Opposition Leader not averse to decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana


…says small man being jailed for a spliff while large scale traffickers walk free 

Leader of the Opposition Dr Bharat Jagdeo
Opposition Leader and General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has called for the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Jagdeo on Monday addressed the media and was questioned on the advocacy calls for the legalized production of hemp locally for industrial purposes.
On the matter of Hemp production, Jagdeo told reporters there isn’t enough information available to the party to take a definitive position on its use for industrial or recreational purposes. “Once that research is available we will look into it” he said.
However, Jadgdeo in addressing the decriminalization of marijuana said, “I will vote in favour of decriminalizing small quantities of marijuana” while noting that it was not a case of advocating that persons get off scot-free, but rather be sentenced to community service or rehabilitation.
He said his party is willing to have the matter come up for a vote in the Parliament.
”If it fails in Parliament then that’s fine,” according to Jagdeo.
The Opposition Leader said that the decriminalizing of small amounts of marijuana was something his party campaigned for in the 2015 elections.
“We said to people, we would allow a conscious vote on our members,” said Jagdeo, who in giving his support for the decriminalizing small amounts of ‘weed’ posited, “we have seen cases where somebody has a tiny bit, one marijuana cigarette and gets sentenced for 3 years.”
He said this is a reality in Guyana while large scale traffickers equipped with high powered attorneys manage to walk scot-free.
“We have a lot of people with money and with good legal representation and they don’t get any time,” he said.


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