More than 100,000 marijuana plants seized in 2019
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Pharmaceutical amphetamine-type drugs and marijuana plants made up the majority of drug seizures in 2019, according to crime statistics released this week.
Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson released the data during his annual meet the press on Tuesday.
While marijuana, marijuana plants and derivatives of the substance were prevalent among the list of seizures last year, there were 16 categories of pharmaceutical drugs seized in large quantities.
The majority of these drugs, namely prescription tablets were not included in past drug statistics in recent years.
Among the drug seizures were 966 amphetamine tablets; 5,968 alprazolam tablets (the clinical name for Xanax); 45 Dihydromorphine (a semi-synthetic opioid); 2,506 ecstasy tablets; 56 Fenethylline (a mixture of amphetamine and theophylline); 169 Methamphetamine tablets and 3.25 grams of Methamphetamine powder; 19 Methylenedioxyamphetamine tablets (a psychostimulant); and 1,055 Oxycodone tablets.
Additionally, authorities seized 9,470 Ampicillin tablets; 1,400 Diclofenac tablets; 1,858 Xanax tablets; six Adderall tablets; nine Sumatriptan tablets; 200 Cyproheptadines and 192 Sildenafil tablets.
A total of 36.58 pounds of cocaine was also seized, significant drop over the 183.99 pounds of cocaine seized in 2018, though it is unclear if more drugs were discovered or whether more were illicitly transported and distributed.
In May, authorities arrested two men in connection with the seizure of nearly 9,000 illegal pills, including 5,448 alprazolam pills; amphetamine, 2,425 ecstasy pills, 10 methamphetamine pills, Oxycodone and a pound of marijuana.
According to the data, just under 6,000 pounds of marijuana was seized.
This represents a 42 percent drop in marijuana seizures.
Among the seizures were single-digit seizures of marijuana cakes, cereals, cupcakes, brownies, gummy bear; a THC hooker pen; and 1.36 pounds of THC oil.
A total of 1,720 people were arrested for drugs last year, a slight increase over the 1,666 people arrested in connection with drug matters in 2018.
The majority of those arrests were in connection with marijuana — 1,556 arrests.
Of those arrests, 917 people were arrested for possession of marijuana; 622 for possession with intent to supply; 11 for possession.
Only six people were arrested for cultivation despite significant fields of marijuana discovered in 2019.
In February, authorities discovered eight marijuana fields in North Andros. During the operation a total of 94,000 marijuana plants were discovered.
The fields were destroyed by fire.
While the Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana green-lighted recreational and medicinal cannabis in its preliminary report, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said until the direction of the law changes people who do not understand that they ought not use the substance will be arrested.
The report has not been completed and remains under review by the commission.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has called marijuana reform a matter of social justice as he reiterated his support for decriminalizing possession of small amounts and expunging convictions for possession of small quantities.