AG On Govt’s Efforts To Reform Cannabis Laws

February 1, 2017

Attorney-General Trevor Moniz said he was “pleased to hear” that the PLP is “onboard with the Government’s plan to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis,” adding that “the Government committed to doing so in last November’s Throne Speech and has initiated consultations with the Department of Public Prosecutions and the Bermuda Police Service to develop appropriate legislation.”

Mr Moniz’s comments follow after the PLP announced earlier today that they will table the ‘Decriminalisation of Cannabis Bill 2017′ which proposes measures including decriminalizing the possession of cannabis under the statutory minimum of 7 grams.

Trevor Moniz February 1 2017

Attorney-General Trevor Moniz said, “I am pleased to hear that the Progressive Labour Party is onboard with the Government’s plan to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.

“The Government committed to doing so in last November’s Throne Speech and has initiated consultations with the Department of Public Prosecutions and the Bermuda Police Service to develop appropriate legislation.

“The aim of the legislation is to eliminate unjust consequences that have occurred under the current system, most particularly the unnecessary criminalization of young Bermudians.

“Our commitment to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis is one step in the Government’s efforts to reform Bermuda’s cannabis laws as they relate to the criminal justice system and public health.

“In 2016, we passed legislation that would allow the Director of Public Prosecutions to authorize Police to issue a formal warning to an individual instead of charge.

“Also in 2016, we allowed the use of “medical marijuana” and pledged in November’s Throne Speech to further reform for more medical treatment options through the importation of herbal supplements containing Cannabinol.

“While I appreciate the PLP’s need to be seen to be leading this issue, the Government has initiated a responsible and inclusive approach to the development of this important change in the law.

“Proceeding without the input of the Bermuda Police Service and the Department of Public Prosecutions would be premature and flawed.

“Partisan political maneouvring should not interfere with the responsible implementation of changes to our laws. In this regard, the Government looks forward to working with the Opposition to move this important reform forward for a better Bermuda.

“For the record, the following is the Government’s Throne Speech commitment on decriminalization:

“The Government will consult with respect to the decriminalization for possession of small amounts of cannabis. To that end, Government reforms will preserve police powers to confiscate cannabis and to test whether road users are under the influence of cannabis.

“These reforms will complement our efforts to educate our youth about the dangerous effects of drug use, balancing the need to reduce the consumption of cannabis while avoiding the unnecessary criminalization of our young people.”

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Comments (39)

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  1. Real Deal says:

    Wow trying to make it look like the PLP was not the ones that did all the international and local ground work for this reform in the first place.

  2. sage says:

    Man they are being dragged into the present, kicking and screaming, why set a number like 7 grams? What basis is there for this amount? Cannabis has never killed a soul yet we want to limit it, alcohol kills many people yearly, there is no limit on how much an adult can possess, cigarettes which are responsible for worldwide genocide yearly, are not limited either, in fact you could legally back a tractor trailer up to any legal drug dealers “business” and load any amount of containers, legally, zero restriction if you are over 18. The hypocrisy is disturbing and they are actually patting themselves on the back, the PLP are just as clueless. “Decriminalization for small amounts” is the concept of an ignorant mind, unwilling to accept responsibility for the witch hunt that still continues over a plant, a beneficial, harmless plant. And where, pray tell, would someone come into the possession of 7 grams of a plant which is illegal to grow and import? This policy is long obsolete.

    • Wake Up says:

      Cannabis has never killed a soul ? Are you kidding me? Put down the spliff for a second and do some honest research. There re people dying daily from Cannabis use. I suppose you think it is perfectly safe to smoke up and drive or use heavy equipment too?

      1. Heart Rate

      Your heart starts beating 20-100% faster when you smoke marijuana. Once your heart rate increases, it stays like that for up to three hours. The use of marijuana can also change heart rhythms. It is due to this reason that weed users are 4.8% more likely to develop heart problems and have a heart attack during the first hour after smoking. People with heart problems are at a greater risk.

      2. Lungs

      Just like smoking tobacco, smoking weed is not good for your lungs. Its smoke can irritate your lungs and cause issues such as mucus, daily cough, chest colds, and risks of lung infections. It may also increase the risk for lung cancer. Certain cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke are also present in marijuana smoke. Lung tissues of some regular weed smokers have shown signs of pre-cancerous changes.

      3. Mental Health

      A number of studies have confirmed that there is a link between marijuana use and certain mental disorders. Smoking weed regularly and in high doses can cause a temporary psychotic reaction. This may lead to hallucinations with an impaired sense of perception. People with schizophrenia may experience their symptoms becoming worse after smoking weed. There are also connections between marijuana use and issues such as anxiety, depression, personality disturbances, and suicidal thoughts.

      • sage says:

        The 1930′s called, they want their reefer madness propaganda back. Not one death, ever.

      • I and I says:

        @ Wake Up.That is the problem with one dimensional thinking! Smoking anything is bad for out health. But a good tea does a body good

      • cashmeoussidehowboutdah says:

        1) Please cite the source of this nonsense.

        2) Employers can still ban the use and require workers to take drug tests.

        3) Driving under the influence is not limited to alcohol.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        You can tell who just reposts propaganda and who’s actually smoked once in their life lmfao. PUTTING ANYTHING IN YOUR LUNGS IS UNHEALTHY…but there are other ways to use Cannabis!

    • Serious Though says:

      @SAGE , it’s OK, Baby steps….. 7 grams per day… for now

      • sage says:

        Baby steps, more foolishness symptomatic of a depleted endo-cannabinoid system.

  3. Justin says:

    Oh my goodness, amateur hour at Alaska Hall to say the least! Bermuda deserves a better opposition!

  4. Will says:

    Man I hope this drives the price down substantially. Also they should add a clause that allows personal growth of 1 or 2 plants without criminal pentities, after all decriminalisation doesn’t address the black market supply of the commodity.

  5. He's full of it says:

    OBA – always following the PLP!

    • Politricks says:

      OBA announced their intentions in November 2016.

      PLP announces theirs approximately 2 months later in February 2017.

      Not too sure you understand what ‘following’ means.

    • Wake Up says:

      If that was true, we would be in real trouble. What you mean to say is the OBA doing the things that the PLP said they would do, but didn’t. Like:
      Stabilizing the Economy
      Improving Tourism Numbers
      Get new hotels Built
      Introduce Casinos
      Stop Conscription at Regiment
      Enact PATI
      Improving the Economy
      Reducing Unemployment
      Make Bermuda #1 for International business again.
      Improving Education
      Being fiscally responsible by reducing unnecessary spending
      Introduce Legislation to Decriminalize or Legalize Marijuana use.
      You get the picture.

      But Tell us poster “HES FULL OF IT” what exactly did the PLP do that was not millions over budget in 14 years. Actually, the PLP did introduce a seatbelt law which I am grateful for, but that is all I can think of.

  6. PLP Getting it together says:

    Last week PLP has an event on Vacation Rentals, and then OBA comes out and says they have a “landmark agreement” with airbnb for vacation rentals.

    This weeks the PLP has this press conference on stopping locking up people for weed, then the OBA comes out and says “me too”.

    Sorry OBA, you had 4 years, now you are just looking slow and out of touch.

    • Truthhertz says:

      OBA said it in November. PLP said it in the following February.

      Who’s copying who?

      PLP had 14 years.

    • aceboy says:

      Yes, it would appear the PLP heard about the talks with AirBnB and decided they better throw that out to make it appear as if they are the ones leading. They aren’t. The PLP were never in talks with any of the vacation rental sites. They missed the boat completely and entirely and are playing catchup…along with the usual games.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      It takes more than a week to set up meetings with overseas people, negotiate agreements… meaning that after getting wind that the OBA were meeting and discussing with Airbnb, they make a statement that they would look at the vacation rental market, and time it before the OBA can finish their meetings and make their announcement… that isn’t being ahead of the government, that is creating the illusion that they are ahead. Not the same thing. For the PLP, illusion was always more important than substance, several of the laws they implemented highlights that.

  7. exellent… i have issues that cannabis can assust with, please, please consider medical use.

  8. The Original Truth™ says:

    What happened to the OBA not being in support of blanket laws for cannabis?

    The majority of the rest of the world moved towards decriminalization a decade ago and now are onto legalization. Bermuda is always so far behind that it will never catch up.

  9. Unbeliavble says:

    And the race to the next election starts here…..

    What an ugly election cycle this is going to be.

  10. I and I says:

    If every one realized the historical reality of why and how a common plant was made illegal then it would be treated just like thyme or parsley. Or maybe they know and that’s why it’s still illegal!

  11. Grizz says:

    “Proceeding without the input of the Bermuda Police Service and the Department of Public Prosecutions would be premature and flawed.

    “Partisan political maneouvring should not interfere with the responsible implementation of changes to our laws. In this regard, the Government looks forward to working with the Opposition to move this important reform forward for a better Bermuda.

    OH JUST GET ON WITH IT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! HOW MUCH INPUT DO YOU NEED? This has been dragging on for years….both parties should be ashamed! I guess if visitors for America’s Cup “demanded their weed” it might happened sooner. SEEMS EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR AMERICA’S CUP!

    All this other political BS is a waste of time!

  12. reddamtibi says:

    I don’t smoke or drink…quite amusing to watch people fuss over the avenues in which they can escape their miserable realities ….

  13. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Interesting how ,,,,,,but not ,,just Co-incidental that,,the Marihuana,laws and same sex laws are being challenged in the courts at the same time.The floodgates,are being opened at the same time,,,,for,flushing all of the sludge into the Island.Bermuda is awash with filth and low morals,,,,,the Decent People have to stand Firm against the low moral people and these foreign,influences to our stable way of life.What follows is,crime,confusion and devestation.Hold the line lads.

  14. TGAOTU says:

    it has already been “decriminalized” for decades and the public was not informed properly and therefore assumed it was fully illegal. Police have always had the power to let you off for posession of small amounts, and so forth. This is only a surprise to people who are uneducated on what is real life. Next problem is, decriminalizing does not help cannabis users it works against them. Full legalization is the human right of every person, the right to use a natural herb that grows in nature for our own desire and benefit. It cures cancer and treats over 300 diseases! Name ONE other thing in the world that cures cancer, please. They knew it killed cancer since the 70s from lab tests and hid the resulsts as cannabis could be used by everyone for free essentially, destroying the pharmaceutical inudustry. Drugs are only illegal because they harm your body or society. ALCOHOL kills your body and society, correct? HOW DOES cannabis? IT DOES NOT. People need to GROW UP and get some common sense, instead of bafoons running this nation and enforcing tyrannical inhumane laws that abuse our very human rights for decades – and that is BOTH parties! Alcohol should be BANNED and cannabis should be legal. That way everyone can have FREE LEGAL access to what can TREAT THEIR PROBLEMS instead of KILLING US and causing road accidents every day! I ASK YOU THE PEOPLE NOW….If drugs are illegal because they harm our body or society, DOES ALCOHOL harm your body or society? Then BAN alcohol! Does Cannabis harm your body? NO! Does it harm society? HAHAHAH NO!!!!!!! Then WHY is it illegal? Because the FEAR culture towards it is based upon a LACK of EDUCATION, and is perpetuated by BULLIES in positions of power, who are in reality ABUSING the people by denying them HUMAN RIGHTS.

  15. TGAOTU says:

    One day God Almighty, that GRAND ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE OF ALL UNIVERSES, will come and JUDGE YOU ALL for your INSOLENCE! How dare you people ACT like people of trust and power and DENY the people what is GIVEN TO US!??????? You will be DEPRIVED in your next lives, and be crying out asking for relief and it shall NOT come. Swaha!

  16. wahoo says:

    Do the plp know more about marijuana than the OBA?

  17. Dr. Long Life says:

    @ >>>Wake Up<<<

    You need to go back asleep and rethink your thoughts!! LoL then wake back up!

    This is a very good look for our country and being from a younger generation, I can wait to the rest of our people wake up also! Hopefully medical milestones which cannabis provides can be the next big thing in our country. Germany legalized medical marijuana a few weeks ago to show you how far we are behind. In the US, 8 states allow recreational use as well as medical: an additional 18 allow only medical use. 11 Others allow only for the sale of CBD, an extract that is non-psychoactive. I say this to destroy your silly comments made earlier and reeducate you with facts the show beneficial use of marijuana will help with health rather then harm. Here is a few to read for your bedtime story so you can have a peaceful nap: Treatment for Glaucoma, Muscle spasms, neuropathic pain, post-surgical pain, advanced cancer pain, Brain-related conditions, strokes, epilepsy, dementia, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Mental health disorders, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, Just A Few More LOL!! Gastrointestinal disorders, Chohns disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Nausea and Vomiting from chemotherapy and appetite stimulation!!!

    Good Night~

  18. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Drugs ,,,and marijhuana,,,,,the cure all for everything,,,,,,cocoaine next,,,then who knows what,,,,,????????take a pill and chill,,,,nod out on your ignorance,,,,weed of wisdom,,,,,,,,,,dummies,,,,,,open Mawi again and let you sleep your life away ,,,,out of sight ,,,and out of your own minds,,,,Peace…..