Work Begins On Cannabis Policy Reform Paper

December 29, 2013

At the request of the Minister of National Security Michael Dunkley, on 5 December, 2013, a collaborative group began meeting to produce a paper on cannabis policy reform.

Members of the group include Stratton Hatfield, Dr. Ernest Peets, Kamal Worrell, Julia van Beelen, Khomeini Taalib-Din, Cordell Riley, Krystl Assan, Lamar Caines, Eron Hill, Kyle Bridgewater, and Robyn Swan.

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A statement from the Ministry said, “The paper will identify the benefits and consequences of reclassifying, legalizing, or decriminalizing Cannabis and investigate its medical uses.

“Through comprehensive research and public consultation, the Cannabis Reform Collaborative [CRC] aims to provide a sound basis for rational, humane action towards reforming Bermudian laws and policies.

“Its members will look at cannabis and current cannabis policy from health, human rights, spiritual, cultural and economic perspectives in an effort to provide a fair and inclusive overview of policy options.

“Once complete, the document and its supportive research will be presented to the Minister.

“As stated in the November Throne Speech, the Government of Bermuda called for a public debate on Cannabis and stated their intent to produce a public consultation paper.

“The paper produced by the CRC will be included in the review by the Ministry of National Security and Department of National Drug Control and form part of the public consultation paper produced by Government.

“Lead group members include Stratton Hatfield, Dr. Ernest Peets, Kamal Worrell, Julia van Beelen, Khomeini Taalib-Din, Cordell Riley, Krystl Assan, Lamar Caines, Eron Hill, Kyle Bridgewater, and Robyn Swan.

“The CRC members bring experience in sustainable development, law, corrections, activism, public policy, research, statistics, and drug counseling to examine the history and impact of cannabis policies.

“The CRC looks forward to engaging with members of the community to develop a detailed and informative document on cannabis reform.The group will administer electronic surveys, smaller focus groups, and a town hall meeting in the beginning of 2014 to collect data and input from the community.

The CRC will also announce ways for engaging the public through social media in the near future; in the interim, the public can contact the CRC lead group members via bda.crc@gmail.com.”

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  1. Bermuda First says:

    How much is this waste of money costing us?

    • Mike Hind says:

      Why is this a waste of money?

      • Bermuda First says:

        Because we have children leaving school at 18 who can’t read and we are throwing “little or no money” on legalizing another drug. FOOLISHNESS!!!

        • Bermy says:

          If the police and courts didn’t have to waste funds and resources fighting petty crime like small amount possession or growing a couple of trees, that money saved could be injected into education

          • Ringmaster says:

            Cannabis should be regulated like alcohol. Under 18′s and drivers should have the same restrictions. If under 18′s are using cannabis (or alcohol) then that is the fault, and responsibility, of the parents. Simple.

            • sage says:

              What would be the minimum allowable limit as in alcohols case which stipulates .08 % ?

            • Lebron says:

              There is no way that Bermuda can consider this until it has completely overhauled it’s pizza delivery system. Four star could not cope.

            • Mile High Club says:

              Not all cannabis is created equal and gone are the days where the Ganja sold is from someone’s back yard and “natural” . The cannabis of today has been genetically altered, and grown using less than natural chemicals, fertilizers and methods to give the user more of a “stoned” high. It is being altered to make it addictive.

              See one such paper on the subject:
              http://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/student-voices

              • Sara says:

                Which is why people need to be free to grow their own for personal use.

              • sage says:

                I disagree, and apart from the “stoned high” you just described our world FOOD production methods to a tee.

        • Johnny says:

          If a child cannot read who are you blaming? Unless the child has a learning disability, it should be the parents/guardians responsibility to ensure that their child can read. Foolishness!!

        • Extraordinary1 says:

          Because the children are so dumb they end up joining a gang and fighting over the crap anyway. There is alot of money being wasted in government so look for something else to complain about.

          • more than enough says:

            you are an extraordinarily ignorant person…or by extraordinary1 did u mean highly functioning retard?

            • Mike Hind says:

              Can we please stop using “retard” as an insult? It’s really offensive.

              • more than enough says:

                but ‘the children are so dumb’ statement doesn’t offend you?

                • more than enough says:

                  or do you prefer extra’special’?

                  • more than enough says:

                    furthermore,with all the anti-weed propaganda being flung around, you choose to take offense at this? i suggest you remain out of this conversation,as you have been,unless you have something worthwhile to contribute to the subject…and yes pointing out the bs and disregard directed at ganjapeople is a worthwhile contribution

                • Mike Hind says:

                  the entire sentence, referring specifically to those that join gangs? Yeah. That’s pretty dumb.

                  So, no. It doesn’t offend me.

              • sage says:

                Where have you been, I thought you said you had my back on this issue? You are right about that term.

                • more than enough says:

                  agreed,i apologize.

                • Mike Hind says:

                  I DO have your back on this. I just don’t have much to add.

                  I figgered you got this. You don’t need MY help!

        • Sara says:

          Look, its not the school’s fault a child can’t read. It’s a household/parental problem through and through.

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            Ok, a bit off topic. But badly run schools and incompetent teachers don’t bear a teeny bit of responsibility?

            • Sara says:

              To a degree but parents need to work with their children. The reality is the value of an education has to be taught and if not then most likely their is no hope.

      • Onion says:

        Nothing or close to it.

        It is a volunteer effort.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Far less than it costs us to have people arrested, prosecuted & incarcerated for cannabis.

    • YADON says:

      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. TerryH, 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!

    • Stratton Hatfield says:

      The CRC was formed by a cross selection of local volunteers who are donating their time to focus on developing the paper. The CRC members are not being compensated financially for their time.

      The CRC believes that it is important for the Bermuda of 2014 to understand the facts around Cannabis Reform. The people of Bermuda need to recognize how current policies and regulations are effecting our community and consider solutions which will allow our country to proactively manage Cannabis distribution/use and its emerging medicinal uses

      Thanks,

      Stratton

      • No Effin Way! says:

        More like a Young OBA talkshop!

        Sorry – Future Bermuda Alliance

        • godson says:

          Exactly what it is…

          • inna says:

            well what is the young PLP talkshop talking about? all i hear is friggin crickets! maybe instead of trying to work against your fellow countrymen, why dont you put petty politics aside, and come to the center to discuss REAL issues, and the issue of marijuana is about as real as it gets!

        • LOL (original TM*) says:

          You obviously don’t know anyone on this Board I see two PLP people right off the bat……..

          LOL talkin sh*& just to talk it inna?

      • Frank says:

        Sorry Stratton but what qualifies you to be on the CRC? You re an industrial designer are you not?

        Nothing personal but many Government boards/commissions/working groups are manned by many who are not qualified or have any relevant experience.

        This shouldn’t be a feel good exercise. If the Government are serious about this issue then the CRC should be manned by relevant professionals.

        • yesman says:

          There are no cannabis experts in Bermuda. Experts will cost money. You don’t need a doctorate to write a “Research Paper”. You know you can provide references of qualified sources right? There is no need to reinvent the wheel for this paper. All of the required data and sources already exist. The team just has to put something together that will fit our island.

          • Frank says:

            Sure and how many of these types of groups have ‘just put something together to fit our Island’ which has resulted in something constructive and beneficial being done?!

            Members of such working groups should be able to provide sound/intelligent input/advice/opinion based on relevant education and experience i.e. subjects related to law, addiction/addiction services etc. You’re correct a PhD doesn’t give you that necessarily but one in criminal law does!

            So yes selection criteria should be based on education and experience related to the topic at hand!

            Some of those listed as members do others do not – hence my suggestion!

            • Baltic Fury says:

              I’m inclined to agree, Stratton what possible experience do you have?

        • maniac420 says:

          I totally agree

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      there is still no talk about eliminating the criminal element of it…let us grow to eliminate smuggling…let us grow to eliminate black market rackets…street dealers and buys gone bad…

    • Gopher says:

      I’m completely against smoking anything or using intoxicants but I think it is more criminal for a young persons future to be destroyed simply because they had a joint. I wish people didn’t need to use drugs (including alcohol) to enjoy life but that’s where we are as a society. I hope this group takes into consideration the affects of marijuana on those operating machinery and vehicles. It should be illegal to grow and distribute or import but laws should relax on people who have public possession for personal use imho.

      • sage says:

        “It should be illegal to grow and distribute or import but laws should relax on people who have public possession for personal use” Where pray tell would these people get it from, obviously the black market, so this would solve nothing. What is your policy directive concerning alcohol and cigarettes, should purveyors be imprisoned for their import, distribution and sale? Herb is a far safer alternative so why is selling it so taboo, anti drug hysteria, ganjaphobia? In Denver these irrational fears have lead to a former narc (oppressor), being put in charge of overseeing herb production from seed to sale something not done for tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals or even dangerous chemicals like pesticides. Let’s try to get over the fear of the unknown and do something positive to end this human rights atrocity.

    • Navin Johnson says:

      Finally found something that the Opposition will not oppose….personally I would prefer the law tightened rather than loosened…..

      • sage says:

        Why? You want to drive the prices higher leading to more gang violence, smuggling attempts, corruption and $80,000/year sentences to fill our prison with non-violent offenders by endorsing a policy that does not, has never and will not work? Growing herb is a life sentence on the books now are you suggesting execution?

        • Navin Johnson says:

          I see it everyday in the school system…listless zombies who are the offspring of listless zombies…..common thread? The children of weed smokers grow up the same way and the cycle has to stop.

          • sage says:

            I see plenty zombies alright, walking around staring blankly and texting on their cell phones, oblivious to the world around them. Children of “weed smokers” scored significantly higher in ten of the fourteen characteristics measured including alertness, robustness regulatory capacity and orientation, the mothers reported increased appetites, relieved morning sickness and improved quality of rest contributing to healthier newborns. M.C. Dreher,K. Nugent and R. Hudgins, “Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: An Ethnographic Study.” Pediatrics 93, no. 2 (1994) 254-260.

            • Navin Johnson says:

              A study in Jamaica about weed……any from the real world?

              • sage says:

                Again, with this type of bigoted outlook on others how are you suitable to teach children? I hope your employers read these posts and show you the door, like in the real world.

                • inna says:

                  lol just like you ‘sage’, i doubt if his name is ‘Navin Johnson’.

              • maniac420 says:

                actually if I am correct, the study that Sage is describing is a topic a few friends n I have been going over. Yes the study was in JA, but the doctor/examiner was not from JA. and once the foundation who sent this person there found the significant positive results and not enough negative they scraped the funding. By the way I am a doctor of psychology and I smoke at times as well

                • sage says:

                  This is why certain people keep on demanding proven research knowing full well these studies are fairly rare especially because of herb’s illegal status, classification and the scenario you described above which was the case in many “studies” whose outcomes were predetermined with next years grant money on the line as incentive. I think it’s referred to as “junk science”. Thankfully what findings were made, in the study I referred to, did make it to the eyes of the public, and others have as well. One of the worst examples of bad science has to be the “scientific study” where poor monkeys were strapped down and had marijuana smoke pumped into their lungs with a mask and no opportunity to breath any fresh air, the resulting brain damage, which was caused directly from oxygen starvation to the brain, it was then decided, was because herb kills brain cells, something still repeated up to today and fed to our children through drug “education”. Funnily enough, but not surprisingly, THC and CBD’s are known to stimulate neurogenesis (birth of neurons) in the brain and can even regenerate new cells after brain trauma. Jamaica has many capable doctors and scientists and I remember one researcher saying he had brought sight to the blind using herb extracts to treat severe glaucoma, way back in the 80′s.

      • Sara says:

        It’s obvious you care nothing about the gang problem on the island. ANYONE that gave a rat’s a** about violence and murders in Bermuda would want to see weed legalized. Again, THE GANGS GET MOST OF THEIR MONEY FROM THE ILLEGAL SALE OF WEED!

        • Navin Johnson says:

          Sara I work with children and many weed smoking CHILDREN are violent….I see less violence when they are detoxes and clean and sober…..I am very qualified to speak on the addiction problem and your analogy concerning caring about violence and murder is silly to the point of absurd…..

          • sage says:

            Psychoses are a reliable predictor of violent behavior, and people who exhibit psychotic behavior use every intoxicant in larger numbers than the general population, so are the kids violent because they smoke or do they smoke because they have issues? If you are so very qualified wouldn’t you write “detoxed”? The heroin ,crack, ecstasy,molly and god knows what else situation, is never discussed or even acknowledged when people are foaming at the mouth in their unrelenting attacks on the tree of life and I am concerned someone with your narrow-minded outlook is “working” with our children.

          • Sara says:

            Navin, I don’t think children should be smoking weed, smoking cigs, or drinking alcohol! Legalization is about regulation so children don’t smoke weed! They can get it easier now because of the black market and furthermore if these parents are allowing their children to smoke or drink they should be prosecuted!

            • Navin Johnson says:

              Sara we have common ground and I am in total agreement..I do not think the black market makes it easier to obtain and much of the violent behavior, or rather the rebellion against authority, occurs when the supply is short…..my concern with legalization is the aftermath of when it is easy to obtain I see the results….I agree that parents play the major role in the education process but often the parents are bigger users than their offspring….there is no easy solution but I do not think legalization is the answer….relax some of the simple possession restrictions perhaps…..

              • sage says:

                If you are not calling for cigarettes and alcohol to be immediately prohibited it’s users, sellers and importers given stiff jail terms and put on the stop list, need I remind you, our kids are starting these two at about 10 and 7 years old respectively, then how can you expect to be taken seriously?

              • Sara says:

                I understand you are scared that legalizing would make it easier for children to obtain. Is that correct? Obviously if you say the children are stoned out zombies with parents allowing them to consume pot then this is all being done as an illegal drug right? What are we doing to prevent this very fact right here right now that has resulted in helping this situation? Because what you all have been doing for the last 30 plus years isn’t really working in case you havent noticed. The idea of legal regulation is to put an age on it and enforce the law against underage use.

          • maniac420 says:

            the violence does not start or stem from weed smoking it comes from the living environment they deal with on a day to day basis.smoking weed does the opposite, it relaxes your mind more than agitate it. I can see you car for the kids safety and well being but do not misdirect your feelings through words that are not completely sound.

          • more than enough says:

            first you desribe the children as listless zombies now they are violent weed smoking children…talk about absurd!

            • Navin Johnson says:

              Listless zombies when they are using and abrasive and rebellious against authority when they can’t get it….

              • sage says:

                I would really love to hear how your students feel about you, now you’re done running them down to the dirt. Why not fill us in on your methods you employ to counteract these behaviors, looking down from your high horse, judging, criticizing, negative reinforcement, stereotyping, finger pointing, accusing, blame shifting etc. Initially you stated “weed smoking children are violent,” and “I see less violence when they are detoxes and clean and sober,” Then after this was exposed as bs and only your misguided opinion, you go on to claim they are” listless zombies when they are using and abrasive and rebellious against authority when they can’t get it..” I hope these youngsters can hep you, you are the one who really needs it.

        • Dano says:

          Sara, keep puffing on ya weed! What a joke you are. If you believe that legalizing weed will be the downfall of gangs you better wake up. You claim that most gangs make their money from the illegal sale of weed. So you think that if weed is legalized they won’t find other easy and illegal ways to make money like other drugs, prostitution, extortion, theft, gambling. Wake up – these guys sell weed because they are lazy, have no regard for authority and its easy! You think they will just throw their hands up and say, oh we’ll better go get a real job now? LOL

          • Sara says:

            Oh boy somebody is SCARED of the truth. I see right through you buddy. I don’t smoke weed yand I am no joke buy you sure are. All of my input is valid. I do believe and KNOW that taking the black market away will cripple the gangs and cartels. Its funny that people are scared to try something different even when their system is a big fat FAIL. Weed is illegal and gangs are thriving front that. Fact.

            • Suzie Quattro says:

              Gangs will just go onto the next thing Sara. Heroin, cocaine, prostitution, outright theft. The suggestion that any change in the cannabis laws will stop gangs is just plain naive.

              • sage says:

                Do you really believe that gangs aren’t already selling heroin, cocaine, crack, ecstasy and girls? If not then who is, individual privateers? I don’t believe weed sales represent the majority of “gangs” income myself. Have you outright forgotten these other drugs exist in your zeal to malign the herb, or do you think we have? At least when herb is legalized the authorities can redirect the millions wasted in a vain attempt to stop the inevitable, towards real crime.

                • Sara says:

                  This was stated (gangs make most of their money form marijuana sales)in an official report by BPS years ago, their exact words.

                  • sage says:

                    No offence Sara, but how many years ago? The ganja flight ended in the early 80′s coinciding with the coke/crack epidemic, and heroins been around forever, so who sells and profits from hard drugs then. Do gangs only sell herb and refuse to deal with the much more profitable harder drugs, extortion, theft or pimpin’? Again I don’t believe that. Anyway, my previous post was squarely aimed at Sleazy Q and the likes

                    • Sara says:

                      I am talking about Bermuda and it was stated a few years ago. I will try to find the news article. I never said they were fighting over it, I said the gangs were FUNDED by it.

          • Sara says:

            Or course their will always be a black market with other drugs, gambling, prostitution etc but Rome wasn’t built in a day my friend.

            • sage says:

              I was referring to Bermuda too, do you admit these guys (gangs) also sell cocaine and heroin and steal to raise funds? They ruined their own herb sales when the gun play escalated and they couldn’t be seen on the streets and very few weed smokers would risk running the gauntlet of increased heat, luckily for them the addicts of the more profitable hard drugs are more determined. I do take your point about taking the profits out, only I feel the desired results will be affected negatively by the fact that it is 40 years to late.

  2. sage says:

    Sounds good.

  3. Michael Dunkley says:

    @Bermuda First…there is little or no cost. I was approached by a few people interested in contributing and this group was formed. Government will provide meeting space and help them get the message out about what they are doing so people can contribute thoughts and suggestions. I am most appreciative for the CRC members coming forward and I look forward to their presentation.

    • js says:

      Dunkley for Premier

      • Kangoocar says:

        @js, I would be willing to bet, if you said ” betty for premier ” the same empty vessels the pushed the disagree button, would have hit the agree button!!!!

    • Kangoocar says:

      While I am NOT a cannabis user, I do appreciate your efforts to see if this is a viable option instead of users being giving criminal records for what seems harmless to nobody but themselves! The only concern I have is, what will the pre US customs/immigration ramifications be when we as locals and more importantly for IB business workers travel to the US be?? If we lose this convenient and time saving gift we have from the US government, there could be even more damage to our economy !! Landing in any major International airport in the US from another country is a LONG nightmare, and could be another reason for the IB sector to pull out of here!!

      • Portia says:

        The truth is, it is harmful to many. It is harmful to families, when you have a parent who has to have that “puff” every day and can’t get by without it. I have seen many cases of this, of fathers who would rather spend their money on weed than on feeding and supporting their children. I see guys who live their lives in a cannabis haze, they’re so smoked out they can’t even hold a job and don’t even have the motivation to do so. It’s sad to see really. Sad for the adults, but sadder for the children.

        And those accidents we hear about – whether or not they lead to fatalities – it is not just alcohol that is the culprit – cannabis also impairs driving, and is responsible for many accidents too.

        Natural plant, yes, but harmless? No.

        • Ringmaster says:

          @ Portia. I’m not disputing what you are saying but answer this. You are in your car and are stopped on a routine search. In you car is:

          1) an open bottle of vodka. You say you have not been drinking. You are given a test and pass as negative. No offence.

          2) a small spliff of cannabis. You have not smoked. You are are given a test and pass as negative. However for being in possession you are convicted and have a criminal record.

          Is this right?

          • Hmmm says:

            Yes it is right, it is the law. Until the law is changed it is the law. The individual in your example is fully aware of the law and should abide by it. No excuses.

            • sage says:

              How about no, some laws deserve to be broken, and then struck down, and this is definitely one of them.

              • Sandy Bottom says:

                No. If you want the law changed, make the argument. Until that point, don’t break the law.

                • umm says:

                  So your telling me you never go above 35k when you drive? What your implying is that you don’t break the law?

                  Sandy Bottom, you are trying your hardest to just come up with stupid remarks.

                • Come Correct says:

                  I could agree if there was a streamline process to legislative reform but there isn’t. The thing is Dunkley has already made the argument for us so why are we still talking about talking about this? We’re only looking at decriminalization of possession of small amounts, not full blown legalization, this part is pretty simple. The only aim right now is to stop young Bermudians from being put on the stop list so they can still pursue education in the US. Hate to break it to you but the college here is a joke and a waste of time. I did a course, got excellent grades for once in my life, went to do my exam early this month and all of a sudden the examiner has vanished. Now I have to fly to the US to complete it. What if I was on the stop list? I’d be yet another Young Bermudian that can’t pursue a dream. Prohibition has been successful, in a time frame, never! So why are we taking so long to remove our thumbs from our bums on this issue? This isn’t about another way for people to “get their jollies” as you once put it. It’s about not criminalizing and prohibiting the growth of young Bermudians. We can create all the jobs we want but if we can’t get Bermudians to fill them then we’re still in the same boat. The problem is in Bermuda possession is a criminal offense, when convicted you are basically classed with thieves, rapists and violent offenders whereas in the US it’s a misdemeanor(mr meaner for Duane) like getting a parking ticket, you pay a fine and it’s done with. Here it affects the rest of your life.

                  • sage says:

                    Thankfully this group is NOT constrained by the Minister’s opinion and will be examining all angles since in my opinion decriminalization is a stall tactic suggested by those unwilling to admit they were completely wrong in the past, and are attempting to appease the ganjaphobes amongst us.

                  • Sandy Bottom says:

                    There are plenty of laws I’d like to see changed. But, like everyone else, I can’t do much about it overnight, other than voice my opinion and vote according to who best represents my opinions.
                    That’s called democracy.
                    Your view of it is totally selfish and unreasonable. You just want to follow the specific laws that are convenient for you, and think it’s acceptable to ignore laws that in your personal opinion are inconvenient.

                    I

                    • sage says:

                      What laws do you want to change?

                    • Come Correct says:

                      That’s your view, I don’t see how I’m being selfish. Most of our laws are there for a very good reason. I dont see a good reason for prohibition of marijuana. The best argument I’ve heard against legalizayion is that we would lose our US customs pre clearance…but screw the young Bermudians your making criminals out of for possession of a plant. That seems selfish to me, especially with certain states now legalizing. You say it’s selfish and I think the prohibition of personal choice is oppressive. What right does a government have to tell me I can’t put a substance into my body? A government that governs least governs best.

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

                  if you can dispute this argument then please fill me in … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKgY5eOlhEc

        • I don’t know where you live but I hope you’re not getting your drugs mixed up

        • Navin Johnson says:

          It’s no use Portia as you are concerned about what happens to kids when they start using early in life and many on this thread are adults who are only concerned about their own needs

          • Sara says:

            navin, the current status of marijuana is illegal. You are said kids are already abusing it so where are they getting this drug if it is illegal? Is it your opinion that more kids would be listless zombies if it were legal? If so, what are you basing this assumption on? Because in places like Netherlands and Portugal where marijuana is decriminalized to the point its practically legal show that use among teens is actually gone down.

      • Stratton Hatfield says:

        Great points regarding our relationship with the US and IB. As you may know gateway states such as New York and Massachusetts have decriminalized Cannabis already.
        The topic of US relationships and IB have been discussed and will be investigated in our research.

        Thanks, Stratton

        • sage says:

          Also, Colorado and Washington have legalized for recreational use and 20 states (and counting)for medicinal,so it is highly unlikely our best friends, America, would penalize us in any way for abandoning an abysmal failure, more than one of our US Consul Generals have said so in response to said question.

          • Sisu says:

            “Unlikely” but pro-reformers have no idea if this is the case or not. At the end of the day if any type of change to how we deal with marijuana in Bermuda impacts travel into and out of the US we should have a serious look at not making the changes at this time. IB > MJ whether you agree with me or not. I am pro-decriminalization but not at the expense of making business in Bermuda any less attractive. Let the government present the facts as to whether or not pre-clearance will be impacted and let’s go from there. Until then, it is the elephant in the room…

            • sage says:

              Well, what sanctions or repercussions occurred as a result of Canada’s herb laws being struck down by a Judge to pressure the government to rewrite the laws resulting in relaxed penalties, or Portugal who decriminalized all drugs, and started dealing with drug addicts with the same respect as those addicted to legal things, resulting in a huge decrease in heroin addicts which had become an epidemic under prohibition, or most recently Uruguay who became the first to legalize herb and are currently experimenting with the details? The Federal Government, who do consider herb illegal, with no medical use and as harmful as heroin, have stated they won’t prosecute people abiding by state law in Colorado and Washington where it is now legalized for recreational purposes and they said they are not in the business of locking up consumers or sick people (anymore) just big traffickers. Any way I don’t have a crystal ball but I don’t fore see our close friends punishing us for something 58% of Americans now support

    • Supergood says:

      Appreciate the comments MD. Please also appreciate the concerns on the slippery slope any sort of legalisation spells. I am a father of 3 and I fear pot leads to worse. I am also an employer of several Bermudians, and I fear that laziness will worsen. The ordinary Bermudian does not want this.

      • Thinker says:

        Our Cannabis laws are outdated – a lot has changed since 1972…
        Cannabis will be consumed in Bermuda whether it is legal or not.
        We need to consider new methods of education to reduce substance abuse across the board, this includes Bermuda’s favorites such as Alcohol and Tobacco.
        Education should be done holistically and cohesively in a proactive manner so as to reduce the need for treatment in the future. Also teaching people about the pros and cons of using the substance.

    • sage says:

      I recognize about half the names mentioned and I would like to thank them for coming forward and helping to bring a very current and important discussion to the fore, and thanks also to the Minister for following through despite the vocal fear mongers who will undoubtably apply pressure in an attempt to derail the democratic process. There are plenty of myths, fallacies and outright lies that have been drilled into our heads concerning cannabis and those of us who support change should start a joint effort to increase awareness of the positive aspects. I am sure there will be no lack of suggestions.

  4. Ringmaster says:

    Ironically it is States within the USA that are rapidly reforming their laws on cannabis. However rather like gaming, Bermuda will be years out of date and left behind. Is there a date for this Report to be finalized? With all the work that has been undertaken in the USA alone, this Report should not take more than a few months. The reforms are well known and need to be put into action rapidly.

  5. Toodle-oo says:

    I think there should be a doctor of medicine on the panel . preferably one under 50 . But what is Dr Peets’ doctorate in ? I’m not familiar with him .

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      i agree with you about having a Dr. present…but if you have an AMA graduate…he’s only got one sided input…you need a Dr.who is reknown for his research in cannabis…someone with no doubts in his mind because of the results of his labor.

      • Stratton Hatfield says:

        Additionally, we will be consulting with Doctors from abroad who have particular experience with Medicinal Cannabis. Thanks – Stratton

        • more than enough says:

          may i suggest sanjay gupta…he was on piers morgans show one night…very interesting and innformative

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        No. There should be a doctor who can effectively and impartialy articulate any and all health risks presented by the use of cannabis. Not someone already ‘in the bag’ for decriminalising.

        And don’t let’s pretend there aren’t any health risks.

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

          There are health risks with every thing that you consume so what is your point!..? like anything else in life it is a choice …if its not YOUR choice…whats the problem..? are you trying to control or regulate MY choices in life..? You need to get a grip n stay in your lane.

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            If we’re thinking of changing the law it should be in full knowledge of the health risks.

            • sage says:

              30+ years of exaggerated “health risks” not enough for you? Why no mention of benefits .

              • Sandy Bottom says:

                Because the main reason for doing it is recreational use, not the purported “health benefits”.

                If there aren’t any health risks, what are you worried about? If there are health risks, why wouldn’t you want people to know about them?

                • Sara says:

                  “Because the main reason for doing it is recreational use.” You see Sandy, this is an OPINION. You are not able to prove this, it doesn’t belong in the conversation. You can say, in my opinion, the main reason for doing it is recreational use so you don’ look to silly to everyone else that has thoroughly researched this subject and spent a lot of time on it.

                  • Sandy Bottom says:

                    My opinion is based, admittedly, off a couple of assmptions.

                    First, the people get caught with cannabis voice their excuses in court. I read them in the media. I don’t ever recall the “I have cancer” excuse.

                    Secondly, if we’re not talking about recreational use,
                    I guess you would be ok if we end up with cannabis being regulated and available only for medical purposes. Right?

                    • Fully charged says:

                      Bad assumption! I know several local people who only use Cannabis for medical purposes.

                    • Sara says:

                      Sandy, my stance is pro legalization in all aspects with regulation like alcohol. The main reason I am pro recreation is I would love to see the black market of this plant crumble and the violence and bloodshed over plant money ELIMINATED. Places like Mexico are smart to start looking at legalization for this very reason. Bermudian gangs are funded by black markets sales of weed so to me it makes common sense. But all that said I think its a crime against humanity that sick people can’t have their medicine yet their doctors will give them a pill with a list of side effects a mile long. I would be thankful for just that.

                    • Face the facts says:

                      So when it is used in religious rites and sacraments, what category does this fall under, in your opinion? When it is used for mediatation and the clearing of the mind, where does this fall on your spectrum? I’m curious. We already know that the reason it isn’t legal is because it can fix just about anything that is wrong within the human body. Where does this leave pharmaceuticals, insurance, health care etc? See the bigger picture to this prohibition and you will see why it is wrong.

                  • Sandy Bottom says:

                    Sara, how can the panel make a decision if it doesn’t competently address the potential health impact?

                    • sage says:

                      The panel isn’t making any decision, calm down, they are compiling information so an educated decision can be made, do you really believe they won’t consider both the pros and cons? Also government is not bound by any recommendations. You seriously need to step back take a deep breath, preferably of some extra strong herb smoke, to begin to counteract the brainwashing you’ve received which causes you to try to challenge facts with assumptions and outright lies.(Careful Bob’s ghost has an eye on you!)

                    • Sara says:

                      Of course they will address both sides, its a panel!

                    • Sandy Bottom says:

                      But there is no medical doctor on the panel sara.

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            It isn’t good enough for many people.

            Drug abuse and drug addiction practitioners don’t share Gupta’s view.

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/11/sanjay-gupta-marijuana-debate/2636043/

            • sage says:

              All of them? No one expects anything different from any of them that are motivated by greed.

              • Suzie Quattro says:

                And maybe Gupta is motivated by the desire to keep in the media. His occupation is tv presenter.

                • sage says:

                  So, a well respected neuroscientist/cnn medical correspondent who admitted to fighting herb with no evidence other than the often repeated fallacies spread through drug “education” networks, decides to do a 2 year study and documentary, discovers he had been perpetuating myths and outright lies, apologises and presents his findings on tv,and you say he did it to keep his job? Some people do have to actually work at their jobs, strange concept for you?

            • Sara says:

              He is pro giving sick people medcine that helps them and has less side effects than pills. Why would anyone be against that is beyond me. As a doctor that is taking his Hippocratic Oath seriously, are you going to tell me its okay to pop xanax, oxycodone, Valium, etc yet don’t consume weed?

    • Stratton Hatfield says:

      We plan to consult doctors on the island that want to speak to the medicinal arguments. Here is a bio about Dr. Peets: http://focus.bm/about-us/staff.html?view=staff&id=22

      • maniac420 says:

        you should also contact other countries like Holland and ask how Bermuda can be helped to use this as a way to reignite our horribly failing tourist set-up. You can not be afraid of taking the chance to open our borders to new business experiences for tourists and try to make a comfortable way of living for our people..
        I am not saying marijuana or gaming/casino’s r going to save us overnight, but wit the correct GUIDANCE and SUPPORT all and any thing can be possible for our beautiful little island home..
        Many tourists come to places like Bermuda hoping to have not only an island feeling but the chance to relax in a manner in which they feel comfortable which will include both of these activities..
        across the street from the southside police station there is plenty of land to transform it into a water front entertainment strip where they can incorporate restaurants, nightlife/bars, lounges casinos even a comedy club all with police presence, they won’t be there to stop you enjoying yourself they will just police for any antisocial behaviour..
        It is just something to think about.. because all of these businesses will have to pay taxes and with the legalizing or decriminalizing of weed the government can now be the ones to bring in large quantities for the sale at these places as well as open medical stores around the island for patients in need, while placing a take on the sale side of it like alcohol n cigarettes. We can not be afraid of stepping forward into the new age of how the world is turning…

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        Stratton, Dr Peets has a PhD but is not a medical doctor. Shouldn’t there be a doctor of medicine on the panel?

  6. jokasmoka says:

    Free up d herbs mon

  7. We all we got says:

    legalize/decriminalize or reclassify it and the next election is yours

  8. K-Dot says:

    Masterstroke by Dunkley, all they need is decriminalization/ Medical marijuana and the next election is OBA all the way.

  9. hatethestuff says:

    zero tolerance, case closed.

    • sage says:

      There has been enough “zero tolerance” for common sense, compassion, individuality, opposing viewpoints and personal freedoms, thank you very much. Thankfully for the first time more than half of Americans(58% as of Oct. 2013 and rising), our best friends, our business partners and sought after visitors, support the legalization of herb and it just so happens when the US sneezes (or coughs) we catch a cold.

    • Fully charged says:

      That approach failed!

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      zero tolerance for arrogance and ignorance puts you at the top of the line…makes you a loser…in my opinion a criminal committing crimes against basic human rights.

  10. 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.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      You keep posting this crap. Are ypu really suggesting that cannabis helps all these conditions? Autism, for example? And bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and tourettes dyndrome? Cancer, diabetes, obesity?

      For example, hpe exactly does it help the condition of obesity? Give us the link to the medical research that shows that cannabis helps obesity, and explains how. We would all love to hear it.

      • maniac420 says:

        is it easier to spout out a lot of silly comments about an issue of health than to pay attention to what people are telling you. YADON has openly and quite accurately. I suffered with bleeding Ulcers due to eating spicy food, stress and drinking alcohol, I was actually in Holland at the time and was not smoking.Upon my return to Bermuda I went to my doctor and then the hospital where after all the tests they prescribed Voltarin.
        Within 2 days I was sicker than I was before, so I got in contact with a relative and he put me on to smoking weed without the cigarette mixed in like many use. I went to my doctor 2 weeks later and had some tests taken only to find out that my Ulcers had not only stopped bleeding they had shrinked greatly. I told my doctor and he told me to continue doing what I was doing and after almost 20 years I haven’t suffered from them since.
        Please don’t vilify something because you have no clue about it

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          Anecdotal stories tell us nothing.
          Where is the medical evidence supported by studies that cannabis helps obesity?

          • Fully charged says:

            Since you asked, from the American Journal of Epidemiology. The truth is there is a huge body of evidence for the therapeutic value of Cannabis for many conditions – surprisingly obesity is one of those.

            Obesity and Cannabis Use: Results From 2 Representative National Surveys
            Yann Le Strat* and Bernard Le Foll
            ↵*Correspondence to Dr. Yann Le Strat, AP-HP Hôpital Louis Mourier, 178 Rue des Renouillers, 92700 Colombes, France (e-mail: yann.lestrat@inserm.fr).
            Received January 25, 2011.
            Accepted March 24, 2011.
            Abstract

            The role of cannabis and endocannabinoids in appetite regulation has been extensively studied, but the association of cannabis use with weight in the general population is not known. The authors used data from 2 representative epidemiologic studies of US adults aged 18 years or older, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC; 2001–2002) and the National Comorbidity Survey–Replication (NCS-R; 2001–2003), to estimate the prevalence of obesity as a function of cannabis use. The adjusted prevalences of obesity in the NESARC and the NCS-R were 22.0% and 25.3%, respectively, among participants reporting no use of cannabis in the past 12 months and 14.3% and 17.2%, respectively, among participants reporting the use of cannabis at least 3 days per week. These differences were not accounted for by tobacco smoking status. Additionally, after adjustment for sex and age, the use of cannabis was associated with body mass index differences in both samples. The authors conclude that the prevalence of obesity is lower in cannabis users than in nonusers.

            • sage says:

              Put that in your pipe and smoke it !!

              • Suzie Quattro says:

                As the study itself states, there was no control group. Therefore it is not known whether it was actually the cannabis that decreased weight, or other lifestyle factors. The fact is this report shows that we don’t understand the effects of cannabis on brain functions.

                There are also studies evidencing that cannabis can cause medical harm, for example: [Can J Psychiatry. 2006 Aug;51(9):556-65. Is cannabis use a contributory cause of psychosis? Degenhardt L, Hall W.] which suggests a link between cannabis use and psychosis / schizophrenia.

                • sage says:

                  Smoking herb won’t turn you crazy, but having to process the unending torrent of anti-herb hysteria may. Not long ago the media reported cannabis increased the chance of psychosis, of course closer scrutiny of the “research” reveals nothing of the sort. The”study” which the media ran with, was actually a “meta-analysis” or review of previous studies,some having been around for ten years. What do these studies say, you may ask, what they don’t say is that herb causes mental illness ,rather some people with issues do use it, not surprisingly since people with mental issues are known to use all substances at a rate which is above average. Many people report self medicating for depression or schizophrenia and experience relief but stories that herb helps the mentally ill aren’t as sensational as ones that say it will drive you crazy. The final nail in the coffin of “herb causes mental illness” has got to be the unwavering rates of psychoses across the globe. For instance the rates in the US and Canada (many admitted users) are no higher than in Japan or Sweden (very few users) .Even after all that smoking in the 60′s and 70′s the rates never increased, something noted in the report but conveniently left out in the ensuing media circus.

                  • Sandy Bottom says:

                    So you don’t want to listen to scientific studies which throw your opinions into question. Got it.

                    • sage says:

                      Sandy you have taken a hell of a beating on this, even I am feeling empathy towards you at this point, do you really feel the media fueled false propaganda I described above qualifies as scientific studies? Bed rest and fluids may not be enough, an MRI of the brain may be in order here you may have blown a gasket. And no I don’t want to listen I have a very low tolerance for b^((s#!t.

                    • Rick Rock says:

                      sage, you’re the one that’s taken a “hell of a beating”.

                      No comment from you about the Degenhardt / Hall study I see.

                      You ignore any evidence presented about cannabis health risks.

                      And then you suggest ‘rest and fluids’ for anyone that disagrees with you.

                      You’re not helping your case. But carry on, fro what you want. your side will lose the debate if you ignore or fail to present the downsides, which definitely exist.

          • maniac420 says:

            wow people throw facts at you and you still don’t know how to catch it. I am not commenting on obesity I am openly giving you MY LIFE TESTIMONY and you push it aside like it means nothing when it helps prove so much more… I hope you can open your eyes to the simply facts that flow around you, be like a sponge and soak it up..your heart is in the right place but your view is clouded.. remember education truly is the key

            • sage says:

              Typical behavior from people who fear what they can’t comprehend it’s zero tolerance for compassion. Sandy’s got a defender, little Ricky Rockstar who promptly jumped to her assistance long after she had been put through the ringer.The study referred to said “most plausible” in reference to those “most vunerable” due to family history or other risk factors, I have no problem with that, go tell the world. This inconclusive finding certainly won’t change my (or 58% of Americans and, I hope, at least 50% of my fellow Bermudians) mind. After decades of outrght lies coming from those who we should be able to trust it has left me and millions more understandably skeptical.

  11. How about a study on the harmful effects of alcohol and tobacco on our society.Ganja was never banned for moral reasons .Alcohol should be.Greed and power rules overall.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      There are numerous easily-available reports on the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol. If we’re contemplating changing the law to allow the use of cannabis we should know exactly what the health risks are.

      • sage says:

        Why are you not calling for them to be prohibited then? Should we therefore “know” herb’s health risks and ignore them like we do the genocide caused by just these two legal drugs and legalize it anyway? Interesting logic.

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          The risks of smoking are well known and widely publicised. People make their choices, even if unwise.

          The “interesting logic” is your resistance to having health risks associated with cannabis becoming equally well-known.

          • Sara says:

            I know for a fact I have told YOU this before. The only possible health risks are the act of smoking it, which you don’t HAVE to do. And that research is still not clear. Common sense would tell us that smoking a substance is not good for you due to the combustion.

            • Sandy Bottom says:

              In that case there is no downside for you if the medical risks are described in the report. It will be a short list, if you’re right.

            • Dano says:

              And when you smoke weed, common sense goes out the window.

      • Sara says:

        It is so obvious you do zero research on this subject. All the information already exists if you put some time/effort into Google.

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          If the law may be changed the arguments both for and against should be articulated. If there are arguments for, let’s hear them. If there are arguments against, let’s hear them too.

          You seem to be concerned about having a balanced argument. Interesting.

          • more than enough says:

            zzzzzzz…

          • sage says:

            We have heard the arguments against herb regurgitated over and over for the last 30+ years, for instance: Bob Marley died from ganja induced lung cancer, smoking weed makes men grow breasts and become impotent and infertile (insert Bob Marley joke here) , it kills brain cells,causes cancer and so on. You calling for pro herb facts is a joke, you have proven you will follow hearsay, old wives tales and myths in your unending attempt to crown yourself the islands foremost, anti herb crusader. So please don’t allow anything as inconsequential as the truth to deter you.

            • sage says:

              cue…crickets….

              • Sandy Bottom says:

                Perturbed that you didn’t get an instant answer? Starved for attention are you?

                So you want a one-sided “reform paper” that only states your opinion. I want a balanced paper. I think we all know which is more reasonable.

                Now, if I don’t reply to your silly messages instantly it might be because I’m busy in real life, rather than sitting around yelling at the computer screen.

                • sage says:

                  Ah yes let’s balance scientific facts, anecdotal evidence and reams of historical data against your reefer madness of here say, old wives tales, and myths. In my opinion we should just do it like with gambling, no need for drawn out consultation and referendums.

                  • Sandy Bottom says:

                    Ok, f***wit. Enjoy the evening with the other f***wits.

                    • sage says:

                      Thats not how you win a debate but thank you for helping to strengthen the argument for liberating the herb, we truly appreciate it. Have a happy New Year.

  12. bush doctor says:

    Plants just plants, It’s a shame and near primitave and barbaric that in 2014 Bermuda/world is just debating canabis thousands of lives have been destroyed and numerous incarecration and drug war money wasted over Plants Just Plants that nature allows to grow worldwide, our politicans will continue to take second place while place like Holland,Jamaica have thriving toursim simply because canabis is sensibly just a plant. Ploiticans stop pushing pollicy be sensible O dam i forgot Common sense is not so Common.

    • Passive Aggressif says:

      Both Countries have thriving tourism because of cannabis and a ton of problems and crimes that came along with this “type of tourism”.

      • sage says:

        Wrong, first, what sort of “problems” come along with tourists visiting Jamaica to smoke herb? People trying to take it back home because it’s so cheap? Then legalize it. If you got caught you historically could discreetly offer a small gratuity to get out of trouble anyway, Jamaica no problem mon! Jamaica’s main problems are political warfare and cocaine. As for Amsterdam the biggest problem for people selling in the grey area of decrim is all that money. There may be issues like smuggling to neighboring countries like from JA but I wonder why the sex tourism industry is never mentioned as being a problem? Also the percentage of teens smoking herb in Holland is way lower than here.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        The only municipality in Netherlands that has a problem with cannabis is Maastricht. Maastricht’s problems with this plant were not criminal until they introduced the ban of tourist in their cannabis cafes & now they have Turkish gangs profiting from the black market sales. Before the tourist ban the only problem they had was the flocks of bordering Belgian & German tourist who crowd their streets & goodness forbid spend lots of money in restaurants, hotels, bars, museums, red light district & of course cannabis cafes. The cannabis issues in Maastricht are mainly trumped up from their Christian Democrat Mayor & his followers who have a religious agenda. The real criminal problems from tourist in Netherlands are from drunken unruly red light district tourist who mob through the streets causing a ruckus being abusive to other tourist & the red light ladies. Many of these red light tourist hordes also buy cocaine & other hard drugs from illegal street dealers in the district so they can last the night.

        As for Jamaica anyone who has seen drug documentaries on this country knows their issues mainly exist from mass corruption & crack selling gangs who are protected by their towns people because they help the community more than their officials do. Crack is so profitable in Jamaica that certain gangs dye theirs different colours for branding purposes.

    • Hmmm says:

      It is illegal in Jamaica.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        It is also illegal in Holland but I think bush doctor’s point was that these countries economy & the plants use are intertwined regardless of the legality of it.

      • Sara says:

        Not for long.

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

        It is illegal because of your beloved USA…now research that…

  13. jt says:

    Good. Legalize it and move on to the next item.

  14. street wise says:

    I wonder how many on “the collaborative” have had first-hand experience with cannabis. IMHO if you have not smoked weed, you really do not know what its all about.

    We do not need another another “study” — all the info you need is out there already. A few town-hall style meetings would do the trick.

    Only those who have not smoked the weed are against cannabis law reform.

    • mw says:

      @streetwise your logic is flawed. Do I need to rob a bank b4 I can have an opinion on it?
      I would hope that this panel is made up of people from both sides of the debate, not just those who want to legalize marijuana.

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

        the key word in your statement that made it flawed was “opinion”…we dont need OPINIONS at this debate we have scientific ally proven facts that obviously cannot be disputed…and so much more.

        • mw says:

          You are absolutely right, we should have no opinion what so ever.

          Funny thing is that one set of people have scientific ally proven facts to prove that weed is good for you and one set of people have scientifically proven facts to prove the opposite. so, which side is right and how do you decide, and is it just you that decides or can we all give our OPINION.
          Remember Hitler wanted everyone to just blindly follow him and no one else’s opinion mattered, and hindsight being 20/20 we can all see where that led us.

  15. u ank sers says:

    FREE UP DE HERB!!

  16. Question says:

    I have smoked weed and I am against cannabis reform.

    Q

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      yeah Q….i know how you feel…i have drank alcohol and i am against its legality.

    • sage says:

      It must have been laced.

  17. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    This is a great step forward for Bermuda, an open dialog on cannabis is long overdue. Allowances for medical usage should be a must and a review of its criminal classifications is needed. However any resolution should come with an effective solution for accountability and oversight.

  18. What is the marijuana death toll around the world? I think the non marijuana users HATE 2 see the number!

    • more than enough says:

      0… do some research

      • mw says:

        no one has ever, ever died, ever from using weed? where did you do your research?
        Think you might be a prime example as to why we should stay with the status quo.

        • sage says:

          Don’t you think the ganjaphobes would have played this card earlier had it existed?

        • Sara says:

          Um, they haven’t unless. Google is your friend…

      • maniac420 says:

        1 death recorded and that was only due to the amount of weight he was transporting crashed down on top of him.( couple hundred pounds)

  19. Realist says:

    Just make sure 1 joint does not get you on the stop list.C’mon Minister Dunkley,stop talking and accomplish something!

  20. Real Recognize Real says:

    Here’s a simple guideline in the legalization of marijuana which will commence in Colorado on January 1st 2014.
    Click the link and recognize that we can adapt the same concepts along with decreasing our deficit and the rebirth of our tourism industry. It’s all laid out for us people. Contact the persons above and bring it to their attention and express your support!! Let’s stand together and unite on an issue that effects the future of us and our children.

    Recreational pot for sale in Colorado Jan. 1
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/28/us/10-things-colorado-recreational-marijuana/index.html

  21. Spring-Heeled Jack says:

    So this is a group of people pushing for marijuana legalisation and they have the gall to tell us that their presentation of the facts will be sober, even-handed and non-partisan?

    • sage says:

      Read the article slowly, nowhere does this group support any particular stance, they’re certainly not “pushing” for legalization or decriminalization as other posts incorrectly claim either, it will be difficult, seeing as that some people persist in judging simple written announcements having not even read (or understood) them.

  22. Time Shall Tell says:

    There was a report released showing regarding two states Colorado and Washington that are entering into the legalization of recreational marijuana. In this report it shows there already has been an increase of underage children use of marijuana which required admission into hospital as reported by doctors of these hospitals. This even though the law in both states is planned for only users over the age of 21. The police department also says there is an increase in the legal costs to regulate the legal use of the drug to prevent criminal activity of black markets as well as the need to set up expensive blood testing equipment to test drivers for the amount of marijuana in their systems while driving.

    Let’s be honest here, how many people would feel comfortable with leaving their children in the care of an active marijuana user? How about willing to go under the care of an active marijuana user for medical procedures? How many business owners truly want active marijuana employees or land lords who have children want active marijuana users in their apartments. How many people would want to take their children to locations where there is open marijuana use in public spaces (you know this is going to happen no matter what the law states which means it would be an added cost for the police to regulate & prevent this). How many people who are hoping to take part in this potential law change truly require this for medical purposes as opposed to those that simply want to abuse the drug (we already know the abusers will far outweigh the ones who truly want it for medical purposes).

    I personally find it hypocritical that here we are trying to introduce the legal use of marijuana after so many years of fighting against the use of cigarettes in public places & the even more recent fight against E-cigarettes as seen in the U.S. press. If the government is planning to legalize this for only regulated sales that will carry a heavy tax (you know it will, just look at cigarette, alcohol & the recently proposed junk food tax) then all that will do is put an even higher increase for demand from the black market which would still cost us in taxes being paid to the police & customs department to combat this.

    Most people who are going to thumb this down are looking at this short term & from a biased view of making it easier for themselves to get high (90% of which would be for none medical purposes). All I ask is for an clear open unbiased thought of both the potential pros & cons of this & then have an honest unbiased reflection on those thoughts. I say this because a lot of the commentary that is being posted here isn’t balanced in the full pro vs con potentials with most just being short term visions.

    • Come Correct says:

      For one they’re only talking about decriminalizing for possession of small amounts. In other words, nothing will change from what it is now other than the fact people won’t be given a criminal record for a joint. If we were talking about legalization I’d be interested to know how much is spent on policing marijuana now. If I do a conservative estimate and say 10,000 people smoke here, which I believe is less than the real number, and these people are given an allowance of 7grams a week sold by the government, you’re looking at a $78,000,000 annual revenue stream. That doesn’t even factor in tourists. You are right though,the cons will have to be closely considered but there could potentially be a lot of good from it.

      • sage says:

        Sold by the government? Why not “cottage industry” creating income especially for those who have been marginalised and denied employment under this current unjust system? 7 gram weekly allowance? WE don’t limit cigarette or alcohol amounts and they KILL people, clearly a huge educational drive is necessary at the least.

        • Come Correct says:

          Well government regulated, that would provide jobs and revenue which is better for our economy. I just put limits on it to get a round about number, imagine if it was an ounce, times that by 4. Fact is we’re a long way from that. We’re talking about decriminalize small amounts.

          • sage says:

            No, we are not, you are, why can you fill your water tank with rum and stuff your home full of cigarettes legally? Hypocrisy is one of the worst aspects of this debate,along with some folks unwillingness to recognize it.

            • Come Correct says:

              This article is about decriminalozation, there have been talks about decriminalize small amounts and zero talks about legalization. I think it should be legal but this is a step in the right direction. To answer your question,because big business profit from it and in turn so does the government. They will legalize when they can capitalize.

              • sage says:

                Just because some attempt to stifle any mention of legalization, by repeating the ridiculous, played out mantra of “small amounts for personal use” over and over like demented parrots, that does not mean people are not discussing removing all civil and criminal penalties against the herb. It is shameful but at least you concede greed, on the part of government and big business, is the motive for this discussion, not the protection of personal freedoms or human rights.

                • Come Correct says:

                  Of course it’s greed. How can the FDA approve all these medications for human consumption yet they still have all these known risks and side effects? Easy, because they pump billions into the US economy and contribute to population control. They really don’t care about you or I. It’s been greed all along. Research why marijuana is prohibited in the first place, greed. You think Dunkley gives a cows a** though? Negative. I find this almost funny that it falls under national security. Dunkley is smart enough to know though, that with all the tough calls that will have to be made, he’s going to have to do something to compensate if he expects more than one term in government.

                  • sage says:

                    You’re right, greed along with racism, fear mongering, ignorance…..

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          Sage, there are no cottage industry enterprises making tobacco or alcohol products. Why do you think it would be ok to have cannabis completely unregulated?
          You’re completely unrealistic.

          • sage says:

            Why should everything be in the hands of big business? Ever heard of Northrock Brewery. Both alcohol and tobacco started locally as small family run import businesses and morphed into large family run businesses did they not? Regulations on them (as lax as they are) have been largely ignored anyway, examples; carding of suspected underage drinkers finally to be implemented this year and the unwillingness to enact roadside sobriety checks so as not to encroach upon the rights of potential drunk drivers. Hence the need for OPEN dialogue.

            • Sandy Bottom says:

              Northrock brewery is regulated, both in the manufacture and distribution of alcohol.
              Any drug manufacturer or distributor should be licensed and regulated.

              • sage says:

                Please elaborate on the regulations I would be interested to hear how closely the process is monitored, oh enlightened one, and refer back to my original comment where I at no time said “unregulated cottage industry” you are making things up again. Regulation, should reflect the actual damage to society, so cigarettes for instance, which cause the most deaths, should be under the strictest regulation and ganja which is certainly far less harmful than table salt or sugar and has killed no one, ever, should be regulated at a degree which reflects its RELATIVELY BENIGN nature. The measure of toxicity, LD50 is so insignificant in herb that it is impossible to overdose unless you smoked 15 lbs in a matter of minutes which would result in an extra long sleep not death.

                • more than enough says:

                  people die from drinking milk..is that regulated?

    • Sara says:

      Interesting you said that about a report being released because the law doesn’t even go into effect until 2014! Could you please post the link to the report? Thank you in advance.

    • more than enough says:

      how many people think this is a load of crap?@time shall tell

      • Sara says:

        Well, being that the recreational marijuana law doesn’t go into effect until this week on Wed, AND it bans sell to minors I find it interesting their is already a report!

        • Time Shall Tell says:

          @ Sara, there was a link to the report by one of the posters in one of the posted comments section to this http://news.yahoo.com/pitfalls-abound-legal-pot-sales-155054192.html

          • sage says:

            Read that the other day, the novelty will quickly wear off and numbers will most likely decrease like in other places. At least they have given synthetic weed/bath salts a break, I hope. These two ironically legal although potentially fatal drugs were developed in the lab as a direct result of punitive weed policy, more specifically the heavily anti-herb drug testing regimes, for employment, financial assistance,army enrollment or transplant registry, which can be easily circumvented by smoking sketchy Chinese made chemicals sprayed onto mystery pot pouri that can actually kill you or leave you in a vegetative state, great work anti drug warriors.

            • Sara says:

              Did you notice the one line about increase in hospital visits in the report was said before the legalization had went into effect? Seems a bit odd to do a report on pitfalls of legalization before legalization takes place? Also, it is impossible to overdose on pot so I am confused about being admitted for overdoses.

              • sage says:

                This is what we’re up against.

                • Sara says:

                  Exactly sage. It is frustrating. We can have a balanced discussion only when the lies stop and the facts remain.

  23. godson says:

    Politricks again…I’m sure gov’t can have their own discussion, and make the call…If this group comes up with recommendations, than Gov’t will have another “discussion” in order to see if the discussion was discussed right… We know that most OBA members do not want decriminalization, but the majority of our people Do want decriminalization,thus they are dragging their feet over it…MAKE THE CALL Minister Dunkley n let’s move forward!

    • inna says:

      you must not be in touch with the real people of Bermuda then!

      • godson says:

        Which Bermuda? The one where we have hundreds of ppl on the stop list? Or the one where we read about tourist being fined for having small amounts of “weed”? The Bermuda where there are outrages calls for the decriminalization of marijuana for various reasons? Yes sir/Ma’am I’m very much in touch….which is why we having this discussion

    • Barracuda says:

      You don’t know your a** from your elbow.

      • enlightened says:

        Very smart post!

        Are you sure your not smelling Barracuda?

      • godson says:

        Please brother/sister, save your personal attacks for someone else…I’m not interested, or go smoke a “spliff”, so you can calm down…I heard it’s a good “relaxer”…peace n love

  24. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    Forward thinking, innovative and well overdue…

    Well done, Mr Dunkley, for having the courage to move it forward rather than keeping a groundless political conversation going in circles on marijuana.

    I would not be critical of a study that is yet to be conducted, we do not know what the study might reveal, so rather than being critical, the study could throw out some very surprising results that we have not yet considered.

    The world has changed and Bermuda needs to know where it stands on this issue socially, culturally and legally juxtapositioned against other jurisdictions in the 21st century.

    London, England

  25. Extraordinary1 says:

    Change is difficult for people, especially here in Bermuda. There are scarier things that children and people in general can get their hands on legally to ‘get high’ so we might want to decriminalize something that keeps our youth locked to the island when convicted. This debate is so crazy. Cigarettes KILL people everyday but that is legal. Doesn’t someone dying in your family cause the same heartaches as someone on drugs sooooooo … why is this legal but we are all so worried about what marijuana will do to people and a society. People make you smile with their firm stances on things when they are not willing to ‘move forward’. As for the employers with ‘high/slow’ workers? Were there any consequences given when you thought your employee was high or did you just grumble about them in the background? Did you set up a drug testing system or agreement in order to penalize this behavior? If so, and they were still coming to work ‘high’ then it might be time to find another worker. Just sayin …

  26. Sara says:

    I think it’s more of a case of Bermuda not being ready. Decriminalizing small amounts is a good start but does nothing to discourage the black market which is the true goal to help society. Allowing man to cultivate his own small personal amounts and government regulation for market sales are the only way to cripple organized crime in the US, Mexico, and certainly Bermuda. Will it remove all organized crime? No way, but it will have a devastating effect! In ten years we will actually be able to see the stats in places that have legalized like Washington, Colorado, Uruaguay, and the others that will follow these next few years. The proof will be in the pudding and all this debate will end and the facts will be there for all to see. Me thinks the money flowing in like milk and honey will persuade many the investor.

  27. Dee Dee says:

    I’m menopausal and I heard it is great for symptoms. Any feedback on this?

    • Sara says:

      I find it amazing that people state their opinions on this subject as if it is fact. I guess its been a long time since many learned the difference. Shucks, maybe they never learned it at all! You obviously have a computer and time on your hands as you are posting. It would be SERIOUSLY worth your while to do some research with your friend GOOGLE. How could you live in Bermuda and state Bob Marley died of lung cancer? Weird…

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        You mean people like sage irritate you?

        • sage says:

          Was it not I who consistently corrected your lies by presenting facts until my calm assertiveness caused you to go into submissive mode and “stand corrected’ as it relates to the malicious rumour mongering you perpetrated against ganja advocate and reggae superstar Bob Marley concerning his untimely passing ?

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            If you look back at that thread, it was another writer who first suggested that was the cause of the death, not me. I made an error by perpetuating the idea, and when I realised the mistake admitted it immediately. It appears you are going to bring that up every chance you get.

            I get peed off as well about people who state opinions as facts. I get very puzzled by people, who are pro-cannabis, who appear to want no investigation or presentation of any health risks from cannabis and who want the ability to grow, sell and use it without limitation.

            • sage says:

              Have you forgiven yourself yet, don’t stay po’d for too long, there are health risks involved with that too, but don’t worry, there’s relief, even for the acute mental confusion you claim to experience when considering my position, just fly out so you don’t break any laws. All the best, get some good bed rest and plenty fresh water and do fill us in on any improvements in your condition, get well soon.

            • sage says:

              I went back to that thread like you suggested, my hunch was confirmed, it was predictably, you who “first suggested” this baloney, and I quote “He smoked cannabis, he got lung cancer, it killed him.” sound familiar? The previous person had passed the snide potshot, “remind me again, what did Bob Marley die from?” Am I to ignore the fact that you are coming across as a compulsive liar with a warped sense of altruism? Happy New Year.

              • Time Shall Tell says:

                I am the one who said “Remind me again, what did Bob Marley die from?”, I didn’t say it was lung cancer however it was cancer. My statement was in reply to an earlier posted bogus statement that was made at the time where a poster said marijuana cures cancer.

                • sage says:

                  Your question certainly doesn’t provide any proof that herb can’t cure cancer or that the statement you refer to was bogus.

                  • Time Shall Tell says:

                    My statement was a counter to the original bogus statement that marijuana cures cancer. There’s not one shred of proof that marijuana can actually CURE cancer. My statement was that Bob Marley heavily smoked marijuana yet still died of cancer, if marijuana was the cure for cancer then don’t you think Bob would of long since of been cured & still be with us today? Your eluding to otherwise is what is bogus since the number of studies that have been done on the effects & benefits of marijuana would of long since been singing the praise of such a major medical breakthrough.

                    • sage says:

                      Do you understand that there are at least two sides to a story? One side says, there’s no proof herb cures cancer, like yourself, the other side says that there is, I like to remain cautiously optimistic since it has been proven to have strong anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties and shows great potential, time certainly shall tell. I haven’t heard anyone claim smoking herb cures cancer, although Dr. Donald Tashkin said he expected his study on lifetime use for the NIH might have shown a positive association between herb and lung cancer,”What we found instead was NO association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.” so give Bob a break, he can’t speak for himself, although it is proven to alleviate the symptoms and side effects of cancer and has a multitude of other applications in it’s different forms. Tashkins conclusions, probably explain why his study, the largest of its kind, is absent from the White House website which warns; “Marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract.”.Or not. Do a little research.

              • Sandy Bottom says:

                Sage, you have basically confirmed that I took a suggestion that had been made, erroneously. And when I realised the error, I said so.

                The “compulsive liars” in this are the ones who suggest that canbabis is a cure-all wonder drug. And who can’t stand the idea of having a balanced discussion, where the pitfalls are explored along with the purported benefits.

                • sage says:

                  You’re good, but not good enough to fool me, you didn’t take a suggestion erroneously, you added to said “suggestion”. You tried to pass off bald faced (pun intended) lies as facts, unfortunately, for you, I was there to set you straight. Had I not you would still be saying it. People who base their opinions on scientific research, anecdotal evidence, historical fact and personal experience and speak out, are definitely not compulsive liars, you are, your own words are your downfall.

                  • Sandy Bottom says:

                    You’re like one of those guys who roams the streets yelling at the clouds. Faced with the truth, or honesty, you are somewhat unsure what to do about it.. So you keep yelling, while consuming your cure-all wonder drug.

  28. more than enough says:

    just legalize it now..no apologies
    and maybe you will be forgiven for your crimes against humanity

  29. Voter says:

    The OBA will win the next election,if they decriminilize Marijuana and abolish conscription!

    • James Herald says:

      OBA will get in anyway since there is no real alternative. There is just PLP and that ain’t gonna fly. There just aren’t enough blind, idiotic voters.

      Binn dur, donn datt!

    • Unbelievebale says:

      I was going to say this too. This almost guarantees a re-election win.

      Of course, maybe everyone will have smoked so much weed by then that voter apathy will have set in and neither party will have received enough votes. Hahahah

  30. more than enough says:

    are you for the legalization of marijuana,hotel development and jobs for bermudians? like-yes dislike-no

  31. aceboy says:

    Lots of people yammering with no knowledge. Just like this doctor, until his mind was opened.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/08/health/gupta-changed-mind-marijuana/index.html

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      But not everyone agrees with him. People who work in areas of drug addiction treatment, for example.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/11/sanjay-gupta-marijuana-debate/2636043/

      • sage says:

        Well if you could create a never ending supply of clients, like addiction “experts” enjoy in their field, due to the War on Some Drugs, thereby guaranteeing great personal financial stability for a lifetime then you would probably choose to maintain the charade and disagree with Sanjay Gupta as well, which you do anyway.

      • aceboy says:

        “But Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse says the issue isn’t whether marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or nicotine, it’s whether society is willing to deal with the harm legalizing another drug could cause. “If you look at the data … the costs associated with drugs in our country, which are gigantic, are driven mostly by legal drugs because they’re so accessible. (The legalization of marijuana) will immediately increase the adverse affects.”"

        I suggest you think for a moment about the billions and billions of dollars that have been spent on the war on drugs and which has done nothing but make crimminals very very rich.

        Is Nora a Doctor…or just someone who says stuff to protect her own job?

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          I know, it’svery unreasonable having both sides of the argument presented. How inconvenient for you.

          • aceboy says:

            oh sure…reading Nora’s stuff is like reading comments by Rolf or Eva on their desire for racial harmony?

            • aceboy says:

              Sandy, quick question….who do you think want to keep weed illegal the MOST?

              • aceboy says:

                It seems I better help you….GANG members and leaders. That is the side you are currently on.

                • Time Shall Tell says:

                  @ aceboy, so by your logic then you’re saying that all current marijuana smokers are also on the side of GANG members and leaders?? Since that is who they are being supplied by….

                  • sage says:

                    Maybe aceboy is saying that those who have a vested interest in herb staying illegal are “gangs”and those in interdiction, prevention and recovery careers who all would love to continue their guaranteed enrichment plan into perpetuity, my message to them, reinvent yourselves and further your education rather than trying to stop the inevitable. And your “logic” tells you he means herb smokers are on these peoples side? Try again later once last nights excesses wear off.

                  • aceboy says:

                    Not all. Those who buy off the streets and who are unconnected with gang activity most definately “support” the gangs in purchasing from them, but this is WHY the law needs to be changed. I don’t think you can point to any current smoker who WANTS to buy from gangs and support their illegal activity. I think you’ll find they would be extremely happy to buy from a licensed distributor and pay the appropraite tax, rather than buying off the street. This will be impossible if weed continues to be illegal. The war on drugs has and continues to be a complete and utter failure. You and Sandy seem to want this situation to continue. The smokers do not.

  32. James Herald says:

    Can’t see legalizing it no any health benefits bill. Let’s face it,everyone knows that smoking is bad for you – everyone. Denying this is plain stupidity.

    Similar to saying that smoking cigarettes can help you lose weight so they must be healthy.

    I think weed should be legalized though – but for health benefits – that’s a laugh. But getting high should not be illegal.

    • Fully charged says:

      Oh James – you really do need to read a bit more. There are huge volumes of studies citing the medical benefits of Cannabinoids. I know a few people here in Bermuda who regularly rely on illegal herb for medical relief.
      Interestingly, my partner, an oncology professional learned at an oncology conference in Montreal that many medical professionals find that their clients prefer smoking over taking synthetic Cannabinoids such as marinol. The reason is that they can better control the dosage – just put it out when symptoms abate.
      Truthfully there is much more to this story than getting charged!

      • James Herald says:

        Clearly you really are ‘fully charged’. Everyone knows why Bermudians want weed legal – and it has absolutely nothing to do with any health benefits. Bermudians like to get high. Case closed.

        I’m OK with it – just quit it with the ‘health benefits’ thing. You are embarrassing yourself.

        • Sara says:

          No James, oh high and mighty one, the case isn’t closed. This is your OPINION and nothing more CASE CLOSED! Watch out your ego is getting in your way.

          • James Herald says:

            You are not fooling anyone Sara. You want a big joint and get all mello – admit it. Nuthin to do with health benefits. As I said, stop embarrassing yourslef. Tell me something I can believe.

            • sage says:

              Ganjaphobia is treatable with extensive therapy James, so there is still hope for you. Rest assured there is no shame in promoting herbs many proven medical benifits or enjoying a big spliff and getting mellow.

            • Sara says:

              You can think whatever you like then. It’s your and everyone has one whether right or wrong. I will tell you something you can believe James. GOOGLE is your friend. Look the information up yourself you lazy egotistical human being.

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      did you know..? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFg62XEQWM4

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        The problem with that is this study was based on 100% marijuana while anyone who knows anything about smoking here is that Bermudians mix with cigarettes so your still getting the ill effects of cigarettes.

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

    look listen and learn … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jm5oNTgyHA

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

    still not convinced ..?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EP6b_GmZHRk

  35. sage says:

    Thanks.

  36. godson says:

    It took “them” 2 seconds to allow alcohol to be sold on Sundays…lol…no boards, no consultations, no feedback, no experts, no panels, no opinions….just did it…decriminalization of Marijuana need a board of “volunteers” to recommend it to the minister. Lol…only in Paradise

  37. Time Shall Tell says:

    If the main argument shown here in many posts is the medical properties then why not still have marijuana in the leaf form illegal & just prescribe it in the pill form such as Dronabinol? This way it is used for it’s medical purposes rather then people hiding behind said medical uses just to get high.

    • Fully charged says:

      Aha – yes the approach of the pharmaceutical companies; make a therapeutic herb into a pill so you can “control” its use. So, let’s be clear – nobody ever abuses pills? What you can achieve through this is big business “controlling” profits.
      As I noted above, physicians report that many of their clients prefer to smoke a joint as they have better control over dosage. In truth most really sick people rarely wish to get high – they want relief but nothing more. Taking a pill gives them less control over dosage.
      And yes – there are those who will use for recreation; as pills or as spliffs.
      But remember – prohibition does not work.

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        If you read up on the pill in question the high achieved by taking high numbers f the pill (from admitted users who say it takes at least 8 before you even start to feel anything) the high is a bad one & not worth it. So this will help deter the misuse of the medical properties that it is said to have by those looking for nothing more then a high.

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        Your argument works against you, you say that users can’t control the dosage of the pill yet dosages of pills are prescribed everyday by “medical professionals”. The method you suggest puts the use in the hands of the user who has no medical training thus can lead to over use & or abuse (not saying prescribed pills aren’t also abused but the pill Dronabinol has been known to be a pill that users don’t like to abuse due to it’ low potency to get you high & the little buzz you do get doesn’t feel good).

  38. Never used the stuff never will says:

    I have never used the drug…first I like my freedom so Im not trying to commit a crime,while Im not for legalizing it completely..if someone needs it for medical reason then yes they should be allowed to grow and use it for medical reasons…but other than that it is a mind altering drug it maybe less harmless then cigarettes and alcohol which are legal but just because something is natural doesnt mean it cant be abused.
    Under a Dr supervision I think it can be very helpful to those who need it. Coming from a family where I watch a close relative go from smoking and selling weed to getting caught up in harder drugs and now an addict… i can see how it can be a gateway drug as well. Im not downing it Im just saying they need to really make sure they weigh all the pros and cons…maybe make it a ticketable offense if caught with a small amount and not a criminal offense…oh and for the record to be put on the stop list for American all you have to do is commit any criminal offense not just a drug related offense, call the consulate if you dont believe me that where I got the info from…so if you dont want to be on the stop list dont commit any criminal offense. Just thought Id add that since ppl use that as a reason to legalize it. I wont ever use it legal or not and my children wont be allowed to do it in my house or outside it as long as they reside with me. Im just cautious about it and hope they look into every avenue and possiblity either way they go with this.

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      This is why if a compromise needs to be made “for medical purposes” then it should be administered by medical professionals in a controlled fashion. It is available in pill form for use as medical prescriptions such as the pill Dronabinol & this is an option that should be considered instead.

    • sage says:

      Don’t blame the herb because your relative is a loser, what happened to personal responsibility? Plenty others started before him, never tried any thing else and still use herb and function in society. Gateway Theory is a complete farce. Something tells me you probably drink, and thats your right, but if what you say is true about the stop list (which the consulate claims doesn’t even exist) then why is being arrested for DUI, a criminal offence last time I checked, not included? Glaring hypocrisy come to mind? Would you kick your kids to the curb if they took up cigarettes( you won’t tolerate herb even when legal)?

    • Half Baked says:

      Just a few questions: How many prescription drugs do you have in your medicine cabinet?? How have they been working for you? Eased the pain temporarily ? But never heals the problem does it,thats the reason why you still take that medication,right? Noticing any side affects or any other ailments occurring? Just read the side affects on the label and tell me that those medications are NOT causing problems with other organs.The side affects are too many for those prescriptions not to cause health problems!!While your concentration is on policing your children when it comes to the harmless HERB(and that’s your choice) you better not forget about your medicine cabinets because its known that pills is the drug of choice for certain folk. Heck, you may be a drug dealer and don’t even know it! Advice, keep a count on those pills if its not too much!!

  39. Half Baked says:

    That is Ludacris to think that marijuana is the gateway to other drugs.
    Personally I don’t think any substance is a “gateway” to other drugs.
    I think because its the least harmful its viewed as the “stepping stone to the harder drugs but that couldn’t be further from the truth!!” CURIOSITY” leads to the use of harder drugs! If we are going to blame another substance then one could make a very strong argument about
    ALCOHOL! 99% of children consume alcohol as their first drug. Its easily accessible because its in most homes in some form or another. Its a fact that people try other drugs while UNDER THE INFLUENCE of alcohol! Its no secret that alcohol makes you do things that you wouldnt do sober or under the influence of any other legal/illegal drug even. If heroin and/or crack addicts don’t get their fix of choice then their choice becomes the other drug. Very few addicts will buy or smoke marijuana if they cant get their drug of choice but they will replace that drug with alcohol and that’s a fact! How many drug addicts are there that DONT consume alcohol? I know of many people who smoke marijuana that don’t! I personally believe its a choice and its curiosity that leads you to try something different as all drugs have different affects BUT before we point fingers at marijuana as the gateway to hard drugs then we might want to start with alcohol for the reasons I stated above. Happy New Year all!

  40. Barracuda says:

    just free up the herb

  41. profits bribe them all says:

    legalize cultivation now. just go in the misuse of drugs act and remove all reference to weed. the scientists were bribed,the politicians lied, and so did the doctors. decriminalization only feeds the foulness in the system we have now, which is what this debate is all about right? decriminalization wont stop corruption in the police state, or selective prosecution, or boost our sustainability, our attitudes, our economy and our health, but cultivation will.