Young Progressives: Medicalization Of Drugs

February 14, 2011

medical weed cannabisThe Young Progressives have released a statement laying out a proposal to decriminalize drugs, and to have them placed in the hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation centers and controlled by Government, saying “When there is no profit in the streets the product has lost its value, and all criminal activity associated with illegal drugs comes to a stop.”

The group has proposed “The first steps to implement our proposal is to pass legislation amending the present legislation allowing all drugs to be administered under the care of a doctor and with treatment available as dispensing by prescription.”

The group, which although it bears a similar name is not a branch of the PLP, is a grass roots and community based movement. Members of the group include Gershwyn ‘High Priest Shiloh’ Smith and Cleveland Simmons, with businessman Michael A. Markham acting as an advisor. Mr Markham said the group emerged initially many years ago and previously worked on music and community development programs and “recently in light of extreme stress in the community and the destruction of community by the drug gangs and gun violence that the group felt it needed to speak out and present to its proposed solutions to the countries problems.”

Gershwyn Smith previously made a presentation to the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee saying: “All drug substances should be medicalized and placed in the hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation centers and controlled by Government. This aspect of the program will take illegal substances out of the street by taking the profit out of the street. Sick people or addicts or patients can register with the program and get their medicine at cost price, which may be sixty cents a day instead of fifty to five hundred dollars a day at street level calculations, depending on the extent of the individual’s addiction.”

“Now we will have the opportunity to encourage the addicted (in their own time) to try to clean up through educational and other programs made available. When there is no profit in the streets the product has lost its value, and all criminal activity associated with illegal drugs comes to a stop. The patient registered with the program must be treated with respect and their identity protected from scandal. “

The group said “We believe this program will be financially self sustainable and at the same time will reduce the break-ins and robberies by addicts who need increasing money to feed their addiction.The funding of Government drug rehabilitation programs will be designated and be specifically tied to the 5% part of the sales tax on prescriptions. The disbursement to the Government and other recipients of the tax will be done on a quarterly basis.”

The group’s proposed legislation is below:

We believe the proposed program should be regulated and directed under the Department of Health.

The first steps to implement our proposal is to pass legislation amending the present legislation allowing all drugs to be administered under the care of a doctor and with treatment available as dispensing by prescription.

The legislation will further provide for a prescription tax of 12% on each prescription of which 5% goes to the doctor, 5% to the designated Government Health and drug rehabilitation account and 2% which goes to the pharmacy and dispensary.

There would be a list of Health Department regulated and approved dispensaries, clinics and pharmacy outlets island wide that will carry the medications.

If a person who places themselves under the care of a doctor for the care and treatment of addiction and does not have the financial resources there will be a provision for direct care at the Government Clinic at no cost.

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Comments (104)

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  1. College Graduate says:

    i like the idea but how is the Bermuda Government going to bring in drugs?

    • Sarah says:

      More to the point, how are they going to bring them in AND maintain credibility with other countries that we rely on in order to survive?

      • College Graduate says:

        Credibility shouldn’t be a problem as the U.S. and UK in particular have already made moves towards this direction

        • Sarah says:

          They can feasibly grow their own, though, which we can’t. That and the YP don’t specify where they intend to draw the line — ie just marijuana? I feel like our reputation for being a safe place to visit and a good place to do business would be harmed by this quite a bit.
          “The conversation” ought to happen, but I don’t see it going quite this way.

          • College Graduate says:

            I’m sure we could grow our own marijuana also…But i mean for the heroin and cocaine/crack addicts…how would they get our drugs?

            And regardless if its legal/controlled, people will still do their drug of choice so I don’t think we would be any less or more safe.

            Unless it brings down drug related crime…

          • CanadianLuv says:

            As it currently stands expats & visitors do not feel safe in Bermuda. The current crime rate is pulling Bermuda into a downward spiral!
            So adding marijuana to the mix will not “taint” an already poorly perceived Island.
            And Bermuda can grow marijuana – it has the heat for it. in the winter we can Import:) like we do everything else!

  2. Terry says:

    So I have to wait in line to get a joint? See a doctor,

    Cool. Bring it on. This is a great idea since local importers will dry up, right?

    Catch a bus….oops they running?

    Catch a cab…..no money

    Use the Ferry…too windy…

    Years ago they used to go to the “Cabinet” to have a drink during pressing debates.

    Now, along with others and about 12000 daily users we all can go to Fort Hamilton and pick up our supplies.

    (Parking is limted-all those with motor vessels can be prescribed at the Cust/Imm Wharf in St. George

    Yoh!!! Warden….Time for my meds……..”Terry, they are free now. We will let you out in 15 minutes and you can do the hustle to the nearest pick up ‘joint’. Want a lift?”. “But warden, dey took avey yah GP car.” Don’t worry Terry, Um horn GP patrol…..Ganja Patrol”….

    Young Progressives….bwhaaaaaaaaaaaa….”Yuze Pot”…..

  3. Joe says:

    The plan is perhaps a little simplistic and does overlook a number of issues. However, I credit the YP for tackling this topic, which needs a proper and full discussion in our community as it has had in many others with a view to ensuring we no longer make criminals out of our young people because they smoke pot. It is time Bermuda joined the rest of western societies in moving in this direction. Are we, however, mature enough to have the discussion? I doubt it.

  4. jason says:

    Here we go again!
    I think these men who want to decriminalize marijuana are only doing all this for their own selfish needs to get high.You can fool some of the people with this BS talk, but to have the nerve to say our society will improve and crime will go down if a certain drug has a lower value is not the problem.That is just a silly excuse so you can sit on your couch and cloud your brain with stupidity.And it is an insult to the younger generation who really want to do something positive with their lives,stating that marijuana should be a medical device a doctor will prescibe and it should be in hospitals and clinics and controlled by the government is a waste of our time there are more important issues we need to deal with.
    No doctor or clinic in its right mind should waste 10 seconds with this BS and if you dont believe me go and talk to any sensible doctor or nurse in bermuda or even in the usa and they will look at you like your crazy.

    Our Gov should not waste time on this they can have better results educating the young on the dangers of substance abuse and how it affects peoples lives and destroys peoples minds so we can have a better generation off of drugs and really contributing to our society.
    (Bernews, Rg and Bda Sun with all due respect we shouldnt even post these stories any more its a waste of time.)
    These guys offer no solutions on benefiting our community all they care about is making it legal so they can smoke care free and pay a lot less for it. Thats all it boils down to.They have no care for the younger generation by saying this ,no interest in the education of minds and no interest in bda becoming a better safer environment.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Finally, some sense. On all points, this is correct.

      • Geza Wolf says:

        You’re both old I can tell by the way you support a war on something that can never be won. Just throw money at police and prisons right? arrest users and not the people importing enough to support our entire nation on a daily basis right? You can say we do stop people importing but I guarentee you a user will get their fix whenever they have the money for it…explain that…

        Ontop of all of this you say we give kids a bad impression but look at our government they seperate alcohol from the drug label “drugs and alcohol” thats real smart, because alcohol is safe right and weed is dangerous right?

        Kind regards,

        Geza

        • White Jesus says:

          I’m not old and I support every word he said. Not interested in legalizing marijuana. I’d rather see alcohol prohibited as well. We all know the problems it has already caused and continues to cause.
          #2 If one has to go to a doctor to get it that means it would still be illegal to sell it on the street market, meaning it still wouldn’t eliminate criminal activity.

          • will says:

            so you’d also want to see alcohol banned thus forcing individuals to make it in their bathtubs full of adulterated ingredients causing many unnecessary deaths which is a direct comparison to alcohol prohibition in the twenties?

          • Geza Wolf says:

            If you make ANYTHING ILLEGAL in a capitalist society it will inherintly double in its value because the act of supply and demand has an added risk. i cant believe you would advocate re prohibiting alcohol. who are any of you people to tell me what i can or can not ingest.

            • will says:

              exactly, prohibition has never and will never work in a democratic capitalist society, human rights get in the way along with the fact supply and demand drives our economy, if i cant weed from one guy i’ll get it from the next, simple

        • Someone with some sense!! says:

          Co-Sign Geza Wolf!!

      • UncleElvis says:

        How is it correct on all counts? That post didn’t put forth any facts or quantifiable points, just a biased opinion based on nothing.

      • My two cents says:

        Serious, how can one be correct based on nothing but opinion?
        the above is all biased opinion and nothing to do with the facts.

    • Scott says:

      to be honest though, morphine addictions ruin lives, yet morphine is easily prescribed in hospitals..and Dr’s aren’t against it…

      sadly buy saying “no doctor or clinic in its right mind” simple implies to me that if they say anything other then what you think, then they are NOT in their “right mind”. There are tons of highly qualified Dr’s who do support the use of marijuana as medicine, so whether you agree with it or not in Bermuda, it has been proven overseas as a useful medication.

    • My two cents says:

      Why is it okay to prescribe someone an addictive narcotic for pain but not marijuana?

      • sandgrownan says:

        Christ. Here we go again?

        • Geza Wolf says:

          I like how you have not responded to any of the comments constructivly.

        • Scott says:

          in all the threads posted, you have yet to argue why they are wrong, except to say “that’s the way it is, thats the way it will be”

        • My two cents says:

          These are more than legitimate questions to a mature person interested in fact versus opinion.

          This statement
          “Bernews, Rg and Bda Sun with all due respect we shouldnt even post these stories any more its a waste of time.)”
          is suspicious at best. Any one telling someone what they should and should not discuss is suspect and one has to ask themselves what is their vested interest in keeping people quite.Hmmm

      • White Jesus says:

        Because you don’t freakin SMOKE prescribed narcotics….that’s why weedhead! OK!
        I know what will fix em! Grind it up and put it in pill form, and give it out in small dosages that MUST be consumed in the doc’s presence. MuHU HAHAHAHA!

        • My two cents says:

          Interesting you assume that when I say the word marijuana you assume smoking? Where did I say the words “smoking marijuana”.
          In fact, in California where it is legal for medicinal purposes, the person chooses how to consume it, through food, tea, smoke, thc pill. So I am sorry if I fail to see where your post even means anything.

    • Nicki says:

      I agree Jason! They can’t function in reality so they’d rather be high all the time. Too damn bad.

      • My two cents says:

        You are too funny Nicki! You just are not happy unless everyone that uses marijuana are a bunch of lazy dope heads. I will tell you who the dope heads are, the ones with their heads in the sand! You, jason, sandgrownman, and white jesus come on here with opinions and expect people to believe you. Maybe you and et all missed that day of school when they taught you the difference between fact and opinion. Maybe you lot should revisit that if you are going to be posting on blogs and expected to be taken seriously. The fact is that young men are dying, going to jail, and being put on a stop list because of a stupid freaking plant! Tell the children left with no fathers that their father DIED BECAUSE OF A PLANT!

        • J Galt says:

          “The fact is that young men are dying, going to jail, and being put on a stop list because of a stupid freaking plant!”

          I have to disagree with your statement, they are going to jail, and being put on the stop list, not because of a plant but because they are choosing to break a law which results in a criminal offense. While I can understand that unjust laws need to be challenged. It’s the way that a person chooses to challenge them that reveals a lot about who they are as individuals and how others will perceive them.

    • Voice of Reason says:

      Clearly someone has a bee in their bonnett over an issue that they know very little about. First of all I have been a scientist for 15 years who does not use illegal drugs or support them. However, I know that marijuana actually HAS been proven to have significant medicinal value in several studies.

      Eating disorders and several neurological disorders i.e. parkinsons and multiple sclerosis to name a few.

      Therefore not all use should be considered for recreational benefit only.

      To say that these issues are a waste of time is ignoring an issue that is too close to most Bermudian’s homes for comfort.

      Lets look at a few facts;

      -This is an age-old problem in Bermuda serious enough to prompt Her Majesty the Queen to appoint a Royal Commission in 1983 to allleviate the problem.
      -The problem may be worse today considering that less than 10% of fire service/ police service applicants managed to pass the hurdle of a mandatory drugs test in 2010 (9 out of 106)
      -In spite of legality, Netherlands is 5th out of all European contries in teenage use (14%) according to statistics.
      -In the words of Minister David Burch ‘marijuana smokers are not only hurting their job prospects but are helping finance Bermuda’s escalating gang war’.
      He further stated, ‘Figures show marijuana addiction is crippling the job prospects of young men across the island’.
      -Proposal of some form of change in the control of these sustances and/ or a REHABILITATION programme for recreational users could serve the community in a positive way.

      I dont believe decriminalization is the outright answer but clearly issues like these should not be swept aside.
      We the tax payers should NOT be comfortable to pack our jails with importers and users… AND Joe Bloggs (who failed the drug test last year) who robbed your flatscreen TV and $200 in cash trying to buy some KFC and a joint!

    • will says:

      Now how do you expect the government to be teaching the young generation on the dangers of drugs when little if any studies have actually been carried out on the dangers, because the drugs are illegal. Doctors and researchers have no access to these substances so how can you rely on any study that tries to prove the dangers of something. The real danger with drugs lies in either getting caught or the dangers that come with added substances to the drug. Regulation means purity, which in turn equals less health risks.
      Besides how is marijuana any more dangerous than cigarettes or alcohol, i don’t keep reading about the driver who crashed because he smoked a joint an hour or two ago, unless i’m not looking at the news correctly?

    • Bryan says:

      You are wrong Jason. And the only B.S. is dismissing the concept out of hand, it has been successfully implemented in Amsterdam with excellent results, do your homework. If you legalize, then you will remove the profit factor for the importers,( who have to be financially well off to import in the first place).Yes the Elite of Bermudian society are profiting from the blood in the streets.

    • Wake UP!! says:

      Jason you need to study history and get out of ya shoe box! It’s a BIG world out there, and there are lots of things happening that you clearly are unaware of. Stop believing everything you hear on CNN, everything the guy is saying makes perfect sense!! How do you really think that drugs get here? It’s not your everyday dealer, those guys are on the very bottom of the chain and they get locked up while the billionaire/ millionaire goes on with their lives. The WAR on drugs just fuels the drug trade that pays for wars like the one in Iraq and Afghanistan!! I feel sorry for people that think like you and are clueless as to how the world operates. sigh smdh….

      • Geza Wolf says:

        Yeah, everything paying for everything is economic growth which looks great on paper, even if its blood money or drug money…the third pillar of the global economy at work.

  5. Geza Wolf says:

    Look people the basis for their argument is to take the profit out of drugs. How do people afford weapons and the allegiance of people? Money, that money comes from the distribution of drugs. The most consumed drug in bermuda is alchol closely followed by marijuana, there is alot more money in weed than in alcohol and the people selling the weed are the people doing the shooting. You do the math. Stricter penalties only creates a higher price and also more people willing to take the risk of importation when they balance the risk with the pay out.

    anyone saying contrary is beating around the bush and likly has a hand in the drug importation and distribution process.

  6. G. L. P. says:

    I agree fully with what they are proposing but think that the proposal could be worded better. All drugs?! No the marijuana, high grade should be decriminalised with the governments control that opens up a whole new form of revenue. Year round tourist season that’s a big boost in the economy for all. Y would they fly all the way to cold amsterdam(no disrespect) when they could come to an island getaway. You would eliminate the man on the corner the illegal drug action. I think that decriminalising cannabis can be a great economic boost to bermuda on all aspects and should be given a lot more consideration and not pushed to the side. As far as actual man-made drugs those should remain as they are. I support the green. Its a plant you pick dry and can smoke!
    Side effect- laugh eat sleep. Lotta harm done there.

    Think about it!

    • sandgrownan says:

      I think you’re an idiot.

      • Geza Wolf says:

        I think people who call people idiots have no say in public affairs.

      • My two cents says:

        You’re name calling shows your true colors.

        • sandgrownan says:

          I refer you to Jason’s comments which put it quite succinctly.

          • My two cents says:

            Jason’s comments have no basis in fact, but merely of opinion. Name calling is so darn childish are you sure you are mature enough to be posting on blogs?

          • CanadianLuv says:

            You guys are acting like a bunch of 13 year olds on facebook! Arguing & nit picking over nonsense! Get back to the real issue at hand!

      • UncleElvis says:

        Still going with the personal attacks and namecalling instead of actual debate and discussion?

        That’s nice to see…

    • Scott says:

      eh i agree it would be a good economic boost, but it it is also worth noting what it’s effect on international business would be.

      Whether you agree that IB should be here or not, no one really mentions whether it would chase it away or not, only that it would theoretically boost tourism. ..

      thoughts?

      Granted this is all hypothetical, considering that the main point of the story (so far) is for medicinal use.

      • wiaruz says:

        Don’t you think the increasing level of drug related violence will chase IB away eventually?

        You have to remove the crime element in the supply of drugs while honestly admitting that human beings will always want to take illicit substances and that some, some may get addicted. Use the money saved from waging a war you will never win on the education of people not to take drugs; like we have with tobacco. In the mean time control, and tax.

        There surely cannot be that many people who have not tried certain drugs because they are illegal but would do so if they could buy them at a government run store? Geez pot is easier to buy than alcohol! I think the proposal has merit and to the degree that it starts a sensible discussion than that is good IMO. It needs s lot of flushing out but is a good start,
        Continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of stupidity. The war on drugs is lost. Admit it and move on.

        • will says:

          definition of insanity…doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results= Drug War

    • White Jesus says:

      @G.L.P. as for your ‘side effects’ try laugh-eat-sleep CHRONICALLY as your life wastes away into mid-50′s.
      As for real side effects:
      1 THC activates the reward system in the same way that nearly all drugs of abuse do: by stimulating brain cells to release the chemical dopamine.
      2 Marijuana use impairs a person’s ability to form new memories and to shift focus.
      3 THC also disrupts coordination and balance by binding to receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia—parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time. Therefore, learning, doing complicated tasks, participating in athletics, and driving are also affected.
      4 Reactions to high concentrations of THC produce long-lasting, schizophrenia-like disorders that have been associated with the use of cannabis in vulnerable individuals.
      I thought about it G.L.P. and I think I’ll pass.

      • wiaruz says:

        All good reasons to avoid taking drugs. But no reason at all not to legalise, tax and control. People will always take drugs whether they are legal or illegal.

        Whenever I have these conversations it is always assumed that I am in favour of people taking drugs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Drug abuse and addiction ruin lives. Better to treat it as a health issue and use the huge savings from fighting a never ending war to educate people about the potential disastrous effects of drug abuse.

      • Common Sense says:

        You’re argument is invalid. The symptoms that you state are for chronic abusers. Also Marijuana (THC) effects people differently. To some it curbs learning, to others it promotes learning. For people with asthma it helps suppress allergen receptors in the lungs. It does not impair a person’s ability to form new memories, it does effect people’s short-term memory yet the memory still gets transferred into the persons long-term memory storage. Yes driving can be slightly more difficult while being ‘high’ on marijuana, however alcohol reduces inhibition and in combination with driving can be deadly yet marijuana increases inhibition and in some cases help people with certain mental disorders concentrate and drive better. Also, the theory, because that’s all it is… a theory, that THC is linked with schizophrenia in which is more likely to derive from a specific type of marijuana found in Africa called dagga (dagga is chemically different than regular marijuana because there is in fact two different types of THC). Medical marijuana laws help control who is granted access to marijuana and ensure that that person has the “healthy” kind of marijuana. So before you make slanders about something that can help change lives, do your homework first. Go to Bermuda College Library and read a book on it.

        Yes Marijuana isn’t for everybody and a medical marijuana law would help that it goes into the right hands. Not to say that there would be no illegal trade but at least the right strains can go into the right hands, legally. Marijuana can change lives in the right hands.

        I do not believe decriminalization of marijuana is key to solving other ills that the country faces, in fact I think it would make things worse, but legalization with a government controlled system would be substantially better.

        • Common Sense says:

          Oh, and by the way, I smoke marijuana, not as much as I did a year ago which is when I read a book on marijuana for a school report. So how is it that my brain was able to remember the information I read in that book if marijuana impairs me to make memories? I also got straight A’s that term. Impairs learning? We all know about dopamine and serotonin and how they effect the brain, but drugs aren’t the only thing in the world that release them: sex, exercise, coffee, even eating chocolate or ice cream, pretty much anything that you find enjoyable will release them.

          Think about it.

      • My two cents says:

        While all the above listed have merit, the list is remarkably short compared to a list of negative effects from cigarettes and alcohol, so hence these reasons are not valid when talking about the illegality of a plant. The reasons are valid when it comes to talking about health, but not something being legal or illegal. Health effects are not the reason marijuana is illegal, never has been and never will be.

    • SMH says:

      I agree With You 100%… People need to open their eyes to whats really going on and instead of talking about something they know nothing about , do some research and get the facts… Bet you they would all be singing a different tune… Ignorance is bliss….

      And for anyone who thinks other wise do some research about weed before you open your mouth and sound totally stupid…

  7. BDA says:

    Why are people even discussing this issue right now?! There are way more important things to be fixed….INNOCENT people are being murdered and there is a debate on weed?

    Weed is just as bad a cigarettes if not worse. Ahhhh who cares, half of government, police service, fire service, customs, etc smokes weed.

    This whole island is a joke.

    • Scott says:

      the point of the issue is that this debate could result is less murders.. .hence the discussion. it could be a hidden agenda, but that is how it is worded at the moment.

      • BDA says:

        Bermuda would take advantage of a situation like this. Everyone that smokes will claim “medical reasons”. It WILL NOT stop the imporation of weapons as there are other drugs that are alot more addictive. So if guns are still coming into the island, the shootings will continue.

        And how are the police to solve anything when they are going to work HIGH, and fire fighters to save lives?

        • My two cents says:

          Why do you assume that a police officer/fire fighter would show up to work high when they don’t show up to work drunk?

        • Scott says:

          BDA, you almost sounded reasonable until the notion that police would work high…. why do people keep thinking thta if it is legal, everyone will do their jobs high….

          they dont do their jobs hopped up on pills or drunk (except ferry drivers) so why would they do it high? its a stupid argument that tries to use fear…

          i dont want them on aNYTHING doing their job… whether pot is legal or not in reference to this is a moot point.

        • Geza Wolf says:

          DUDE YOUNG PEOPLE DO NO TAKE CRACK COCAINE OR HEROINE GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT. 98% OF ALL DRUGS IMPORTETD ARE CANNABIS.

      • Nicki says:

        You seriously think decriminalizing weed would result in less murders? You think these idiots are only selling and smoking weed? LOL

        Yes let’s make ALL drugs legal! We can all be high out of our minds! Make EVERYTHING legal! People are gonna do it regardless right? Why not!

    • My two cents says:

      Um BDA, innocent people are being murdered most likely because of the illegal drug trade. These men are killing because of money and drugs, and imo this is actually one of the most important discussions that a community and government could be having at this time.

    • Geza Wolf says:

      You my friend are misinformed. Tobacco kills many more people a year then heroine for example. It kills more people then Heart failure and you want to tell people that marijuana is more harmful then tobacco?

      Phillip Morris would be proud.

      THE PEOPLE WHO ARE AFRAID OF DECRIMINALIZED CANNABIS ARE THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY, THE ALCOHOL INDUSTRY AND THE PHARMACUTICAL INDUSTRY, Do your homework…

    • Truth says:

      “When there is no profit in the streets the product has lost its value, and all criminal activity associated with illegal drugs comes to a stop.”

      ……this statement assumes that there is no corruption in Government. I don’t think anyone in Bermuda can say that with a straight face.

    • Wake UP!! says:

      You’re a joke! How do you think that guns get into the island, like I said before the “War on Drugs” only fuels real wars!! It’s only going to get worst if we don’t do something drastic and I feel that this discussion is necessary. Call it what you like but all of this is by design and if we don’t change something, we’ll be experiencing murders everyday! We as Bermudians need our own self sustaining economy and counting on IB is a real joke. When all these companies are done using us as a TAX HAVEN in order to make record breaking profits and then rape and pillage us for our last remaining open green spaces for their country clubs it’ll be TOO LATE!!! Wake the hell up people!!

    • My two cents says:

      “Ahhhh who cares, half of government, police service, fire service, customs, etc smokes weed.”

      How do you know this? Strong statement. What I DO know is that police officers and fire fighters MUST pass a drug test and can be given a random one at any time, so I find it hard to believe that that “half the police service and fire service smoke weed” Care to explain?

  8. Marcus says:

    It’s so simplistic to believe this would really make any difference to the crime statistics.

  9. Ray says:

    People need to stop coming on this website and talking bad about Bermuda. Yeah, we are having trouble with our economy and violence but that does not make us a joke. If you see us as a joke then USA is a joke and every other country going through the same issues as us.

  10. No chance says:

    As regards other countries and de-criminalisation the Dutch are currently in the process of criminalising weed again. Too many social problems associated with drug tourists you see.
    I can see the positive side of taking the trafficking out of the hands of the gangs but there is no way the US will let this go ahead. Think you’re independant out here- think again.

  11. No to Weed! says:

    hmm…so tell me this? How old should your children be before they start lighting up like a pot head?

    I will tell you this, I have stop taking my daughter around my own brother because of this weed thing. I even asked him to stop. Then he says he not got a problem! It takes a weak mind to sit there and smoke this stuff day in & day out and I have told him this.

    The next time some of you go around your friend’s or relative’s house sit there and watch them get high. Been there & done that…..ask yourself do we really need this for Bermuda……..

    Then again why don’t we just change the name of one of the Parishes to HERB R US. Then who ever wants to stay there and get high can go.

    • My two cents says:

      Since when are 18 year olds considered children? Isn’t the drinking age 18? Thought so. That is the same age limit that should be put on marijuana if it ever became legal. Everyone that advocates for legalization advocates for age restriction, so you can be properly informed.

    • Scott says:

      Common sense would dictate that it would be the same age as tobacco or alcohol…

  12. Kegy says:

    I’ll grow the drugs for you Bermuda! dont worry!

  13. Ouch says:

    its okay for people to have their own opinion. no one has the know all to call names. and Jason speaks only for you and him, and ya you do sound old and closed minded. lorl. plus we will legalize it, so poor you. the numbers speak for themselves. keep up with the times you are not always right and when others out think you, don’t call them idiots or shout out Christ. its okay to change your mind and understand that sometimes things change and this would stop the violence ok. keep up with the times. you can’t turn back the hands of time.

  14. Critical Thinker says:

    All right thinking people knows that this makes a lot of sense. The problem is, that the profit is relied on in many countries, from the street level all the way up and I mean all the way up. Also, the ill effects, some would argue, is used to suppress others. There are a lot of beneficiaries at the law making level that will not take kindly to this idea, this is why it hasn’t happened as yet and probably will never, unless we the people took back our country from special interest.

    I mean we can’t possible think that we are the only ones that can see, that the root cause of most crimes in Bermuda, is as a result of the profits associated with the drug trade, and by iliminating the profits, you also eliminate those crimes.

    Can you imagine if a cigarette smoker had to pay $50 for 1/2 of a cigarette, can you imagine how high the crime rate would be?

    I have always said, that if we want to see all this violence ends tomorrow, at least most of it, legalize all drugs today. Don’t get me wrong, this cannot be done in a vacuum, you will have to impliment a good anti-drug education, so as to dry up the demand end.

    There will always be people who are wired for addiction and will get addicted to whatever. So the aim would not be to eliminate addiction but rather to minimize it through education.

    There will always be the folks that think you can pray away all our problems, and somehow this idea is immoral, but these folks seems not to read the part about “Faith without work is dead”

  15. Truth says:

    Gershwyn ‘High Priest Shiloh’ Smith

    …I don’t think that people are going to take this group serious with this guy at the helm.

  16. CanadianLuv says:

    I agree with the decriminalizing of marijuana.
    First let me say I wish all these “Christians” …I put that in “” because I think they are hypocrites! Think the Bible is against “Drugs” etc; they quote verses & all kinds of radical extremist Christian beliefs in any social disagreement (such as all these crazy posts on Bernews). Stop brining religion into this! The church & state was separated several centuries ago for a reason!
    Back to the issue at hand…If we all educate ourselves we will realize that marijuana is not bad for your health ! It is only bad when smoked – it can be used in food, tea, vap etc list goes on.
    It has killed NO one WORLD WIDE! How many people has Alcohol killed?-> Several just ask the Mothers against Drunk driving!!
    So my recommendation to the Young Progressives is to first create a website/page to
    need to be Educated on the subject and then try to de-criminalize marijuana. This way you can see how many people support you and create a coalition for change!

  17. Not Surprised says:

    Sitting back and bracing for the increase in Glaucoma diagnosis. Hahahahaha.

  18. Geza Wolf says:

    You my friend are misinformed. Tobacco kills many more people a year then heroine for example. It kills more people then Heart failure and you want to tell people that marijuana is more harmful then tobacco?

    Phillip Morris would be proud.

    THE PEOPLE WHO ARE AFRAID OF DECRIMINALIZED CANNABIS ARE THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY, THE ALCOHOL INDUSTRY AND THE PHARMACUTICAL INDUSTRY, Do your homework…

    • Ian says:

      And soccer moms who think this drug is dangerous.

      So many people on this island are so misinformed and uneducated on certain things.

  19. sandgrownan says:

    Jesus H. There’s sure one way to get all the mellow dudes wound up, that’s tell them they’re wrong. You ought to go smoke something.

    This is a smorborgfest of naivety. Reduction in crime my arse. Increase in tourism? Revenue generator?

    • My two cents says:

      Wow, let me educate you on something. The Netherlands HAS HAD increase in tourism which is a revenue generator! The most basic thing you are questioning is right their for the whole world to see. I can’t help but make my own assumptions about your intelligence level, but I will refrain from the immature name calling because I am MUCH better than that.

    • Geza Wolf says:

      Sand grownan has completely avoided the point that crimanals vast empires are funded by drug money, namely cannabis money here in bermuda as it is the biggest import by far.

      Dude is like Bill O’reilly or something.

      Facts go in, lies come out. YOU CANT EXPLAIN THAT

    • sandgrownan says:

      First of all, why do you think people are involved in gangs and crime? Do you really think it’s because veed is currently illegal? If you do, you are simplistic and naive in the extreme.

      Gangs exist because they provide a sense of belonging, a family unit where a conventional one is lacking. An environment where one can earn approval and respect and also pass it on. Crime is a factor because these guys (and girls) exist outside of normal society. They are unwilling, and in many cases ill-equiped to exist within what constitutes normal life. They are uneducated and unfortunately for them, live in Bermuda. Phenonemally wealthy people exist everywhere, some inherit it, and many earn it but in Bermuda it’s “in your face”. For these folks, the ability to be apart of that life is impossible, unrealistic. They can neither inherit nor earn it. But they still want the “bling”.

      So what do they do? They turn to crime and drugs are the easy option. A ready market, compliant border controls, an underfunded police service and it’s a recipe for success. Removing cannabis from the equation by legalising it will not change the crime situation. It will merely shift the focus.

      If you put as much effort into promoting educational reform, we’d be in a better place. Start to dismantle the gangsta culture and we’d be in a better place.

      MYtwocents: so tourism in The Netherlands has nothing to do with it’s location, it’s rich history of impressionist art, centuries of history and tradition. It’s all about 8 city blocks of hookers and coffee shops? Right…..
      Bear in mind, that Dutch authorities are moving to re-criminalise cannabis, but don’t let that get in the way of a largely emotional argument.

      • Geza Wolf says:

        I did not say gang crime is caused by illegel narcotics. The money involved with the distribution of the narcotics is the problem, it creates the flashy life-style that attracts youngsters. Thanks for assuming im a moron.

        • Sandgrownan says:

          The crime problem has a more fundamental root than illegal veed.

        • Sandgrownan says:

          Of course, anti-social behaviour without consequence is actually encouraged by our “community leadership”, our poor insipid excuse for role models – see the PLP and the BIU. Legalising veed aint gonna change that sunshine.

          The “reduction in crime”argument is the biggest red herring of hte pro-spliff lobby.

          • My two cents says:

            Yes, as you are the expert on the subject yet hundreds of other extremely qualified people in communities all over the world are wrong because you said so. Once again, where is the proof in what you say?

            • Sandgrownan says:

              Crime is, essentially, driven by economic pressures. Throw in the social ills that lead to gang and exclusion from normal society, then you have a mess. In Bermuda, we are “blessed” with a huge disparity between the haves and have nots – compounded by the fact that many have nots cannot participate. Weed, illegal or legal is not the issue.

              • Geza Wolf says:

                you are right, but drugs give the people on the short end of the stick the option to make lots of money and set an example that there is no need for hard work to climb the corporate ladder.

      • My two cents says:

        No doubt, they will lose a lot of revenue. It will be interesting to see just how wonderful it all pans out. Of course people go for just the things you stated above, but a whole other sector of tourists go because of both and another sector go for just the marijuana. This is only a ban for tourists, not locals.

        • Sandgrownan says:

          So the “increased revenue” argument falls flat, as does the “reduced crime” argument. What are you left with?

          It’s not as harmful as alcohol. Hardly convincing however true it is.

          • My two cents says:

            The increased revenue argument does not fall flat. Why would you say that? The Netherlands benefits financially and now the tourism money will decrease. What is it you don’t understand about that formula? I find it funny that a tourist is banned from buying a joint but they can still get a prostitute. Good job Christian Democratic Party.

            • Sandgrownan says:

              How much do you think they’re going to lose, if anything?
              Are the costs associated with managing “veed tourists” more or less than they contribute? Is Holland a narcotics gateways for Northern Europe? Think big picture.

              • My two cents says:

                I see, you want me to do all the research, no you look it up yourself, I already know the answer and yes they WILL lose a lot of tourism money. Marijuana is NOT a narcotic so that last statement once again makes NO SENSE. You are the one not looking at the “big picture”.

              • sandgrownan says:

                They will? Ok, if that’s what you think. I think if you look deeper you’ll find that the cost of a liberal policy towards weed outweighs the tourism benefit in Holland. It’s part of the reason they want to tighten up controls.

                I suspect a better idea would be, perhaps in the budget this week, to inject some life into the economy and get it rolliing again. Then launch a series of investigations into the missing millions and start to rebuild our education system to give people real opportunities. Take away the sense of entitlement.

                But you know, is that not big enough for you? Do we want to be a floating Amsterdam? Is that the answer?

                • My two cents says:

                  Stop putting words in people’s mouths. I never said anything about boosting tourism in Bermuda with marijuana!!! I talked about the NEGATIVE affect in Netherlands tourism by banning marijuana tourism! I don’t “think” anything. I know by what I have read that it will indeed affect their tourism dollars. Enough said

              • My two cents says:

                Your question “how much do you think” is funny to me, cause it doesn’t matter what I THINK! It matters what the stats say. This is the difference between you and I. I don’t live my life like that. I look at stats and facts and evidence, not merely what I think. After all, just because you say it, doesn’t make it true. You can have an opinion, that’s fine, but when it comes to debating an issue, opinions don’t hold an ounce of clout.

              • sandgrownan says:

                Apart from being fundamentally wrong as a comparison – what do you take from the Dutch experience that would be useful here?

                We know crime wouldn’t be affected. We know we wouldn’t miraculously revive tourism with this. We know that the US, being our largest trading partner, rightly or wrongly would bring pressure to bear. It would become increasingly difficult for IB to operate here as a result.

                Tell me, Mr. Statistician, what’s been the cost to The Netherlands of a liberal polict towards weed?

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