“Decriminalisation can create a next generation of addicts…”

Monday, December 23, 2019 - 10:00

“Young people should not be allowed to topple into a state of drug dependency because of neglect by the relevant authorities.”

That statement from Debbie Boodhan, the newly elected Councillor for Montrose in the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, who believes the recently passed cannabis legislation should be dealt with properly, in order that young people may not see marijuana as a solution for their frustration and pressure.

Ms Boodhan was speaking with the media on Sunday at the 28th Annual Toy Drive, hosted by former Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodhan, at Lendore Village in Chaguanas.

The Montrose Councillor noted there are two secondary schools and three primary schools in her electoral district that cater to a large number of young people who come from troubled communities in Chaguanas. She said many would have grown up in communities where adults have been exposed and addicted to alcohol, as well as illegal drugs such as cannabis and cocaine.

Debbie Boodhan warned that if systems are not put in place, society may lose another generation to marijuana in the same fashion that many persons were lost to alcohol addiction. She said a lot of misinformation is being circulated through social media.

Boodhan said now was the time for the government to step up its anti-drug campaign.

She believes the decriminalisation may send the wrong message to youths that it is okay to smoke marijuana and become an addict. She also said the world of work has no room for drug and alcohol addicts, who in some instances have to do routine drug testing.

“I don’t think decriminalization means that one can smoke weed and go to the job place and operate equipment,” she observes. “The authorities would be creating another generation of addicts and people who are dependent on social programmes if they fail to handle this well.”

Montrose Councillor Debbie Boodhan (standing right in the red dress), with former Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodhan (centre)
holding his grandson Noah, and children who were treated with gifts.


Story and image by SHASTRI BOODAN