Hall supports legalization of marijuana for medicinal use

Bishop Simeon Hall.

Bishop Simeon Hall, the newly-appointed co-chair of The Bahamas Marijuana Commission, told Eyewitness News Wednesday that he fully supports the idea of legalising marijuana for medicinal use.

“I do not smoke marijuana, I don’t smoke anything; those are not my vices, but I sincerely believe that we should have an intelligent national conversation, let’s hear all the sides,” said Bishop Hall, who joined The Bahamas Marijuana Commission just last week.

The body, which is comprised of a wide array of representatives, has been charged with canvassing the country for national feedback as to whether or not the government should seriously consider legalising the herb.

Bishop Hall has been leading the charge in the religious community, and since his introduction to the commission, he has already engaged some nine religious organizations for their feedback. He noted, however, that feedback has been slow.

“There are those who are saying ‘yes,’ there is worth in studying it. That’s all the commission will do –  study both sides and come to a conclusion. I believe we should explore the possibility of the value of marijuana as opposed to the toxic traditional medicine that our people are dying from.”

Bishop Hall also shot down assertions from critics who have suggested that the church has no place in the marijuana debate.

“I say that the church should be the headlight on progress, rather than the tail light,” he said.

Bishop Hall is also supported in his thinking by leaders in the Rastafarian community.

Michael Ferguson, a Rastafarian Leader told Eyewitness News Wednesday that continuing to criminalise the herb is nonsense.

“Genesis said when God created all things he created the trees first and in the end, he said it is all good,” Ferguson said. “So, who are you and I to lock up people and discriminate them for using it when God has made it?”

Ferguson’s Rastafarian brother Demetrius Smith said the herb is valuable medicinally and economically.

“You could use it as a medicine, as a tea, a drink, you could make shampoo, herbal baths and soap, so many things. It’s really not as bad as people make it out to be,” he explained.

While feedback from the wider religious community is progressing at a snail’s pace, Bishop Hall is confident that he will be able to garner a wide-ranging response from his colleagues in the months ahead.