Cannabis Reform: CRC Solicits Public Feedback

January 30, 2014

The Cannabis Reform Collaborative [CRC] is soliciting public input as well as inviting members of the public to participate in focus groups being planned.

Last month Government announced that work had begun to produce a paper on cannabis policy reform and announced the members of the CRC as 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. Eron Hill, Krystl Assan and Kamal Worrell have since resigned from the group for various personal and professional reasons.

The full submission guidelines from the CRC are below:

The Cannabis Reform Collaborative [CRC] is soliciting for public input and is inviting members of the community to submit their thoughts and research on the topic of cannabis reform.

In order to assist them in reviewing submissions, the CRC are requesting that interested members of the public submit either:

  • (1) an opinion piece of a maximum of 500 words, or
  • (2) a detailed submission – considered to be any submission of 500+ words – in which case the following requirements must be included.


1. Title/Title Sheet – submissions may indicate whether the author(s) prefers to remain anonymous or have their submission made public in the final advisory document.

2. Area of Focus: Submissions should indicate which category is the focus of the paper, for example:

  • 1. General/combined (list areas)
  • 2. Legal/criminality
  • 3. Medicinal
  • 4. Social
  • 5. Historical/facts
  • 6. Other

3. Executive Summary – max 300-500 words – The summary/abstract will describe the salient points and issues raised in the submission.

4. Table of Contents – listing all sections of the submission

5. Headings for different sections if appropriate

6. Page numbering

7. Citations referenced as footnotes with applicable page numbers.

8. A bibliography/list of references Reference must contain a minimum of the following:

  • 1. Title and author of referenced study
  • 2. Date of publication
  • 3. Web link if applicable

9. Text size/Format: min 11-point text and 1.5 line spacing appreciated

10. Appendices – as required for detailed reference material.

11. Max Length: maximum of 3000 words unless a qualified professional is making a submission.

All submissions should include full name and contact details. The deadline for public submissions is Friday February 28, 2014 at 5:00pm and should be sent to in either .pdf or .doc format with “Opinion Piece” or “Detailed Submission” in the subject line.

Additionally, the CRC is soliciting for members of the public to participate in focus groups being planned. The intention of the focus groups is to collect qualitative information from the public in a private and moderated setting. The overarching theme of the focus groups will be around cannabis and reform.

Once all names and information are collected, a total of 10 participants will be randomly selected for each focus group based on the demographic requirements.

Those selected will be contacted and invited to participate in organized focus groups located in the center of the island lasting no more than 2 hours. The CRC plans to hold a minimum of five focus groups.

If you are interested in participating, please send the following details with “Focus Group Participant” in the subject line to by no later than 5:00pm on Thursday February 6, 2014.

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email
  • Age Bracket: 18-35, 36-55, & 55 and over
  • Gender
  • Bermudian/Non Bermudian
  • Race

These two examples of community consultation are one of many opportunities to have your say in how Bermuda should proceed with Cannabis reform.

The CRC looks forward to receiving public submissions and members of the public coming forward to participate in the planned focus groups. We thank the community for their assistance as we develop our final advisory document.

For more information, please visit: or email

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Comments (106)

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. CRC Document To Be Submitted On April 17 | | March 20, 2014
  1. YADON says:

    I humbly request that Bernews posters such as Sage, tommy Chong and wolf seagal please submit a letter as well as attending any meetings that they can. I will be. We have done the research and should share our knowledge.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      I’m on that like a prohibitionist on prozac.

    • sage says:

      Thanks, I appreciate your endorsement and will definitely be there.

    • sage says:

      wolf’s probably in Denver or Montevideo as we speak….

      But seriously everyone come out.

  2. ToLegit says:

    Legalise it! Don’t criticize it

  3. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Great opportunity for Bermudians to come together and reform 40+ years of failed drug policy. Get involved!

  4. LaVerne Furbert says:

    This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. They want the public’s input, but they’re asking for a “thesis-like” submission. Give me a break!!

    • Huh? says:

      500 words is a “thesis-like” submission. What clown college did you go to?

      Is research and providing actual facts too much for us Bermudians?

      • yello says:

        Was thinking the same thing!!! 500 words is not “thesis-like.”

    • Joonya says:

      Dont be so Dopey. Look at the Pot calling the kettle black. Dont let it Hemper your opinion, just Weed out the indifferences and you’ll be able to Hash it out LaVerne. Its not all Smoke and mirrors you know. Its not a deep Seeded as you think. You’ve always been of High regard, so it will Resin-ate others. It Stems from a Stalking cloud of knowledge over you. No need to get disJointed. Just breathe, Inhale and Draw your own conclusions and you’ll learn to Roll with it. Peace

    • Jon says:

      Surely anyone with an opinion strong enough to give input can write a cohesive 500 words about their reasoning? Somehow it seems a fairly constructive, efficient way of capturing details that would otherwise be lost. That’s how I interpret it.

    • inna says:

      I dont agree with you on many things, but i would have to agree with you on this one! Further more, this is really just prolonging the inevitable decriminalization that will most likely happen. All this group is doing is dragging things out, at the Ministers request no doubt, to make it seem like public input was garnered and taken into consideration. At the end of the day i am sure that reform to the misuse of drugs act will happen, so just get on with it already!!

    • JD says:

      You can submit an opinion piece up to 500 words.

    • Mr. JIF says:

      This is half ridiculous … 500 word opinion pieces are good for public opinion … 3000 word thesis paper is just stupid

      If they are willing to read an assortment of ‘educated’ papers why not simply do the research … There seems to be another motive for this public display

    • Suzie Quattro says:

      Maybe the three Betty Trumps can write a couple of hundred words each.

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        All Three papers would be completely identical….


    • Mike Hind says:

      Did you miss the word “or”?

      “In order to assist them in reviewing submissions, the CRC are requesting that interested members of the public submit either:

      (1) an opinion piece of a maximum of 500 words, or
      (2) a detailed submission – considered to be any submission of 500+ words – in which case the following requirements must be included.”

  5. Exclusion says:

    So who decides if you are allowed or excluded from attending and participating in the Focus Group meetings?

    Come on CRC do better than this?

    The whole process looks completely heavy for no reason.

    • inna says:

      Thank you! See my comment above; asking for these submissions seems to do nothing but draw out the process.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Writing an opinion piece of less than 500 words is too “heavy”?

  6. Sally B says:

    LOL that young guy the other day really made em look at themselves.They’re going to be unbias now and consult the public… that’s good to hear though

    • Put Up or Shut Up says:

      How do you know that this wasn’t in the plan all along?

      That ‘young guy’ threw out accusations without backing anything up and refusing to elaborate when pressed further for explanation. And yet you guys fawned all over him and his attempt to denigrate a whole group of people without any evidence to back up his claim. But because it appeared to you that he was having a dig at the Government you just believed him blindly with no form of rational thinking applied (not that I am suprised).

      So please if you are in the know, explain to us plebs what ‘ulterior agenda’ this Group of diverse individuals retains?

      • Peter says:

        I call it saving face. If dat guy Hill would have named and shamed it would have been over for d crc but he did it whilst still letting the committee go on with it’s bias research.

        • jt says:

          Of course it is possible that this was discussed and organized the the last 50% of the meetings Mr. Hill did not attend.

  7. Green thumbs says:

    got to start somewhere scared money don’t make no money *grabs pen and paper” bout to start writing my essay …medical green all the way

  8. Comeon says:

    Dat bie Hill already told us about ya trickery lol. Now you come out with a form that the people using marijuana wouldn’t be able to come up with LOL

    • inna says:

      LOL, funny comment, but nothing more than a generalization. Not all people who smoke weed are dumb doornails like the stereotypical stoners are! Just like some people get drunk every night, while others might enjoy a glass or two of wine and be done, some people like to have a spliff or two every night and be done!

      • But hol up says:

        Well go and write ya essay and stop vasting time on bernews ^ lol

  9. godson says:

    Looks like they want others to do their job..

    • jt says:

      People b**** and complain about lack of transparency and input and then **tch and complain when it’s there….no that’s transparent.

  10. G-man says:

    So theyre asking us to do what they’re supposed to do. Vat typa committee is dis hur. Im not suprised that those guys resigned

    • Put Up or Shut Up says:

      One person resigned for his own selfish political ambitions and then had the nerve to suggest an ‘ulterior agenda’ without giving his former Committee members any reason for his erroneous statement.

      One other, Ms. Assan, returned overseas to continue her education.

      The last, Mr. Worrell, had to recuse himself as he is representing a client against Mr. Dunkley in a lawsuit.

      What I find ironic is that people like you automatically believed what Eron Hill accused (with no evidence) his Committee members of and then you all went on a tangent about how they are not interested in the public’s opinion, blah, blah, blah and yada, yada, yada.

      Now you say this: “So theyre asking us to do what they’re supposed to do.”

      Can you see the contradictions?

      • Wordup says:

        Well word is that Mr.Worrell supported the young guy. The committee is known to have 2 OBA youth wing members. The guy was right. One girl on the collaborative called the radio show and got exposed. The group is futile in my opinion and I know the head of the committee Stratton. Let’s just say I’ll save face for that fella!

        • Mike Hind says:

          So… if the other members are Progressive Youth members, should we dismiss them?

          Or is it only bad when folks are OBA youth members?

      • Mike says:

        Ohhh nooo. Please don’t call for evidence. Especially if it is true. Dat vud just shrow dis committee to d pits. It’s clear where this group is going and what they’re doing

        • Put Up or Shut Up says:

          “It’s clear where this group is going and what they’re doing”

          Please enlighten us…

          In other words Put Up or Shut Up

      • Tree of Wisdom says:

        he CRC was silent during those calls. LOL now you wanna come out and say something. A bit late mate

    • more than enough says:

      didn’t the sage commission do this too, even including financial incentives for the best submissions stfu.

  11. leo says:

    Weed heals- alcohol kills! #fact! But yet alcohol is legil? Wake up bermuda!

  12. yello says:

    All this talk is honestly wasting time. Legalize and/or decriminalize it already

  13. Bahmudan says:

    Come on CRC. Let’s be real. Smh

  14. Devonshire East says:

    Isn’t this the bias group? lol now they’ll pick choose and refuse what submissions to consider inna?

  15. watching says:

    they have created such stringent parameters and guidelines to hopefully reduce the quantity of submissions they receive. i have never seen a government sponsored committee place such tight restrictions around how feedback on a topic of national importance is obtained.

    • Just Wondering says:

      They put the parameters on any submission that is over 500 words so you can submit under 500 words with out the pre-set layout.

    • Mike Hind says:

      An opinion piece of less than 500 words is a “Tight restriction”?


  16. Rad Mumma says:

    What’s de priiize?

    • sage says:

      Equal rights and justice, I hope.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Exactly. The prize is that, possibly, our young people won’t have their lives ruined because of marijuana.

        • sage says:

          Equal rights and justice for all, not just “young, first timers with small amounts”.

          • Mike Hind says:

            Agreed. Sorry. I was adding to your post, not specifying.

  17. Take it Easy! says:

    Vioxx (prescription) Gunja (illegal)
    Vioxx 60,000 deaths 0 arrest
    Gunja 0 deaths 800,000 arrest
    I can go on just 2 much to write

  18. Sandys says:

    3 members resigned from this committee cause it was biased. They are just responding? and with this? smh gotta come better than that

    • Suzie Quattro says:

      One member resigned after two meetings because he was biased and couldn’t get his way. The other two resigned for completely unrelated reasons.

    • Just Wondering says:

      Lets be clear ONE quit becaus of ‘bias’ the other two have removed themselves for other reasons

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Talk about bias. One resigned because he felt it was biased, with nothing to back up his claims and and only attending two of four meetings and the others due to personal and professional reasons. But I suppose the dark forces have been successful in discrediting the CRC is your eyes then it will have no credence with its recommendations. Wonderful isn’t it.

  19. Tammy says:

    This group needs to play it’s card better. They just ignored the fact that they were bias. Must have been true Lol and now their counteraction is to request a legal documents from the public lol smdh i wud have left d group too buh

  20. Vanda says:

    B-boldy called bias
    I-Ignored accusations
    A-acting like they aint oba
    S-Some of the members are oba youth members

    • Just Wondering says:

      Where are they ignoring the acctions? Actual where are the accusations? They responed to Mr. Hills comments as best the could given teh lack of information. And where are they saying they are not OBA? I’m sure if you ask the memebers they would tell you which party the support if they support one.

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        I can confirm that there are (current) memebers of both on the CRC.


        • Danny says:

          Lie dem a tell. dem a just roll over. D oba run d place. bias bias bias

          • LOL (original TM*) says:

            Bet you would not call the members I’m thinking of an OBAer to dem face.


    • Sandy Bottom says:

      Mr Hills, a PLP supporter, was part of it. But he failed to attend meetings and then gave up.

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      Vanda you need to see who is on the CRC there are PLP memebers (current) on it as well so WTF are you talking about. Shut it.


  21. Herbsman says:

    Why don’t you just come out and say it. You have already made up your mind. The young guy told us the other day. This is getting old. They’ve probably already started their report lol

  22. Malachi says:

    I could be wrong, but hasn’t there been enough research done on the topic?

    This drug has been studied for years and the results are well known.

    It’s interesting to note that Mr. Hill resigned from the CRC because he felt that agenda of some members was to make marijuana legal, as opposed to some debate on the pros and cons. Now, it seems as though someone’s agenda has gone in the opposite direction, wanting us to jump through hoops to the point that we give up on the discussion, thus keeping it illegal.

    Just more politics, as usual!

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      If the results are “well known”, submit them.

      • sage says:

        Don’t worry we shall, you make sure to present your opposing view, every little bit helps.

        • LOL (original TM*) says:

          Sage you are the guy! Hope you go to the meeting and present something.


  23. Story Teller says:

    Isn’t it funny how all the PLP zealots yammer on about there being a bias, but yet can’t actually highlight this supposed bias and/or ulterior agenda as purported by the PLP youth member. But continue to spout the same nonsense hoping it becomes truth.

    I find it hilarious and yet sad and pathetic all at the same time.

    And before any of you respond, please ensure to include the bias and ulterior agenda or just shut up.

    Thank you.

  24. Stratton Hatfield says:

    As a volunteer committee and dedicated citizens, we, (The CRC) have been committed from our inception to consulting with the public and seeking input from everyone. So many Bermudians have an opinion about this topic and we need to work together to propose the best recommendations for our country.

    I urge everyone to do your own research and make a submission or put their names forward as focus group participants. ALSO – plan to attend our Town Hall in late February.

    We intend to review all submissions and randomly select participants for our focus groups from the list of those that put their names forward. This paper will be as strong and valid as those that contribute to it.

    Thank you.

    CRC Member

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

    Federal Government Has Basically Just Legalized Marijuana…

  26. Stratton who? says:

    Who is this guy Stratton? What expertise does he have on the topic? ……

    • Mike Hind says:

      Does someone need expertise to volunteer for something?

      Did YOU volunteer?

      Seriously? Here we have a young Bermudian going out of his way trying to make a positive change and you question him because you don’t know him?

      Who are YOU? At least he has the balls to sign his own name.

      • David G says:

        why did you change ya name then Stratton lol this is funny. Obama youth member I heard d member say on d radio. Is that true sir?

      • Not I says:

        Well why didn’t you sign ya name Mr.Hatfield? lol

  27. Smarty says:

    Lol yeah who is this stratton guy? And when did the crc become active on bernews. Sounds like that movee that Dunkley tried lol

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      WTF! You people are good and dumb/stubborn. I don’t care what that Hill guy said made no difference to me. Answer this why did he have a press conference in the first place? To put you bi$#@s in motion? He did not say anything it was a f****** public speaking challenge so that the PLP could say they have young talent that’s it. Again I can’t see others on that board knowingly abused like this by the PLP. But you never know the trappings of power are real. If the OBA are up to tricks the PLP are defiantly up to something here. Need proof see the dumb comments from the PLP supporters here. If anything they should want this to go through as they keep telling us how it “they young men getting hurt by this law” yet here they are playin with this issue. PLP supporters you gonna continue to let the hierarchy in your party to use you for a vote or are you gonna stand up to them.

      LOL same goes for the OBA stop playing with this do the right thing.Everyone stop opposing just to oppose.

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

    Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized: An Expert’s Perspective…

  29. HC says:

    This guy just comments on bernews as if its on behalf of the committee. Did he consult the committee first or is he like that member that called the radio?

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

    Best Marijuana Argument Ever: Given By Superior Court Judge James P. Gray…

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

    Another TV Debate Where Anti-Marijuana Guy is Owned… Why are we wasting time money and effort..?

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      You like you tube don’t you.

      And of course, everything you see on you tube is completely factual. And nothing on there is biased at all.

      • Mike Hind says:

        You realize you’re attacking the source and not the content, right?

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          I’m saying that not everthing on you tube is entirely reliable.

          • sage says:

            Recorded interviews where herb advocates school the ganjaphobes are 100% real.

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

            Well … i see once again you are commenting on something you are oblivious to…didnt even watch it did you..?

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

              oh looky!!…heres something else from You Tube…Dr. Sebi on Marijuana … Can You Smoke Too Much?

              • Come Correct says:

                Don’t bother, Sandy will never admit they’re a…well, one of the words they would label someone else who doesn’t agree with them. They’re on every marijuana article yet think Robert Marley died of lung cancer and people smoke marijuana leaves. But hey, who am I to stop you from making them look like something begins with M and ends with oron.

          • Sara says:

            Sandy, sandy, sandy. Do you realize you contribute NOTHING to these arguments?

            • sage says:

              Actually Sara, this kind of mindless opposition showcases the fear, ignorance and desperation to maintain the status quo at any cost, which is the hallmark of ganja phobia. Sandy could nearly win this battle for us singlehandedly, and has really become quite adept at making opponents to legalization look far more stupid than any stereotypical “stoner” could ever be.

  32. Alvin Williams says:

    Why write a five hundred word thesis on the use of cannabis; all you have to do is send for a recent three hour National Geographic special on the use of drugs including marijuana. I don’t think those who support the use of cannabis will be All that happy over the findings of some of the information on the use of marijuana shown on that program; although some positive aspects on the use of medical marijuana was gone into in some detail. But it is a myth that smoking marijuana is less harmful than smoking a cigarette. Marijuana
    smoke on the lungs is three times as deadly. Due to the chemicals added to weeds these days. There is no such thing as pure weed unless you grow your own.

    • sage says:

      You are a complete idiot if you accept that unfounded BS as reality. Anyone who claims that herb is more harmful than cancer sticks is completely delusional, and the proof is that tobacco is toxic, as addictive as heroin and causes 400,000 DEATHS a year in the US alone, herb meanwhile has not killed a soul. Anyway, if the danger is in chemicals added to herb then it is not the herb that’s at fault is it, it’s the laws against it which cause far more harm. You believe in Bigfoot and ghosts too, right? Did you watch the “High on Alcohol” episode? They followed a 28 yr old full blown alcoholic who eventually accepted help but after only 17 days in rehab he DIED, from the destruction the legal alcohol did to his body and mind.

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      Alvin Alvin Alvin…geesh man…produce the documentation on your assumption and i will bury it 6 feet under…typical MSM Zombie.

  33. down to earth says:

    The Gov needs to be smart and give warning when it will be leagle. also give people time to selling thier stock at current price befor it become worthless.

    If gov does not thing smart we could have another housing issue were people cant pay bills because thier investment is worthless.

    if gov says it will be leagle on a date and some invest in it thats their problem.

  34. Malachi says:

    I must be getting old, but it just occurred to me that a group which calls itself the “Cannabis Reform Collaborative” surely must have an agenda leaning toward the decriminalization, to some extent, of the possession of certain amounts of marijuana. As such, it now seems strange to me that the young Mr. Hill would resign because he felt that certain members had that very same agenda.

    If the group is meant to bring about reform, then the questions which should be asked should focus on one thing: to what extent do we reform?

    From looking at the recent polls, it is clear that a large majority (approx. 65%) agree to the decriminaliztion of possession of a small amount of the substance.

    If, however, the group is meant to discuss whether reform should actually take place, then perhaps the name of the group should be changed to the “Cannabis Reform Exploratory Collaborative”.

    Perhaps one of those in the know can cleary define the CRC’s role. I am somewhat puzzled.

  35. HC says:

    But the group said it was non bias. The young fella had an issue with the fact that the public was told one thing but the group was doing another. He didn’t have a problem with the direction it was headed he said but that it was misleading the public. He called bias when he saw it. I admire his stand on principle……. Now this

    • sage says:

      He hasn’t elaborated, so now his intent is rightly viewed as questionable at best.

      • Not I says:

        I don’t question it, CRC has remained silent. Similar to that of who……… Dunkley