Minister of National Security, Marvin Dames said the recent establishment of a Marijuana Commission Board is a clear demonstration that the country is looking to move forward on the issue. His comments came in an interview this weekend as the on-going debate continues about whether or not marijuana should be decriminalized.
Bishop Simeon Hall and former deputy commissioner of police Quinn McCartney were recently appointed co-chairs of the Marijuana Commission Board.
Just recently, 25 persons were added to the Board. These persons comprise of pastors, lawyers, pharmacists, doctors, school teachers and other professions.
The Commission, according to Bishop Hall, will be centered around research.
Dames said that as a Cabinet Minister he cannot necessarily have an opinion on the matter, but he added that the Prime Minister [Dr. Hubert Minnis] has indicated that the government intends to follow the will of the people, hence the creation of the Commission to figure out that will.
Dames said that going forward, the Government must look at what’s best for the country.
“As you look at one country to the next, or if you look at the U.S. – from one state to the next – there are any number of different directions that nations are taking, so we have to look and see what is best for the Bahamas and we will do that responsibly,” Dames said.
“But we will not sit back and enact laws and legislation that will lead the country down a path that we will regret one day. That’s why we have to be responsible,” Dames said.
Shifting his focus from the debate on legalizing marijuana, Dames said the focus must be on young men who are being targeted in society to use drugs.
“We have to protect our young men from those individuals out there who reside in these communities, whose only desire is for their own personal gain at whatever cost. These are real issues that law enforcement has to deal with,” Dames said.