Audio: Cannabis Licence Act Defeated In Senate

March 3, 2021 | 17 Comments

[Updated] The Senate is in session today [March 3] and they are scheduled to debate the Cannabis Licensing Act, with the bill having already passed in the House of Assembly.

There are eleven Senators — five PLP, three OBA and three Independents — and OBA Senate Leader Ben Smith has confirmed to Bernews that “the OBA Senate team will vote against the corporate Cannabis Bill.” This means that even if all five PLP Senators vote for the Bill, at least one Independent Senator will also need to vote for the Bill to get the required six votes.

Update 4.32pm: The Bill — which aimed to create a regulatory regime to sell cannabis — has been defeated by 6 votes to 5.

All PLP Senators [5] voted for it, and the OBA [3] and Independents [3] voted against it. The ‘yes’ votes were PLP Senators Curtis Richardson, Owen Darrell, Arianna Hodgson, Lindsay Simmons, and Dr. Ernest Peets, while the ‘no’ votes were OBA Senators Robin Tucker, Ben Smith, Marcus Jones, and Independent Senators Joan Dillas-Wright, John Wight, and Michelle Simmons.

Update 6.48pm: A PLP spokesperson said, “Today, the OBA and the Independent Senators voted against the will of the Bermudian voter and stood against jobs and opportunities for Bermudians.

“The cannabis reform they opposed would have further reduced the criminalization of Bermudians and created jobs and opportunities for Bermudians. Now, Bermudians are forced to wait for entrepreneurial opportunities in agriculture, transport, research, manufacturing, and the creation of health products and consumables.

“The Cannabis Reform Bill was rejected by the OBA, and the Governor’s Senators would have meant additional revenue for the government; revenue for social programs, scholarships, and more.

“It is unfortunate, that in the 21st Century that jobs and opportunities as well as the will of so many Bermudians can be blocked by a politically rejected Opposition and Independent Senators appointed by an unelected, unaccountable Governor.”

Update 7.23pm: An OBA spokesperson said, “Today, Bermuda’s Senate rejected the PLP’s Cannabis Licensing Bill because the Bill itself failed to address important concerns from the community.

“It was positive that the OBA Senators and Independent Senators came together to vote down this deeply flawed Bill. Cannabis is a complicated issue that requires thoughtful solutions, something the Bill severely lacked.

“There are many who are passionate about cannabis, both for and against. But the Bill in its current form was not the answer. It left too many unanswered questions and needs more time and thought.

“The Senate vote today shows there are many Bermudian voices not being heard by the Government. Even within the PLP ranks there are many who recognised privately the numerous flaws in this Bill. They must share these legitimate concerns publicly and put Island before Party.”

Update: 90 second audio of just the vote

Update: Part II | The live broadcast has concluded and the 2 hour, 18 minute replay is below:

Update: Part I | The live broadcast has concluded and the 1-hour & 55-minute replay is below

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Comments (17)

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  1. sage says:

    I don’t think I have ever heard so much foolishness in my life.

  2. outkasted says:

    Well there goes any possibility of money circulating on this island this summer. we are f……… ya’ll only way out of this is buy for the future. BitCoin. Cause the economy is toast.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Look, I get it, but “legal weed” or whatever you want to call it, isn’t the economic panacea you think it is. It’s just a tiny part of a bigger picture. the real issue is that we spend too much and have too few people to pay for it.

      This issue isn’t “legal weed”, the issue is that the legislation is horribly drafted and poorly presented. It’s a typical PLP sh*t show to be honest. They need to go away and think about it properly, get some adults to review then bring it back and it will pass, and will get assent.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    At least the majority of the Senate have also taken into account and understood the AG’s remarks and taken the right action. Correct the legislation and make it legal and it would likely pass.

    • Michael says:

      What would be acceptable to the UK? The BVI passed medical only and theirs wasn’t given assent.

      • Ringmaster says:

        Maybe ask the AG. The comments from the PLP are so childish and merely confirm the wisdom of the members of the Senate who voted to reject this flawed Bill.

  4. Micro says:

    Can we get a summary of the debate points?

  5. Mother Theresa says:

    Dr Peets said “Yay”!!!!! He is a certified drug treatment provider!!!! Whaaaat????????!!!!!!!! I have to agree with Joan Dillas-Wright here. I’m shocked!!

    • sage says:

      Joan Dillas-Wright claimed that doctors she had talked to said they were not consulted and provided no proof , if Peets provides his qualifications then she should name the doctors and provide a written admission from them that they told her they were not consulted. Then she could explain how this legislation which had a major revamp due to the public submissions lacked consultation. She, and the doctors who did not make submissions simply don’t care.

  6. Nice to see that the Senate actually did their job, it should not go unnoticed that all 5 plp Senators voted like the sheeple they are, this legislation was doomed for failure as it would not have been given accent from the Governor!

    What else would anyone expect from a government that was voted in for all the wrong reasons?

  7. frustrated says:

    T
    hey need to stop the foolishness, political posturing, and forget about using something people want as a means to further their ridiculous drive for independence and get on with doing something for a change. The legislation happily passed by the house was deeply flawed and never would have received approval from the UK, nor should it have. It would have benefitted few, and excluded many.
    I believe that this was an intentional decision made to further divide the island, and to try to further foment a divide with the UK. The similarity to taking the gay marriage issue to the privy council, knowing what the result would be is maddening. The inability to do anything other than waste millions of dollars on that waste of time, and the millions to call an election for no other reason than to extend their rule should wake every Bermudian up.
    This government have done absolutely nothing since being elected other than spew nonsense. No gambling, no cannabis, no jobs, no buses, not allowed out past midnight again, but you can still fly in from Red zone countries without a mandatory quarantine. WTF is wrong with these people and this liar leading this joke of a government? DO SOMETHING FOR BERMUDA, not for your party or your place in history.

  8. Let's Keep It Real says:

    Peets needs to resign as a Pastor. How in the world is he able to provide spiritual leadership in condoning/supporting such legislation.

  9. Joe Bloggs says:

    Independent thought frustrating the Government’s election promise? Heresy!

  10. sandgrownan says:

    “The Cannabis Reform Bill was rejected by the OBA, and the Governor’s Senators would have meant additional revenue for the government; revenue for social programs, scholarships, and more.

    “It is unfortunate, that in the 21st Century that jobs and opportunities as well as the will of so many Bermudians can be blocked by a politically rejected Opposition and Independent Senators appointed by an unelected, unaccountable Governor.”

    Good grief. Childish, petulant response. Go get it re-drafted by adults and it will pass. And stop lying, it will fund the square-root of f**k all.

  11. I dont mind people smoking weed in their own house.it is better than drinking .but I am in the United States were it is legal. There is nothing worse than walking down the street and smelling the foul smell very strong.
    I would not like for my children or grandchildren
    When I have them to smell it every where they go see and ask me what is that b smell

    • sage says:

      41,000 Americans died last year from second hand smoke. 0 Americans died from second hand cannabis smoke.

  12. Oba ruined bermuda with this says:

    Never voting OBA again. You’ve ruined my and our hopes and dreams of a financially secure future. My family always voted UBP or OBA, but after this atrocity I swear I’ll never vote them in again

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