By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – 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.
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.