over the place. And added to these are the invectives and insults against the Police and the Commissioner.

The point is not the value of the drug, the issue at hand, pardon the pun, is the drug itself . Why are you all so fired up about this drug? Clearly you are addicted. This is so unfortunate.

Where do you draw the line? Do you want us to become a lawless society? After marijuana what next? A small packet of cocaine worth $10? Or a bank robber who only steals $100.

Clearly our values are eroding rapidly and our current Government under the exceptional leadership of Dr. Minnis has to do something ASAP before we descend into anarchy.

TalRussell 3 years, 9 months ago

My ComradeTop, you're some loyal redcoat, juxtaposer.

KapunkleUp 3 years, 9 months ago

Where do you draw the line is an excellent question. You talk about addiction. There are many items in our everyday lives which have addictive qualities. Caffeine, sugar, nicotine, alcohol, and so on. Are all those items behind or over the line? Who has the moral authority to decide for all of us? Certainly not you or I. Alcohol has not made our society lawless and neither will marijuana. Values do not erode by making marijuana legal. Values are built through good parenting, family and friends. Society is a summary of those collective values. If you are worried that our society will break because of legalizing marijuana then our society has much bigger problems.

DWW 3 years, 9 months ago

Shall we descend into 1920's prohibition of alcohol again? if you yourself drink alcohol of any kind you are nothing but a delusional hypocrite.

Revolutionary 3 years, 9 months ago

What kind of jackass proudly announces they will continue needlessly enforcing destructive/pointless weed laws while violent crime remains a massive problem?

Carry ya crabby, commissioner.

Topdude 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow. We really have a problem in our society. Look at the response from these marijuana addicted miscreants. They have even gone so far as to disparage the Holy Book. All because of a drug that has been shown to distort the perceptions of the user, contribute to mental anguish, lead to depression and ultimately become a gateway to other harder drugs like cocaine and heroin.

None of these marijuana addicted advocates have answered my question related to why don’t we go about and legalize all drugs including cocaine and heroin?

Come on now let’s get real. You are addicted. You cling at straws in trying to justify your addiction. And you are clearly unwilling to accept the evidence that smoking marijuana distorts your perceptions of reality and makes you seek justification for this sick habit.

Rather than abusing the Commissioner, you should be praising him. Please seek medical help before it is too late.

And for that person who criticized the Word of God please ask for forgiveness ASAP before it’s too late. But then again he/she was probably high on marijuana and had the feeling of being all knowing and all powerful to commit such a sin.

Sickened 3 years, 9 months ago

You must be a priest or similar - totally out of your mind and living in some heavenly fantasy where a spirit is guiding you to be an absolute moron!

DWW 3 years, 9 months ago

show me the evidence please? You sire are publicly stating that entire countries of Canada, Holland, Portugal, Jamaica, Switzerland, UK, USA, Brazil, Costa Rica, Equador, Australia, New Zealand have got it completely wrong. Maybe we all have it wrong and you are the only one who is right. in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.

DWW 3 years, 9 months ago

why not go fleece your congregation some more and leave the rest of us alone.

TalRussell 3 years, 9 months ago

My comrade, I goin' say what you asked me to tell you. I've long advocated for the immediate vacating of any law that criminalises the possession of a small quantity all drugs for personal use,Shakehead once for Yeah, Twice for Not?

Allhandzin 3 years, 9 months ago

Only twisted thinking can read the commandments of God and think that they were written to oppress us by rich men. All these rules our for us to love one another. When we go against these commands we only end up hurting ourselves and others around us. Do you really believe committing adultery doesn't destroy families and eventually lives. If you are selfish and doesn't love your neighbor, does it really destroy lives. How twisted the father of lies has your mind.

joeblow 3 years, 9 months ago

Many comments and perspectives here confirm why our country is circling the toilet bowl about to disappear into the darkness forever!

happyfly 3 years, 9 months ago

There is growing evidence that early man used naturally occurring psychoactive plants for spiritual purposes for tens of thousands of years. Christians began a war on those 'drugs' around 500AD. 1500 years later and our complete disconnect from nature is causing us to overexploit the planet and literally consume ourselves to death. Whilst the church has us judging our neighbor's sanctimony and throwing people in jail for smoking weed, multinational 'Christian' corporations commit wholesale crimes against humanity on an industrial scale. And the CEO of Purdue gets a slap on the wrist for being an accessory to 400,000 opioid deaths in the USA........somehow I don't think the commissioner chasing young men around for smoking joints is going to 'save' anyone....

shonkai 3 years, 9 months ago

Hope the same firm law enforcement policy will be used as when the webshops were "still illegal".

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