Pubdate: Tue, 13 May 2014
Source: Virgin Islands Daily News, The (VI)
Page: 10
Copyright: 2014 Virgin Islands Daily News
Note: from The Associated Press


HAMILTON (AP) - A report commissioned by the government of Bermuda has
endorsed legalizing marijuana for medical purposes and decriminalizing
personal use of the drug.

The report from the Cannabis Reform Collaborative, which began
reviewing drug laws in the British island territory in December,
concluded that prosecutions for nonviolent offenses related to
marijuana are overwhelming the criminal justice system and
disproportionately target non-white and immigrant

It calls for phasing out penalties for marijuana possession toward
eventual legalization for people 21 and older, and raising the
drinking age from 18 to 21 so the two substances are treated the same.

The report finds that marijuana is "gaining global prominence" as a
medicinal substance and it calls on the government to immediately
allow its use with a prescription.

National Security Minister Michael Dunkley submitted the report from
the Cannabis Reform Collaborative on Friday to the National Assembly
and urged legislators to consider its recommendations. Dunkley said
any changes to marijuana laws in the British territory would be made
only in a "measured fashion."

Bermuda, an offshore financial center with a population of about
65,000, is a socially conservative society, but Stratton Hatfield, the
chairman of the Cannabis Reform Collaborative, said he believes there
is strong public support for change to drug laws in place since 1972.

"There's no doubt that the world recognizes that our approach to drug
demand and supply reduction has failed," he said in an interview
Monday. "The war on drugs has done nothing but cripple the
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D