The House of Niahbinghi and the Rastafari Community is in agreement with government’s move to decriminalize certain aspects of marijuana possession.
During his address, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced a draft of the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) (Amendment) Bill 2020 is being finalized and will be presented to Parliament at its next sitting.
The Bill will provide for among other things, the decriminalization of possession of 28 grams of marijuana or less.
Speaking on the matter, Camel LeBlanc (Ras Siwattu), a member of the House of Niahbinghi and the Rastafari Community said, “It’s a process, you cannot just rush into something.”
“These are government leaders so they have to do their thing in order so it won’t backfire on them,” he added.
Ras Siwattu went on to say “It never affected us as a Rastafari Community, the only thing before they were criminalizing our brethren and sistren but now is a good thing they decriminalizing it because you cannot give somebody a criminal record for a plant and we’ve always been saying that in the Rastafari community.”
While Ras Siwattu supports the move, he hopes there won’t be any glitches.
“If you have to criminalize somebody for a cannabis plant why don’t you do it for the peppermints and other plants, they’re the same herb family.”
“The other side effect is that if you decriminalize the herb now right, what about those that were criminalized for it before, that is the big question,” he stated.
In its “Dynamic Dominica” manifesto, the government also made a pledge to “expunge the criminal records” of all persons previously convicted for possessing a spliff or small quantities of marijuana that were clearly not for sale or trafficking and to halt prosecutions of persons found in possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for personal use.