Marijuana reform: Momentum increases; Gov’t still unsure

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By Jomo Paul

Marijuana[www.inewsguyana.come] – The call for Central Government to amend the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances legislation is increasing but the government is still unable say definitively what its stance on the issue is.

The push for marijuana reform was accentuated with the jailing of local football star, Vibert Butts. Butts is Guyana’s first World Cup football scorer and was sentenced to three years for possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

That sentence has since been appealed and bail granted for the football coach pending the outcome of the appeal. Alliance For Change (AFC) Chairman, Nigel Hughes had indicated that a petition was being compiled for the legislators to amend the law.

Hughes also drafted an amendment to the current legislation and urged that any lawmaker take it to the National Assembly for debate and possible approval.

APNU activist James Bond is also in support of marijuana reform. Via Facebook, the former Parliamentarian stated that “any Amendment Act to the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act must include the deletion of the section that states smoking of cannabis carries a three year mandatory imprisonment.”

Nigel Hughes
Nigel Hughes

Speaking to media operatives at a press conference on Monday December 07, Legal Affairs Minister, Basil Williams said that any steps to reform the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act would have to be done after broad consultation.

He said that government is unsure of just how many people in Guyana would like to see a relaxation of marijuana penalties and the possible legalization of the psychotropic substance.

Attorney General, Basil Williams.
Attorney General, Basil Williams.

“You believe that everybody in Guyana wants marijuana to be legalized? When the government takes the lead you accused the government of not being transparent- accuse the government of all sorts of things,” said Williams.

He added that the government wants the people to take the lead on this issue.

A group of persons on December 03 protested the office of 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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. 20 years from now, if the end of the age does not take place, you who are fighting to have the morals of the society eroded, will be turning over in your graves in horror at what you turned your children, grand children and the rest of society into. But it will be too late.
    The framers of our laws need to “wisen up’.

  2. The only thing left to be legalised now is same-sex marriages. Im glad this is happening though because during the election fever everyone wants change, well there are changes happening that we must live through with no complaints.

    So the same way schools are teaching safe sex to children soon it will be marijuana.

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