We just can’t seem to get our ACT together – at least not to pass one in the National Assembly! – for the possession of small quantities of weed. And we might as well start right there, as to what’s been proposed after decades of pleading by the Rastafarian community. They use the herb as part of their religious sacrament. There’s a widespread sentiment – spread by the anti-weed fraternity – that the floodgates of marijuana would be opened up and you wouldn’t be able to drive on the roads for the smoke that would be puffed into the atmosphere by wild-eyed potheads! But in their “Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Amendment Bill”, the-powers-that-be aren’t even talking about weed being “legalised”!
They’ve suggested “non-custodial” sentencing, that’s still SENTENCING for committing an illegal act – just not into custody or jail. The proposed amendment would have persons caught with less than 30 grams having to perform community service of different rigour and duration, depending on whether the amount is less than 15 or 30 grams. Users would also have to prove they weren’t engaged in trafficking – that is, selling weed. In the meantime, alcohol – which causes cirrhosis of the liver, domestic violence, poverty, and all sorts of social ills – receives accolades for sponsoring sports events for youths. The tactic isn’t seen as grooming!
The PNC coalition had five years to do something, but did nothing. But when the PPP tabled their amendment in January, they had the temerity to propose that the acceptable possessed amount of weed by an individual should be 500 grams!! That is more than one pound!! Who’s kidding whom? Who smokes a pound of grass? The amendment was debated in the House, but is now before a Select Committee because of the disagreements on the permissible quantum. But with the present erratic sitting schedule on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, who knows when consensus will be reached.
So, the irate (NOT Irie!) Rastafarian organisations have started picketing the AG’s office, so he’d “buck up” on the amendment. What might’ve prompted the move was the arrest and incarceration of one of their high profile past Presidents for “possession” – Ras Saul. He’d been the Prime Ministerial candidate for the “Healing the Nation Theocracy” party (HTNT). Saul had emphasised that “The legalisation of marijuana is part of the party’s eradication of poverty and equal rights and justice platform.” Note this was LEGALISATION, not just “no jail time”!
In the interest of full disclosure, your Eyewitness had taken a “took” of ganja back in 1982, when Musical Youth came out with their iconic, “Pass the Dutchie on the left-hand side.”
Like Bill Clinton, he also didn’t inhale!
…some strong stuff!!
It’s reported that former Finance Minister Winston Jordan tried to defend his government’s backstopping (guaranteeing) NICIL’s $30 billion Bond. This was floated – supposedly to resuscitate GuySuCo – after its “downsizing”! The latter “cure”, of course, proved worse than the perceived disease! But a couple of things caught your Eyewitness’S attention.
First, when you borrow money, it’s expected you’ll use the funds to generate money to pay the recurrent interest and, at the end of the term, the principal. So, imagine your Eyewitness’s consternation to discover the money was never used to rehabilitate the closed factories and bring them to a point of sale. The PNC was paying $1.5 billion annually in interest FROM THE MONEY THEY BORROWED! The PPP has had to continue paying this interest, and next year will have to find $30 billion to pay off the principal!! But the clincher on the PNC’s financial haplessness was Jordan’s insistence that “Uitvlugt was a profit-making estate”!!
Uitvlugt, in fact – historically and into the present – was always the highest cost sugar producer.
And loss leader!!
The PNC’s implosion continues with the departure of another youth leader and a businessman from their CEC. They’ll soon reach gravitational singularity to make them shrink into a black hole.
From which nothing can exit!!