Head of the Caribbean Collective for Justice (CCJ), Nazma Muller, says they are pleased the Trinidad and Tobago Government seems set to keep its promise to bring the issue of cannabis prohibition to the Parliament for debate early next year.
“However, we are skeptical about the manner in which such a crucial issue is being handled, as our citizens continue to be arrested and jailed for the use of cannabis, even as Canada has legalised recreational cannabis, and our neighbour, St Vincent, has legalised medical uses, and numerous countries have moved swiftly to stop incarcerating and punishing their people for this herb,” Muller told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
Muller statement statement came hours after Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi announced marijuana legislation will be brought before the Parliament early next year.
“Here we continue to burn ganja fields and impose exorbitant fines on our people, even as they lose jobs and face a bleak economic future,” Muller added.
She said the Government must move quickly to allow farmers to take part in the billion-dollar cannabis industry.
“CBD oil from hemp is an option for Trinidad and Tobago which can be explored, even as we allow our citizens to grow their cannabis at home for their personal use,” Muller said.
“But this lengthy, drawn out process that the Government is taking a rather scenic route to get to the inevitable destination is fooling no one, and the longer they take to dismantle the existing prohibition, which has affected so many of our people on negative ways, the more skeptical the people will become about the Government’s agenda.”
She added, “As a major transshipment point for ganja and cocaine, the Government must address this issue, which impacts our crime situation, our murder rate, and our economy,” Muller said.
Reporter: Joel Julien