“Cannabis Conversation” To Be Held On Feb 25

February 22, 2014

The Cannabis Reform Committee [CRC] will host the “Cannabis Conversation” at 7:30pm on the 25th of February, at Manchester Unity Hall on corner of Victoria & Union Streets [across from Peopleʼs Pharmacy].

A panel of four special guests will be presenting on their experiences within drug prevention, law enforcement, addictions treatment and medicinal cannabis use, from local and international perspectives. Each guest will give a 10 minute presentation on their specific area of expertise, after which, smaller round-table type discussions will take place where members of the public will have the opportunity to converse and interact with the special guests.

Left to Right: Dr. Chantelle Simmons, Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather, Jack Cole, Judith V. Burgess


One of Bermuda’s best spoken word artists and community facilitators, Tiffany Paynter, will host the event and attendees will be encouraged to come prepared to listen and discuss the question:

  • Should we reform our cannabis policies?
  • How do you think cannabis reform will impact our work, our lives and our community?

Special Guests will include:

Judith Burgess – PRIDE Bermuda
Founding Member and Executive Director of PRIDE Bermuda and the Chairperson for the Bermuda Coalition. She has worked in drug prevention for almost 30 years.

Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather – Society of Cannabis Clinicians – USA – via skype
Cannabis Consultation Physician, Vice President / Secretary, American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine [AACM] Member, International Cannabinoid Research Society, Former Family Practitioner.

Jack Cole – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – USA
Retired Detective Lieutenant with the New Jersey State Police for 26 years — 14 in narcotics, mostly as an undercover officer. Founding member and for eight years was executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Dr. Chantelle Simmons – Consultant Psychiatrist, Turning Point – BHB
Consultant Psychiatrist at Mid Atlantic Wellness Centre for the Acute West [General Adult Psychiatry] and Turning Point [Substance Abuse Treatment Programme services]. Completed an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at the Emory University.

CRC Chairman Stratton Hatfield said, “ With the round-table discussion format, this will not be your typical town hall set up as members of the public will have a more personal experience in discussing their views and we believe, in turn, a more constructive conversation on cannabis reform. The group is dedicated to listening, learning from and working with members of the community to develop a detailed, localized and informative document regarding Cannabis Reform.”


The Cannabis Reform Collaborative, [CRC] is a non-partisan group of Bermudians working with the full co-operation of the Bermuda Government. For further information contact Cannabis Reform Committee [CRC] – bda.crc@gmail.com or call 441-704-1986.

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Comments (9)

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  1. sage says:

    Our local representatives have both been vocally anti-herb and pro status quo (the enemy we’re told now), so this should be interesting. At least no one can claim both sides, for and against, aren’t represented. Jack Cole and L.E.A.P. represent people who are willing to admit the wrong perpetrated under the War on some Drugs despite the fact that it may affect their careers and put them in an unflattering light. Ending human rights atrocities is more important.

  2. more than enough says:

    our cannabis policies should be reformed into non-existence.
    they were formed without knowledge, and for all the wrong reasons.
    once we eliminate the misunderstanding that this multi-faceted herb is bad we will see a positive impact on our work, our lives, and our community.

  3. more than enough says:

    ‘eliminate the illusion’ might be a more accurate description

  4. me says:

    i agree,the situation should be handled from a human rights and nature rights perspective, we are getting ridiculous when we are talking about a plant we really shouldm establish what it is and put it under the category of “plant”. there are lots of herb plants that are not suited for everyone and there are certain fish that don’t agree with people to the point they ahve allergies that can cause death! the real issue of cannibas is the fact that a plant, part of natural creation that has been around longer than all of us is being taken hostage as a drug and being blamed for ruining lives just because it is NATURAL and enjoyed by some whether they smoke, inhale, boil,or intake.. so far in Bermuda it has not been known to cause death or illness, actually the opposite. there is a drug rehabilitation because people are harassed and their liberties taken away when they submit to unfair testing of hair and urine.. there are far more dangerious things in society that need serious attention when they come to humanity and from whos perspective.. Lets establis our jurisdiction first! thats a huge problem! Why do we constantly think we need the rest of the world opinion on what we do when we can not be compared on any level because we are so small and in the middle of the atlantic, who else is in our predicament? no other country! we are also the oldest parliament in west and older than America and other jurisdictions. We used to have the only tobacco crop! it appears that everyone wants to try and validate themselves through degrees when life is not that limited and should not be!Our freedom is imperative to our individual futures,. apparently lots of people have various beliefs and surely impeding ones ability to make up their mind is not only unconstitutional, but quite assinine, whoever prevents freedom will therefore be responsible for conseuence of action and therefore creating a colony of sheeple..We need to exercise our own choices regardless of others opinion as long as we do not hurt anyone.. the LAW is simple, and was created to allow people freedom under safe conditions, safe from harm of another creatures hinderance of life and pursuit of happiness!

  5. MAKE MY DAY says:

    When you have that “marijuana” conversation… Just remember that cannabis is a “drug” that also interferes with a persons brain and their normal thought patterns!!! I’m NOT a “medical expert”… but these people are!!!






    Here Endeth today’s “lesson”!!!

    I have read and heard from soooo many “hard-core” drug addicts in the States and other countries that they ALL started with that “harmless” gateway drug – called Cannabis!! In fact I have lost 3 personal friends in BDA over the last 40 years – who started with “ganja” and then *graduated* to the real killers…. heroin and crack-cocaine + LSD and Methamphetamines (meth)!!!

    You want to “gamble” – then be my guest!!!

    • sage says:

      Oh, give us a break, I have smoked herb for over 30 years and have chosen to avoid all other legal and illegal drugs like many other people, your friends made bad choices and paid the price, making herb the scapegoat is worn out and proven wrong. An ex addict was recently a guest on a talk show locally and was said to have started smoking “weed” at 13 then graduated to hard drugs, dealing, prison etc., the host apparently had not spoken to him in depth previously because when she started by suggesting the ganja gateway BS, the guest quickly corrected her to say that herb in no way caused or influenced him to try other drugs. It was a choice he made and he took personal responsibility for his actions, unlike most addicts who, encouraged by the “helping agencies”, choose to blame an innocuous substance rather than admit the truth, this man has my respect and I am confident he will succeed in his recovery. So go find some other crusade, you’ve lost this one.

    • Confirmation Bias says:

      When you have that “Gateway Drug” conversation… Just remember that correlation does not imply causality.



  6. Duhh says:

    So tired if hearing the gateway drug argument if u want to blame something blame the liquor because I’m sure everyone had a taste if liquor first before any other mind altering substance so blame the devilish liquor which is man made unlike the ganja and yes I do believe ganja not for everybody bt u Cnt go blaming it on people choosing to hard drugs that was there personal choice and maybe because there was such an abundance of pure crack/cocaine in the 80′s which is hugely diluted leaving those who grew up using high grade coke left chasin a high they will never get again because it is so watered down compared to then it was designed in the system to get people hooked and keep them hence creating a generation of kids not properly raised because parents were busy getting high which has graduated two generations fold of children raising themselves hence the situation we have today children raising children

  7. Stratton Hatfield says:

    Thanks for the write up Bernews!

    I, along with the members of the CRC, am looking forward to hosting the Cannabis Conversation this Tuesday.

    We hope that the people of Bermuda will attend and participate in a unique and informative forum around Cannabis Reform. Now is the time for our community to come together, speak up and learn more.