Dunkley: Marijuana Decriminalization Discussion

October 24, 2013

Minister of Public Safety Michael Dunkley said he is “prepared to begin a meaningful discussion on the decriminalization of marijuana in Bermuda.”

The Minister was speaking at the opening of the Bermuda Drug Information Network [BerDin] seminar this morning [Oct 24].

The purpose of the BerDIN meeting is to update its members on progress and trends, to provide an environment and opportunity for dialogue and collaboration and to professionally develop the BerDIN Members.

Minister Dunkley said, “I think it is necessary to acknowledge the public debate in Bermuda and overseas that surrounds the use of marijuana.

“Without going into too much detail, I do feel it is important to indicate that I am prepared to begin a meaningful discussion on the decriminalization of marijuana in Bermuda.

“Let me be clear, I do not support the legalization as I am not convinced that such a course is fit and proper for this country.

“I do take notice of the effect that a conviction for the youthful indiscretion of marijuana possession can have on our citizens and with that in mind a wider discussion on decriminalization must take place.

“There is also some momentum surrounding the medical uses of marijuana and the relief that proponents say it brings to the sufferers of various diseases.

“This discussion cannot be discounted either and must also form part of a sensible, mature public discussion on these issues.

“One need only read the newspapers, scroll the net or watch the electronic media to see that Caricom, the UK and even the United States are all considering their position on marijuana.

“We have nothing to fear from such a discussion locally and I wish to assure you that our decisions will be research-driven and made in the best interests of the Island as a whole.”

Minister Dunkley’s full statement follows below:

Good Morning,

It is my pleasure to formally open the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Bermuda Drug Information Network, also known as BerDIN.

I would like to welcome all the members of BerDIN — who are representatives of a broad spectrum of agencies and departments engaged in drug prevention, intervention, treatment, counseling, rehabilitation, enforcement, interdiction, health, and policy — as well as all invited guests representing key stakeholder departments.

The BerDIN is a critical information network. It provides sound, centrally available, local data, on a wide range of issues that increase our understanding of the complex, dynamic, and evolving nature of the Island’s drug problem.

It shows commitment to the provision of substantive information that allows for dialogue by the public and aids decision making on drug control in Bermuda by policy makers.

The sustained and effective functioning of this Network is therefore vital in supporting the Government’s priorities, and more so, those of the Ministry of Public Safety; in ensuring Bermuda is safe from the ills of drugs, and crimes associated with drugs, such as the use of guns, gang violence, and money laundering.

All of the representative agencies or departments provide equally important information that needs to be considered collectively in order to achieve a sound overview of the developments we are seeing in the Bermuda drug situation.

While some trends have remained unchanged over the past year, like alcohol and marijuana being the most commonly used substances amongst the general adult population; others have become noticeable, such as the combined use of illegal drugs like heroin with legal prescription substances like Oxycodone.

Moreover, although some types of experimental drug use may be falling, there remains a core of entrenched users — of opioids, cocaine, and even cannabis and alcohol — who experience the greatest problems, and they must remain the focus for our intervention efforts.

In many respects, I believe we can be optimistic that Bermuda’s policy of balancing rigorous and comprehensive demand reduction measures with robust supply reduction actions are bearing fruit.

This is evidenced by the investment — both in fiscal and human capital — in the treatment, rehabilitation, and counseling of persons with substance abuse problems coupled with intervention and prevention programming at formative stages — to increased activity by enforcement and interdiction agencies of drug and cash seizures, in addition to interdiction efforts at our ports.

Surveys show that our residents now feel safer in their neighbourhoods.

However, although much has been achieved, problems remain and new issues are emerging that leave no room for complacency — particularly during this difficult economic time.

No doubt there is still much work ahead of us.

For instance, understanding the illicit drug market requires a holistic approach, following the economic chain from production to consumption via trafficking.

These markets are a huge economic challenge; drug trafficking — whilst illegal — is a highly profitable commercial activity.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 70% of the criminal proceeds of drug trafficking are laundered through the financial system and then penetrate our economy.

We need to be better able to identify this impact on Bermuda’s society and economy.

Future work must focus on quantifying and analyzing how illicit drug markets interact with the economy along with continued efforts in demand and supply reduction activities.

Additionally, I think it is necessary to acknowledge the public debate in Bermuda and overseas that surrounds the use of marijuana.

Without going into too much detail, I do feel it is important to indicate that I am prepared to begin a meaningful discussion on the decriminalization of marijuana in Bermuda.

Let me be clear, I do not support the legalization as I am not convinced that such a course is fit and proper for this country.

I do take notice of the effect that a conviction for the youthful indiscretion of marijuana possession can have on our citizens and with that in mind a wider discussion on decriminalization must take place.

There is also some momentum surrounding the medical uses of marijuana and the relief that proponents say it brings to the sufferers of various diseases.

This discussion cannot be discounted either and must also form part of a sensible, mature public discussion on these issues.

One need only read the newspapers, scroll the net or watch the electronic media to see that Caricom, the UK and even the United States are all considering their position on marijuana.

We have nothing to fear from such a discussion locally and I wish to assure you that our decisions will be research-driven and made in the best interests of the Island as a whole.

It is only through cooperation and coordinated action that our efforts will prove effective.

By re-engaging in your meeting last year, and again being here this year, you demonstrate that you are dedicated to advancing and supporting the work of drug control in Bermuda.

Insights gained from your deliberations at these meetings have and will continue to feed the new policy cycle process on drug control planned for adoption by this Government for the period 2013–2017.

I would like to thank all of you for the outstanding work that you are doing, and will continue to do, to ensure that Bermuda addresses its drug problem based on sound information.

I would also like to thank the dedicated staff of The Department for National Drug Control for organizing and hosting this event; for leading the efforts to ensure that the collaboration continues; and for ensuring that local data is available to inform decision making at the policy and programme levels; and thereby impacting outcomes.

I am pleased to open this meeting and wish you every success in your deliberations.

-

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. Marijuana Decriminalization Consultation Paper | Bernews.com | November 12, 2013
  1. Double Standards says:

    Just decriminalize up to certain amounts so that small possessions do not result in criminal records for the recreational user.

    Time to admit, across the world, that the war on drugs is an abject failure from all aspects.

    • Mile High Club says:

      I agree. Decriminalize an amount up to what a user would carry, put punish the dealer and importer.

      • Lebron says:

        No, one thing leads to another. Weed, to speed, to pills, to nose, to meth to horse.

        No thank you.

        • Concerned Citizen says:

          Yup, Lebron is clueless. No need to read his post anymore.

        • Robert says:

          I beg to differ, weed doesn’t mean you will eventually move on to more addictive and harmful drugs. I know many people who smoke weed and have no desire to partake in any other form of narcotic.

        • think outside the box says:

          agreed

        • Come Correct says:

          Weed has the complete opposite effect of everything else you mentioned, so saying it leads to those things makes no sense.

      • think outside the box says:

        punish the dealer and importer??then the user is now out of luck then?

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Oh come on, this ball has been kicked around for long enough. Get on with it. There are plenty of examples of decriminalization of the laws around the world to follow.

    Get on with it.

    • Seriously.... says:

      Exactly, he said the EXACT same thing last month.

      Talk Talk Talk.. I wonder how long that discussion will take place.

    • Sisu says:

      And conscription. Have testicular fortitude and make the changes that are necessary and just in today’s world.

  3. yesman says:

    I rate the OBA for taking this direction. Relaxing the marijuana laws in today’s times is a no-brainier.

    Now lets move along to implementing gaming in Bermuda and get our tourism industry back to where it was in the late 80′s and 90′s.

    • Seriously.... says:

      Rate them for talking about it?

      PLP talked about it too.

      What about doing.

    • Enough Talking already says:

      He said the same thing last month…

      http://bernews.com/2013/09/drug-testing-mps-discussion-on-decriminalization/

      “I think it is necessary to acknowledge the public debate in Bermuda and overseas that surrounds the use of marijuana. Without going into too much detail on this matter I do feel it is important to signal to this Honourable House that I am prepared to begin a meaningful discussion on the decriminalization of marijuana in Bermuda.

      “I do not support the legalization of this drug as I am not convinced that such a course is fit and proper for this country. I do take notice of the effect that a conviction for the youthful indiscretion of marijuana possession can have on our citizens and with that in mind a wider discussion on decriminalization must take place. There is some momentum surrounding the medical uses of marijuana and the relief that proponents say it brings to the sufferers of various diseases. This discussion cannot be discounted either and must also form part of a sensible, mature public discussion on these issues.”

      So Dunkley, what have you done since then? The OBA Talking show.

  4. hmm says:

    notice, the minister clearly states that he doesnt support decriminalisation, so weed smokers don’t get too excited

    • Double Standards says:

      No, he said he is against legalization…

      • Robert says:

        Legalization would be the best way to do it. Decriminalization means its still an offense to import it, legalised and controlled cultivate would bring revenue to govt .

    • eYES wIDE oPEN says:

      The report clearly states that he does “not support legalization”, not decriminalization. Two different things…

      • hmm says:

        How else do u two think decriminalisation will happen without legislation, so no it isn’t two different things, legislation would be needed to decrimininalise not just to legalise.

        As far as the idea, i don’t smoke weed but i think it’s a good idea, because there are people stop listed based on simple possesion convictions, and I was in university in Halifax, Nova Scotia when weed was decriminalised there, decriminalisation still doesn’t stop people getting locked up for trafficking and selling weed

        • eYES wIDE oPEN says:

          Your reply has nothing to do with your first comemnt. Yes, they are two different things, but I’m not going to sit here and explain it you you. Google it if you don’t understand.

        • Tolerate says:

          Please Google the differences as they are different. You can decriminalize without legalizing. However can’t legalize without decriminalizing. Get it?

          • sage says:

            How about repeal like with alcohol, or have the courts strike down all anti-herb laws as unconstitutional like in Canada when the legislature took too long to act.Maybe a ballot initiative like in Colorado and Washington where it is legal for “recreational”use. Just set it free,got it?

        • Tommy Chong says:

          Decriminalisation is different than legalisation & you’ve proved this with your example of Halifax where its not a criminal offence to cary a certain amount but it’s still illegal to cary that amount so you can be fined for it or be sentenced to community service just not arrested & given a criminal record. It’s like getting caught driving over 35kmh in Bermuda you will be fined & maybe taken off the road because its illegal but won’t be imprisoned since its not considered a criminal offence. It can be hypocritical & on the fence when it comes to cannabis but there is still a difference. Nobody should expect decriminalisation to solve our black market problem since being illegal still makes cannabis lucrative & only legalisation will solve this. The upside is that decriminalisation will get young offenders off American Custom’s criminal list so they will have the opportunity to go to college or uni in the states.

        • Malachi says:

          Your quote:

          “How else do u two think decriminalisation will happen without legislation, so no it isn’t two different things, legislation would be needed to decrimininalise not just to legalise….”

          Was the word “legislation” above meant to read “legalization”?

    • Tolerate says:

      @hmm, “notice the minister clearly DID NOT state he doesn’t support decriminalization, but that he clearly DID state he doesn’t support legalization. I’m sure this opinion is shared by a majority of Bermudians. Not sure why you would want to put words in his mouth?
      Was this because you simple skimmed over his statement or are you trying to make light of the effort being made to address this ongoing issue of Bermudians being punished for a minor indiscretion?
      Although at this point it may just be talk on addressing the issue; it is at least is being discussed which hopefully leads to a change in the law.
      One which I notice was not changed under the last administration.
      Curious; but hey the PLP faithful will call it buying votes? After all it’s only talk right?

  5. Really? says:

    Lets go stop discussing the discussion and have the discussion…

    • Enough Talking already says:

      Exactly… He said the same thing last month, so he’s just discussing the discussion.

  6. overseas says:

    Im Bermudian living in a medical State and have a medical marijuana card and its an absolute freedom not to be considered a criminal for smoking Gods free gift of herbal medicine…tune in Bermy…1love

  7. Mr. CLEAN says:

    anyone got a light?

  8. Charter says:

    An immediate place to start is to stop prosecuting tourists for small quantities of weed. It’s so self defeating.

  9. Real Talk (original) says:

    Kudos to the Minister for the first step towards what will hopefully be a sensible review of our existing attitude towards recreation and medical marijuana use.

    Research indicates that our present attitude towards marijuana stems largely from a lack of information which was further fueled in part by anti-immigrant sentiments in the early 20th Century.

    There is also no tangible link between the decriminalization of marijuana (or legalization for that matter!) and increased use. In fact, quite the opposite.

  10. Sorry Sir says:

    To decriminalize instead of Legalize is just putting money in the hands of gangs instead of government.

    • Come Correct says:

      Yup, but baby steps. How many people do you think would be kicking s*** if they moved straight to legalization? I’m all for it, I think Bermuda needs to stop following the rest of the world and start making its own decisions. Our public education system is crap because we adopted it from the US, next thing they’ll decriminalize possession of small amounts yet kick in doors where a group of people are smoking and charge them for combined possession.

      • AwayFromHome says:

        I don’t know. Bermudians high going to work, high behind the wheel, more youth lazing about on the streets. That nasty smell everywhere. You know people are going to be irresponsible with this. I sure wouldn’t want to be on the road with stoned riders/drivers. Wonder how many more accidents and irresponsible behavior there would be. Is this really a good idea for tiny Bermuda?

        • YADON says:

          Do people go to work drunk ? Your logic is baffling , it would be treated the same as alcohol. What you are doing is fear mongoring there is no proof or reason to believe these things you say will happen

        • Mike Hind says:

          Most of that would still be illegal…

        • Come Correct says:

          What stops that now? I only smoke at night when my day is done but that’s just me. The thing is we can regulate alcohol because it is legal, you can’t regulate a black market, decriminalization does nothing for that. Right now people of all ages have access to it if they choose. Not everyone who smokes/uses is lazy and unproductive. Most people like that nasty smell but I still don’t think it should be used in public, that’s just respect. As far as going to work high, well that shouldn’t be tolerated and there are ways to tell. Being on the road with people that are high…hate to break it to Yup but you already are. You are right though, people will abuse it, that’s human nature.

        • sonso says:

          lol its because of narrow minded thinkers like yourself that we cannot even begin to talk about legalization.

          you are the irresponsible one for not doing any research on the subject and making those absurd assumptions you just did. that nasty smell everywhere?? give me a break!

        • sage says:

          You better know,what you describe is going on now.I’m glad you are ok with all the drunkards working,driving and laying about on the streets and the carcinogenic stench from cigarettes as they kill people who don’t even smoke them.So you go ahead and take comfort that since herb is illegal there are no weedo’s on the road with you and the rest of your alcoholic friends when you set the vehicle on auto pilot after a night in town and “just a couple”.PS please stay away.

  11. sage says:

    For the first time in 40 years Gallup polls in the US show a majority of Americans support legalization and we are still stuck on decriminalization which does not address the black market.Baby steps is guaranteed to assure we’re left behind half of the US and other nations.ALL the “Ills of drugs crimes associated with drugs,such as the use of guns,gang violence and money laundering”are a direct result of the failed methods used to stop this phenomenon,and no sick or dying person should ever have to risk imprisonment in order to access a medicine(herb)which is far safer than any prescription or over the counter drug,for that matter.You can also produce it yourself basically for free.Whether or not Minister Dunkley agree’s he is there to do the will of the people.

  12. Suzie Quattro says:

    I’d have thought Mr Bean would be right behind this.

    • YADON says:

      Most people with more than half a brain will be. Unless they have yet to research the facts and are still full of proabitionist propaganda.

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Mr. bean is far ahead of even your AG Pettingill. As he said on radio today, he called for this in his MAIDEN SPEECH as a MP. That’s what I call courage of his convictions. On this issue, Bean is probably the ONLY MP in Bermuda I trust. The rest of them, on both sides, are typical politicians, only worried about votes.. Dunkley is the last MP I would trust to deal with this issue.

      • michael brangman says:

        Oh yeah. Mark Bean made me proud. A politician who told the truth. Meanwhile minister dunkley tap dances around the issue.

        Bullet

  13. Tommy Chong says:

    Although I do applaud the minister for preparing a debate on this at the same time I’m shaking my head at his stating, “Let me be clear, I do not support the legalization as I am not convinced that such a course is fit and proper for this country.”

    Fit & proper is based on biased opinion & the majority of times this opinion comes from religious belief which has little to no place in law. First of all it’s neither fit nor proper to call cannabis, “marijuana” since this is a non scientific slang that is a derivative of racism towards hispanics. Secondly how is it fit & proper for drunkards to stumble out of bars on the weekends in Bermuda yelling profanities & acting obnoxious but not fit & proper for someone to smoke a joint at home while watching television or in a designated establishment if it was legal to do so. What makes Bermuda so much more fit & proper than Washington State, Colorado, Portugal, Spain or any other place that has legalised? Is it fit & proper to hold your fork in the left or right hand or is it fit & proper to eat with chopsticks. Fit & proper is a matter of opinion & not fact & Bermudians need to realise what we deem as fit & proper most other societies would deem as being pompous & pretentious.

    • Enough Talking already says:

      Well, there you have it. Old mindsets die hard.

      Plus, you should well know there are entrenched interests at play here.

      Who makes money from importing drugs?? Ask yourself that question and then the answers may make themselves clear.

  14. Malachi says:

    There are some anomalies with our laws:

    Get caught with a pack of Rizla and a pouch of tobacco, and you get caught with a pack of Rizla and a pouch of tobacco; get caught with a pack of Rizla by itself and you might have drug paraphernalia!

    • Truth is killin' me... says:

      You’ll probably get less time getting caught with a gun!

  15. Next says:

    Doesn’t Michael Dunkley have more important things to worry about than potheads and their right to get high? I mean seriously.

    • Mike Hind says:

      So… he SHOULDN’T be addressing the concerns of the citizens of Bermuda?

      Isn’t that his job as a politician and a member of Government?

      Or are you saying that their concerns aren’t important?

      • Next says:

        He should be addressing what’s most pressing at this time and it’s surely not decriminalizing marijuana, read in context.

        • Come Correct says:

          So what is? Should each minister concentrate their efforts on one thing at a time? How much would get done then? I find it hilarious how every time there is an article on this topic “pot heads” completely obliterate the arguments of so called normal thinking people and yet you have the audacity to talk about brain cells. Just because this topic doesn’t concern you doesn’t mean it isn’t an ongoing and pressing matter. NEWSFLASH: Everything isn’t about YOU.

          • Next says:

            Newsflash: Everything isn’t about you potheads! You haven’t obliterated anything but your brain cells. No one cares about your plight to smoke weed. Nowhere did I say he should focus on ONE thing. I said he should focus on more important thing(s), emphasis on the S at the end. WEED is not on the list of top concerns for Bermuda. Let’s start with 18 year olds being hammered in the head in broad daylight.

            ONGOING AND PRESSING MATTER? Bwahahahahahaaaaaaa! Let me guess your next comment, it cures cancer. HAAAAAAAAAAAA. Thank you for proving my point.

            • Come Correct says:

              Ah, we should focus on the pressing matter of a teenager who went to the area to participate in anti-social activity organized on social media….bad example killa. The pressing matter here, as stated in the article is that our youth are bing denied access to further education because they choose to use a plant. There isn’t one person on this planet that can stop me from going to the grocery store, buy a bottle of bleach and drink it,so why is that not illegal? No one on this planet can stop me from drinking enough WATER to flood my vital organs. So why exactly is there a law against marijuana? People are being made criminals out of something that is not criminal, that is the ongoing pressing issue. You don’t care because you don’t use and thus will never be demonized which is selfish at the very least. If you hadn’t notice us “pot heads” comment on other topics too so clearly we aren’t so self-absorbed to think everything is about us. Feel free to carry on, FEED ME!….Oh…nothing about cancer….

              • Next says:

                Ah another one who can’t read between the lines, that was to say gang violence and violence in general is a more pressing issue. You know that thing that’s partly the reason the tourists don’t come here anymore? Uh but I digress. Potheads are too busy worrying about themselves and the “pressing” issue of legalizing their pot. You’re right I don’t care so why not give me that right the same right to freedom to do what you want as you so claim? I’m not thinking selfishly when I’m more concerned about the good of all of Bermuda and stamping out guns and violence, you all on the other-hand are more concerned about yourselves and being free to smoke weed. You are free to do it. You can’t see that? Of course not because you’re self centered, most likely a narcissist. Feel free to be oblivious and ignorant.

                • Come Correct says:

                  Oblivious and ignorant would be not realizing the black market does nothing but fund these gangs and the violence you speak of. So the government should legalize and tax it to take the cash away from the gangs and into the government as a new revenue steam that can be used to subsidize more important things. That would be better for all or do you have a better plan to stop the gangs? Silly girl, repeating things about “potheads” doesn’t make it true, just shows how uninformed you are and your need to attack the messenger.

            • Mike Hind says:

              I’ve been clean and sober for over 23 years, so… “pothead”? I don’t think so.

              You talk about “Let’s start with 18 year-olds being hammered in the head…”
              Do you not see that there could possibly be a link between the criminalization of our youth for pot and… you know… our youth acting like criminals?

              There ARE more important matters… but that doesn’t mean that this one should be put aside.

              Just because you don’t think this is important doesn’t mean that it isn’t important to others.

              • Next says:

                I didn’t call you a pothead. Looks like we have another narcissist on our hands. Contrary to you and “Come Correct” beliefs, the world doesn’t revolve around you two. I spoke in general, you decided to jump up and reply. As usual since you two sit on BERNEWS all day and night arguing with everyone. A hit dog will holler?

                Anyway to the rest of your comment, no. There is no link. At all.

                It’s only important to people who smoke weed. It is of no benefit or importance to Bermuda as a whole. Especially not in the midst of us having one of the highest murder rates in the world.

                • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

                  NEXT!!!….UR JUS AN UNINTELLIGENT A**…SHUT UP!

                • Come Correct says:

                  That’s not even what a narcissist is you numpty. You took what I said and tried to add a label. Failed attempt.

    • YADON says:

      Potheads? What a silly term. If someone enjoys a glass of wine with dinner are they a raging alcoholic ? No of course not , pothead is actually a false term used by scare mongorers as you can’t be physically addicted to cannabis but you can be physically addicted to alcohol.

      • Next says:

        Why are you so sensitive? Potheads call themselves potheads so get over it. And that’s your opinion not fact. I’ve seen otherwise. “scare mongorers”? LOL. You surely aren’t helping the belief that it kills brain cells.

        • YADON says:

          Wow, Next: You really must have never heard of Google before. There is no other explanation for you flat out ignorance on his topic and the misinformation you posted. Science has detailed how we have co-evolved with this plant for 100K years. We have developed both neural and somatic sites specific for cannabis. Many pain meds work because they bind to these sites. British doctors working in India 150 years ago documented nearly 1,500 different medical conditions cannabis was most-effective in curing and or managing. Even idiots know that the psycho-tropic effects among long-term users are minimal. If you have real information to post, that’s one thing. But posting fantasy slanted for the benefit of Corporations and to the detriment of the well being of us all is totally irresponsible and I’m calling you out on it. Shame on you liars!

          • Next says:

            Nice copy and paste job.

            You still sensitive though.

            • haha says:

              He’s not sensitive, he’s replying to you. If you weren’t so one sided and selfish/biased you’d see enough common sense to see what he had wrote. Just because you don’t indulge in smoking weed doesn’t mean it’s not important to the greater community.

              As far as um concerned it fits under the “drugs” part surrounding out community, even though I don’t see it as a drug, which also includes the breezers you drink after 5pm on Friday, which are worse for you. To each his own, but don’t put down people because they enjoy something you don’t, and to say it’s not an important matter, they you must be the one thats killing brain cells, why would the UK, United States and other various countries legalize/decriminalize marijuana?! Yeah I thought so…STOP being so SELFISH and MORONIC!

              • Next says:

                You’re so dumb and transparent. He is sensitive complaining about a term that people who smoke weed themselves use. Get over it.

                I don’t drink. Your argument is poor. It is not legal all over in those countries. Try again. I didn’t put down anyone. I was attacked for my opinion as well so YOU don’t be so one sided and stupid with your convenient eyes.

            • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

              NEXT!!!…UR STILL AN UNINTELLIGENT A**!!!…SHUT UP!

    • Tommy Chong says:

      The majority of the security issues in Bermuda revolve around our drug laws causing illegal drugs to be the most lucrative uncontrolled trade on island that people will steal & kill for makes this a major security issue. Since Minister Dunkley is the security minister discussing better drug laws that will remove the power of the black market is by far the most important discussion towards a safer bermuda. Implementing intelligent fact based drug laws to replace the antiquated ones we have will solve our criminal problems way before any prayer group or neighbourhood watch will.

      • Next says:

        LMAO! Yeah okay if you say so Mr. Chong, because as we all know, you know everything.

        • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

          NEXT MUST BE DRUNK COZ IT JUST WONT SHUT UP…GEESH!

        • Tommy Chong says:

          I won’t claim that I know everything but it’s obvious I know more than you since you’re ignorant of the relation between gang shootings & the legality of drugs. I’m guessing you believe Al Capone shot all his victims because he wanted to see how well his tommy gun worked no because he wanted to wipe the competition of the lucrative black market trade of alcohol during its prohibition.

          I bet you also believe Ronald Regan when he said, “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-Bomb blast.”

          The herb smokers better be careful because they might bring on the apocalypse by lighting a joint. LMAWO!!!!!!

          NEEEEEEEXXXT!!!!!

  16. Babylon says:

    Get on with decriminalizing Mary Jane.
    Stop talking Oba and do it.
    Whilst your at it,abolish conscription as well.Stop talking,we had enough rhetoric from the PLP,do not be like them.Talking a good game whilst only taking care of yourself.
    If the OBA want to win the next election,decriminalize Mary Jane,abolish conscription,and give equal rights to all.
    Just do it in the next 3 yrs,or the OBA will lose at the next election.
    By the way if no one is held to account for the suspected crookedness in the past,it will also be a nail in the coffin!

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      I bet you those issues listed above will be dealt with faster under the PLP as opposition, then the Oba as government.

      • Double Standards says:

        So why didn’t they address them in the near decade and a half they were in power?

        • Bermale says:

          Guess the poster is reaffirming the belief that the PLP are much more effective at being an Opposition Party as opposed to being an effective Governing Party.

  17. Robert says:

    Dam all this talk about weed makes me want to light up.

  18. Um Um Like says:

    Legalize it and regulate it like alcohol (age requirements, etc). Build an industry around it. Generate tax revenue and create employment through the farms, retailers, cafes, etc… Market it as a tourist destination.

    Many Americans can legally smoke a joint in their own country. Don’t you think they’d like to smoke a joint on one of our pink sand beaches?

    High Bermuda!

  19. whataboutus says:

    the govt has been wrong about marijuana for many years, and have done wicked to many Bermudian families, they need to surrender and legalize cultivation of marijuana for Bermudians. we righteously feel the govt hates us,so heal the nation. we don’t want compensation for years of cultural oppression, we want the govt to surrender on weed, and soon.

  20. YADON says:

    The US Federal Government patented cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants in US Patent #6630507; it mentions Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, neurological trauma, HIV dementia, and autoimmune disorders as conditions for which cannabinoids may be indicated, and though more research is needed to determine the proper doses, routes of administration, and profiles of active compounds (e.g. terpenes [like pinene, limonene, and myrcene], flavonoids [like apigenin], and cannabinoids [like CBD, THCV, CBN, and THC]), CANNABlS may be indicated as a way to treat, prevent, and/or cure numerous other conditions, including cancers, organ damage and nausea induced by chemotherapy and radiation, chemotherapy resistance, diabetes and its complications, osteoporosis, exostosis, atherosclerosis, sepsis, reperfusion injury, obesity, microbial infections (including MRSA, brain-eating amoebae, and herpes), anxiety disorders (e.g. GAD, PTSD, and OCD), stroke damage, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy, autism, depression, insomnia, spasticity, dystonia, dyskinesia, acne, psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis, pruritis, asthma, fibromyalgia, lupus, migraine, vascular dementia, chronic kidney disease, liver diseases, chronic pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease, colitis, IBS, Huntington’s disease, prion diseases, arthritis, MS, ALS, pain, GVHD, organ transplant rejection, sleep apnea, incontinence, and metabolic syndrome. Smoking CANNABlS was found by UCLA researchers to not be linked with either lung cancer or COPD, but bronchitis was mentioned; if CANNABlS were re-legalized, non-smoking methods for using it could be promoted (e.g. vapor and oral). Strains of CANNABlS with low (or no) psychoactivity exist (e.g. CBD-rich) but Drug Prohibition hinders access to them. CANNABlS has astounding medical potential beyond its psychoactivity. Even the worst effects of CANNABlS are not as dangerous as the laws that ban it. Harm reduction is the only honest and effective way to deal with drugs, as Drug Prohibition has amplified or created any problems associated with drugs so special interests could exploit the issue for money and power.

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    • sage says:

      Well that’s quite a bit of research for Minister Dunkley to ignore,studies looking for positive results have been stymied for years due,among other reasons,to the classification of herb as schedule 1 alongside heroin and above cocaine as having a high potential for abuse and no medical benefits,which is so ridiculous it would be laughable if the consequences weren’t so disastrous.This needs to be changed immediately to reflect reality.Do not “just say no” to the facts and discontinue your “zero tolerance”on compassion all you ganjaphobes try it you might like it don’t wait util you are sick and need it.Nice work Yadon.

    • YADON says:

      Every One Copy and paste this everywhere we can. It’s time to get the TRUTH out !!!

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      HEY NEXT!…EDUCATE YOURSELF , THEN COME TO THE TABLE WITH VIABLE REASONS FOR YOUR MENTAL INCAPACITIES…

    • jaos says:

      Nicely done. Trust that if one of my family or friends was suffering, I would recommend it. It’s proven so let’s open minds and take a lying leap forward into 2013!

  21. jt says:

    Jeesh – just relax everyone – breath deeply..hold…exhale slowly……..there, better?

  22. Wino says:

    Why stop there? What about prostitution? God made man and woman. The law punishes one for marketing a natural pleasure.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Consent.
      If there is a way to guarantee that the sex is consensual, I have no problem with figuring out a way to do this…

      • sage says:

        How can it be illegal to sell something you can freely give away, even when under the influence?

  23. Alvin Williams says:

    Well one good thing we may see come out of this; is the end of raids on the cruise ships just so we can subject those who smoke weed to massive court fines. It just like the days Bermudians used to set fires on hills
    hoping passing ship would be wreak on our reefs; than we would commence to
    loot them. Once a pirate always a pirate whether that means fleecing the poor tourist on the cruise ships who happens to smoke a little weed on his
    holiday or providing a haven for international companies who don’t want to pay the full measure of tax to their national governments.

  24. Robert says:

    Just give me the light and pass the draw !

  25. Sara says:

    Now that many U.S. states have legalized for medical use with some legalizing for recreational use, many countries are moving full speed ahead with legalization since the U.S. can no longer bully them. Jamaica and Mexico City are jumping on board. Bermuda is WAY behind.

  26. Sara says:

    Just like with tourism, we will fall behind and miss a good opportunity to create jobs and raise revenue.

  27. sage says:

    Yup,always followers never trendsetters.This is our only opportunity to create an industry which capitalizes on something we can produce locally by bermudians for bermudians,the true definition of buy bermuda,a renewable resource, a sustainable development with potential for medical,tourism,job creation(for locals),and allows law enforcement to redirect resources towards real crime,and ends incarceration, discrimination,marginalization,denying opportunities to many otherwise law abiding citizens.An industry the small man can get into,with regulation preventing big business from taking over,trickle up effect,rather than waiting on crumbs to fall off the table.