PLP To Table Decriminalisation Of Cannabis Bill

February 1, 2017

On Friday, the PLP will table the ‘Decriminalisation of Cannabis Bill 2017′ which proposes measures including decriminalizing the possession of cannabis under the statutory minimum of 7 grams, Shadow Attorney-General Michael Scott said today.

Mr Scott said, “The Bill consists of 5 clauses, which decriminalize the possession of cannabis under the statutory minimum of 7 grams. It provides that criminal sanctions will not apply to person possessing cannabis under the statutory minimum. Handling such amounts is also decriminalized.

“Section 25 of the Act is amended to empower the police to seize cannabis from any person and also provides for the Minister of Justice to make regulations providing for assigning drug education and drug treatment to persons who are likely to benefit from such programs.”

Also speaking at today’s press conference was MP Diallo Rabain who said, “In 2012 as part of PLP platform we proposed if returned to office we would decriminalise possession of small amounts of cannabis.

“As has been mentioned today, we must recognise that the main issue is that cannabis possession disproportionately affects the black community due to higher arrest and charge rates, severely reducing access to educational and other opportunities.

“Simple non-violent possession must not have a lifetime effect on our people. We all suffer when this stigmatisation and criminalisation of our people hinders their abilities to contribute to our society and provide for themselves and their families.”

22-minute live video replay of today’s PLP press conference:

Shadow Attorney-General Michael Scott’s Remarks

Mr Scott said, “On this Friday’s resumption of the House, the Progressive Labour Party will table the Decriminalisation of Cannabis Bill 2017.

“This Bill incorporates our policy on being tough on crime and examining the causes of such crimes, whilst recognising the unequal application of these laws, which have disproportionate lifetime effects.

“The crackdown on drug crimes historically from the seventies until now has had epidemic and unjust outcomes for hundreds of black citizens, young black men in particular. This bill aims to rectify that as well as include other justice initiatives for education and empowerment opportunities.

“The Bill consists of 5 clauses, which decriminalize the possession of cannabis under the statutory minimum of 7 grams. It provides that criminal sanctions will not apply to person possessing cannabis under the statutory minimum. Handling such amounts is also decriminalized.

“Section 25 of the Act is amended to empower the police to seize cannabis from any person and also provides for the Minister of Justice to make regulations providing for assigning drug education and drug treatment to persons who are likely to benefit from such programs. This will be part of many other steps we will take to complete our aims and objective of increasing Opportunities for all Bermudians.

“Outcomes we hope will flow from this legislation include reduction of criminalisation figures among Bermudians, residents and guest visitors alike, who have been caught with small amounts of cannabis.

“This is a step along the way of ending life-altering consequences including being prohibited from traveling to the United States and Canada, having one’s reputation smeared and job prospects shattered due to convictions for simple possession of cannabis.

“As statistics show, black people in our society are more likely than whites to be arrested, charged and convicted for cannabis possession. This criminalisation for minor, non-violent possession is damaging for hundreds of Bermudians, young and old and it must end.”

MP Diallo Rabain’s Remarks

Mr Rabain said, “In 2012 as part of PLP platform we proposed if returned to office we would decriminalise possession of small amounts of cannabis. As has been mentioned today, we must recognise that the main issue is that cannabis possession disproportionately affects the black community due to higher arrest and charge rates, severely reducing access to educational and other opportunities.

“I’m speaking from the perspective of talking to our people on the doorstep during canvassing. This is an issue that comes up time and time again. From the father who cannot go away to see his child play in a sporting tournament, to the young woman who has no access to overseas education and has been frozen out of employment opportunities.

“We need to stop this system that obstructs real opportunities to improve the lives of all and their families. If we continue on the road of inaction, more young lives will be impacted forever. The need for crime prevention must be balanced with the fair application and amendment of laws.

“Simple non-violent possession must not have a lifetime effect on our people. We all suffer when this stigmatisation and criminalisation of our people hinders their abilities to contribute to our society and provide for themselves and their families.

“It affects our economy and it burdens our system. We must help each other be the best version of ourselves. Education, treatment and the expansion of opportunity must take precedence over the criminalisation of our people.”

click here Bermuda cannabis decriminalization

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (35)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. wahoo says:

    So is the OBA., but it won’t get you the votes.

  2. Game Changer2017 says:

    Must be Election year..

  3. Wut?! says:

    I am not by any means a fan of the PLP but I could totally get behind this bill and I view them a little more favorably. I think that’s the beauty of democracy.

  4. Trump supporter says:

    Put a smoking lounge in the NEW AIRPORT…

  5. Andrew Little says:

    :) Here we go… the ‘race’ to the ‘Green House’.. who will trump !? :)

  6. Real Deal says:

    We need to figure out how to set it up so that we can get some more income from the tourist.

    Collie Buddz get the tune ready bruh.

  7. Up D hill says:

    Bunch of weedo’s!

    • Colorado Rocky says:

      Sounds funny coming from a rumbag!

      On a serious note this is a big joke decriminalizing marijuana when the united states and the rest of the world is legalizing marijuana,not for medical purposes but for recreational use! Why are we left behind when the rest of the world finds a way to capitalize and profit? A bunch of jokers on the hill…the whole bunch of you!

  8. sage says:

    Both parties are woefully behind the times on this and should be ashamed to continue to endorse imprisoning people and destroying lives for possession of any amount of a far safer alternative to the most deadly drugs, which are legal. We are a bunch of late non-starters, look around the world, look at the science, the death stats. You politricksters are all a joke.

    • Its was here. says:

      I’m not a smoker, but a few of my friends and family are and I support decriminalizing weed as a first step, until we know more – before we legalize it. I too would have liked to see this bill being introduced by now as promised in the OBA throne speech. But, sometimes, it is better to sit back and learn from the experiences and mistakes of other countries rather than rush things. For example in the US some states have legalized the sale of weed. However, the Federal Government says it is still illegal! So far they have chosen not to enforce it…but they could start raiding these places if they wanted to, and with Trump in – anything could happen. In addition, many of the dispensaries can’t deposit their money in the bank because US government prohibits banks from accepting money known to be the proceeds of illegal drugs. Sounds silly but this is actually happening! I’m not saying its wrong or right. I’m just saying, lets get it done right the first time.

      • sage says:

        Done right, as in de-scheduling, repealing all penalties, full pardons, restorative justice for drug war victims, no tax and no limits on amounts. A sincere apology including reparations would be fitting.

        • BermiLion says:

          Unfortunately you dont great pardoned for breaking a law before it is changed.

  9. wondering says:

    an election ploy to garner votes from a pandered demographic who are a diverse bunch.

    Tabling it doesn’t change the fact that the PLP in its current morph is a dysfunctional inept bunch much like the OBA in its current morph (UBPBDA……..)

    Stop the electioneering and get on with governing the country whether as Govt or Opposition

  10. Will says:

    I see Canada being mentioned as a place one can’t travel with a cannabis conviction..that’s not necessarily correct but what I’m interested in is seeing Bermudas response to Canadas inevitable legalisation. Are Bermudians travelling from Canada going to be subject to far more searches and made to feel guilty until proven innocent at Bermuda customs?

    • Its was here. says:

      Does that happen now to those traveling to Colorado “for skiing”?

      • Will says:

        Not sure because there is no direct flight..whereas Canada does. Haven’t you wondered why Bermuda has no direct flights with South America or Jamaica? It’s clearly to do with amount of trafficking that would most likely take place.

  11. Mark says:

    I bet ppl won’t block the house and protest over this lllolll

  12. Road Safety says:

    Until such time as there is a valid test for driving while high, such as there is for drink driving, legalization should be approached carefully.

    • sage says:

      They are not even considering the L word, slow down, by valid test do you mean one that tests for impairment as opposed to presence of THC in the system? They have been totally unwilling to enact roadside sobriety tests for the hordes of drunks, mainly because it is the drug of choice of the majority them included, and we allow some arbitrary amount in the system and let kids drink and drive at 18 a full 7 years before their brains are fully developed. We also take “fuzzy ” statistics to shield alcohol from blame .

      • Real Deal says:

        Well I can say we still know nothing about the brain in 2017.
        so any thing published about the brain is not necessarily %100 true.

  13. cpm says:

    Time to illegally block the House [ok according to the talk show "host]
    What about a march-the weather looks good

  14. JimmyJolly says:

    Kinda insincere to only deregulate weed because it disproportionately affect African Americans who are locked up. Can they not admit that it can be used recreationally and is used recreationally without losing their bible-thumping, gay bashing base?

  15. Silence Do Good says:

    Great personal use is not a criminal offense. The police should not be able to take away my medication for glaucoma. They would just end up smoking it than turning it in.

    What about providing business opportunities similar to Amsterdam instead of still making the sale illegal. You can smoke it you just can’t buy it is a stupid law that miss the boat on true legalization. Think about creating different industries and a new tax revenue stream. What to solve the debt? Make Bermuda Amsterdam, 1 1/2 off the east coast. Legal gambling, weed and next prostitution. We are on our way in a hand basket…I see my property value going back up.

  16. Equality, Jobs, Justice says:

    When decriminalisation finally happens, could those with records for possession of small amounts have their records cleared?

  17. aceboy says:

    Why decriminalize? Why not just legalize it? Make Court Street a walking street and limit *coffee shops* to that area. Make the business have to be 100% owned by Bermudians, from growth to sales.

    Govt can tax it.

    Win/win/win.

    Instead the PLP go for this silly half-measure.

    • Real Deal says:

      Because we don’t want big business coming down here for this and taking all profits abroad. This give Bermudians time to plan. i think there is no-longer a 60-40 ownership rule in place.

  18. steve says:

    I agree, decriminalize. But since the PLP are just pandering to voters they should be aware that although it may win a few votes now, the same voters with ability to travel and gain education and experience abroad may become more open minded and turned off by the low brow, Navel gazing PLP.

  19. 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.

  20. Seascape says:

    Of course they would. We have so many other issues that need to be addressed that are urgent and this is not one of them. Must be election year.

  21. Not A Smoker says:

    I’m not a smoker, but used to be at one point in life as many have. I also shy away from politics. However, this is a step in the right direction and I applaud the PLP . People who choose to smoke weed should not have to worry about being locked up and having their lives ruined over this drug” (and I use that term very loosely) that does no harm to the general public. We are talking about a miraculous plant which can be extremely beneficial (especially when considering the medical uses of CBD’s) when used correctly\responsibly. Its about time Bermuda and the rest of the world look into the benefits, both health and profit wise, of this natural plant. For those who believe its some dangerous drug that can kill you, there’s a tale of a test rat which scientist used 10 lbs of weed to try and kill. They only succeeded by repeatedly dropping the 10 lbs on the rat lol. Point is, its now 2017, lets stop highlighting the few negatives and start embracing the many positives of this plant; something generations before us should have did. I’m not saying ignore the very minute negatives of weed, however, we shouldn’t over exaggerate its “consequences” (another term I use very loosely) just to support an agenda.

    As I said, I don’t do politics. However, this is my prediction. As Bermuda tends to follow the US and bow down to what they want, understandably as we share a very good business relationship, we will only consider complete legalization once the US does as we wouldn’t want to “step on toes” per say. The problem with this is we will miss out on a massive tourism opportunity! If we made the choice to legalize before the US we would be a top destination for tourist would want to come here and enjoy themselves in a fashion not allowed in the US while we as Bermudians reap the benefits. See, the problem with waiting until the US legalizes weed is, why would someone travel to Bermuda for the purposes of embracing these new, relaxed laws when they can do it at the comfort of their home? Something for both parties to consider. Lets take advantage, Bermuda!

    Sincerely,
    A non-smoker who is realistic!

    • Will says:

      Realistically those people looking for the island life vacation with weed are going to Jamaica. They won that one hands down…already legal down there and there’s a system in place for tourists to buy an ounce in the airport. Not to mention The cost of a vacation to Jamaica is far cheaper than going to Bermuda

  22. Truth says:

    Here’s a thought: if you don’t want to get arrested for weed, don’t smoke weed.

    If you don’t want to hinder your chances of a further education abroad, don’t smoke weed.

    What is so difficult here?

    Kinda like: if you don’t want to get arrested for murder, don’t go out and murder someone.

    Am I missing something here?

    • Real Deal says:

      yeah you are. don’t worry somebody has to be clueless

    • Sara says:

      Yes, you are missing something. That something is the law is about to change so that if you do get caught with a small amount of weed the above stated things won’t happen. The law is changing all over the U.S. and many other countries. This is a small step in what will eventually be full scale legalization for medical and recreational in the next 5-10 years. There, now you are not missing anything…

  23. Joe Bloggs says:

    Why now? Why not at some point between 1998 and 2012 when the PLP held the majority of Parliament?