Marijuana legislation going up in smoke

To be honest it is rather amusing to watch the PLP catch the OBA off guard announcing that they’ll put forward a bill to decriminalize marijuana this Friday.  The OBA’s response of “oh, oh, we’re already working on that” goes to show that they haven’t been great at keeping the people in the loop at what they’re working on (if they’re actually working on it) and were forced into making a statement to save face.

Attorney-General Trevor Moniz said,

“I am pleased to hear that the Progressive Labour Party is onboard with the Government’s plan to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.”

The Government committed to doing so in last November’s Throne Speech and has initiated consultations with the Department of Public Prosecutions and the Bermuda Police Service to develop appropriate legislation.”


As far as I remember, the government committed to consulting on decriminalization, not actually doing it.  Hold on a sec, let me check.

The Government will consult with respect to the decriminalization for possession of small amounts of cannabis. To that end, Government reforms will preserve police powers to confiscate cannabis and to test whether road users are under the influence of cannabis. These reforms will complement our efforts to educate our youth about the dangerous effects of drug use, balancing the need to reduce the consumption of cannabis while avoiding the unnecessary criminalization of our young people.

Hmm, no specific timelines or commitments mentioned so it seems the PLP have jumped on this by introducing a bill.  It’s hard to say what “consultation” really means. It’s kind of like conscription, sure it’s going to end… hopefully sometime… after a long transition period of prodding the regiment to do more to íncentivize volunteers rather than lazily relying on conscripts.  Then… of course, eventually… it’ll be phased out.  Like marijuana prohibition…  give it time.

But clearly the OBA already has things in motion.  Don’t worry, the wheels of bureaucracy are turning.

“Also in 2016, we allowed the use of “medical marijuana” and pledged in November’s Throne Speech to further reform for more medical treatment options through the importation of herbal supplements containing Cannabinol.

Of course, yes, medical marijuana.  That’s great, except that when speaking to a pharmacist friend one learns that apparently no one has a license to actually be able to import it.  So.. congratulations, you can get a prescription for medical marijuana to treat your cancer pain but don’t expect your pharmacist to be able to fill it.

Sometimes politics is amusing, quite thankfully, as it’s been a dreary few months with the whole “obstruction of democracy and tarnishing our global reputation of stability” thing.