By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A Group of persons on Thursday December 03 protested the office of Attorney General Basil Williams calling for the Government to immediately review the laws concerning marijuana.
While the group is not calling for immediate legalization of marijuana, it wants the government and judiciary to look at the punitive measures stipulated in the laws concerning marijuana.
The protest was sparked by the sentencing of local football legend, Vibert Butts for marijuana possession.
Butts was sentenced to three years in jail after he pleaded guilty to the possession of 46 grams of marijuana with the intent to traffic.
Head of the Rastafarian Council Ras Simeon told reporters that he wants the judiciary to take it easy on persons found with marijuana.
He suggests that instead of jail time, persons be sentenced to do community service or pay a fine.
“Our rights being violate(d), it is a violation….we can’t get to practice our culture. The culture of rastafari is to use the holy herb as a sacrament,” said Simeon.
Political Activist Mark Benschop was also present on the protest lines and is urging that the APNU+AFC keep its campaign promise of revisiting marijuana laws – and do so now.
“The President has promised to revisit this sentencing with regards to Marijuana during the course of the campaign…what these people are saying is look Mr President please look into this situation right now. Have the law amended to protect these persons rights,” said Benschop.
Benschop stated that the government could impose a limit that would allow persons to have up to a specified amount of marijuana legally.
“They are not saying that if someone is caught with a bag full or a trunk full they get off easy. You get catch with couple grams and these sorta things,” he stated.
Another protest is planned for Friday December 4 at the High Court when the appeal case for Butts is heard for the first time.