Minnis to ‘prison warden’: Get ready to free our young people

Minnis to ‘prison warden’: Get ready to free our young people
Prime Minster Dr. Hubert A. Minnis

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis last night gave notice to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services to get ready to “free our young people” who have been convicted of possession of small quantities of marijuana.

The declaration made during a town hall meeting at the Edmund Moxey Park is among a series of public statements the prime minister has made in recent weeks, expanding on his support of the decriminalization of marijuana and regulation of medicinal use.

Minnis expressed support for the release of all prisoners incarcerated for the possession of small quantities of marijuana on Tuesday as he received the Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana’s preliminary report.

He has also previously affirmed his support for expunging the records of Bahamians convicted of possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Last night, the prime minister doubled down on his position.

“Our laws regarding possession of small amounts of marijuana have unfortunately led to the arrests, prosecution, and conviction and punishment of countless Bahamians who use the plant for religious purposes, or personal or medical reason,” Minnis said.

“…Many of those who are arrested are from my area, from the inner city.

“I say we must free the young people, and as I stand here tonight, I send a notice to our prison wardens, I send a notice to our prison officers, that they must get ready to free our young people.”

The BNCM’s report recommended that marijuana be decriminalized and persons be allowed to have a maximum of one ounce of the substance in their possession without prosecution.

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Davis has labeled the prime minister’s marijuana campaign as nothing more than “public relations gimmickry”.