Petition against stiff marijuana penalties being prepared


By Jomo Paul

Chairman of the AFC and Attorney at Law, Nigel Hughes
Chairman of the AFC and Attorney at Law, Nigel Hughes

[] – Attorney – at – Law and Chairman of the Alliance For Change, Nigel Hughes has confirmed that a petition is being prepared to change the legislation regarding marijuana conviction.

Marijuana legalization and changing the penalties attached to the contraband have been the topic of heated discussions in the past months with it being a topic in the campaign leading up to elections.

At that time promises were made to review the legislation regarding marijuana, but to date, no steps have been made in that direction.

Speaking to iNews on Monday November 30, Hughes, who is also the Head of the Steering Committee on Constitutional Reform, confirmed that a petition is being prepared to present to the National Assembly.

He said that the petition will ask that law makers review the penalties and fines attached for persons found in possession of marijuana. The renewed call for marijuana reform comes after a local football legend – Vibert Butts – was sentenced to three years in jail for marijuana possession with intent to traffic.

Butts, the first Guyanese to score a World Cup Goal, was found with some 46 grams of marijuana and entered a guilty plea when he was arraigned in the Georgetown Magistrate’s court.marijuana

In 2014, a poll conducted by iNews had revealed that the majority of people are in favour of Guyana legalizing marijuana for medical and cultural purposes.

Eighty – eight percent of the respondents voted ‘yes’, 11 percent noted ‘no’ and one percent of voters were undecided. Other countries around the world including Jamaica have taken steps to legalize marijuana with the aim of reaping high tax benefits.

Some states in the US have already taken steps towards doing the same.

Under the former administration, the idea was rejected by Former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, who had stated that the government has a zero tolerance approach for the legalization of marijuana locally.



  1. Bet you didn’t think you could be wrong twice in the same post cause that small amount of your opinion didn’t do my body any good. In fact, I’m typing this while convulsing insanely, I’d be worried if I wasn’t already listening to a sick edm mix and my body failing me with epileptic spasms just seems like dance moves.

  2. Definitely, the penalties for marijuana USERS should be removed, and replaced by non criminal charges, if there has to be any charge at all.The amount of marijuana found in one’s possession, and permitted to be legally held by the user, should be clearly stated in the revised law.This Is contradictory, in respect to the discramatory nature, of the modified law, when this permission for users,is made legal, but there will still be a deterent, to those who sell the drug.It is only a stopgap measure, as the decriminalization of marijauna, is a major topic , through out the world.

  3. Where is Ramjattan? Drunk? Let me get this clear – Ramjattan stated that clubs and drinking caused crime rate to increase BUT his government wants to legalized DOPE smoking? The APNU regime MUST be the biggest corrupted set of un-educated rats Guyana will ever see…..The ego is getting to their Head! Pots smoking has way more serious effect to the Human Brain that drinking rum! Do your research carefully…..a small amount of anything is good for the human body but too much is NEVER a good thing…making this legal will definitely push crime rate up in Guyana…..


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