Site will allow persons to offer feedback on legalizing drug
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Co-chair of the Bahamas National Commission of Marijuana, Bishop Simeon Hall announced yesterday that the advisory committee will launch its website within the next few days, which will allow citizens to engage in dialogue and offer their feedback on whether or not the herb should be decriminalized.
Hall also criticized the public health system, stressing that change is necessary.
Hall said members of the commission met on Sunday and raised thought-provoking questions related to the plant, which has caused much public discourse among the nation.
“Can we offer some kind of help to those who need some kind of medicine other than the traditional, expensive medicine,” was one of the questions asked, Hall said.
“Secondly, what about the social justice?
“Could we free our police to pursue other things rather than the little boy with a little joint? We put him up in prison and give him a record and he’s scorched for the rest of his life.”
Although Bishop Hall remains adamant about exploring the medicinal uses of marijuana, he advised that the government must approach the matter in a comprehensive capacity.
“We have to, however, look at the downside of this. Just how you smoke cigarettes, if you fool with marijuana, there’s a downside,” Hall said.
“One of the things that we found with the CARICOM Commission is that children or persons who use marijuana before their brain is finished developing before 24 years of age, that may impact them… So, all these variables have to be factored in our conclusion.”
Hall announced on March 6 that the committee is expected to release a survey in a matter of days that will gauge the public’s sentiment on the issue of marijuana.
“Bahamians from all over The Bahamas will be able to make an input,” he told Eyewitness News Online.
“We hope to in a matter of days to be able to announce where they can send us [that] information.
“That is the kind of thing we have been putting together.”
He added, “This calls for national consultation. This calls for national dialogue and that is what many of the Caribbean countries have done.”
The survey will be made available on the website, which is expected to be launched this week.
The committee, which Hall said has been diligently working, is also expected to hold town meetings in the coming weeks in Exuma, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama before holding a town meeting in New Providence.
The committee is expected to present its findings to the government by the end of April.
Hall indicated that the committee has yet to come to a formal position on the issue.
This article was written by Matthew Moxey – Eyewitness News Online Intern