Pubdate: Sun, 08 Feb 2015
Source: Stabroek News (Guyana)
Copyright: 2015 Stabroek News


A government led by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) would 
review the decriminalisation of marijuana, according to General 
Secretary Joseph Harmon, who says research needs to be done.

"We as the APNU, what we are committing to is a review of the laws as 
it relates to the use and sentencing policies as in relation to 
marijuana," Harmon told reporters on Friday.

Harmon said the coalition realises that many of the country's young 
men are languishing in the prison system because they were caught 
with small amounts of the drug and a study needs to be undertaken to 
ascertain if this has been beneficial to the country's development.

"The APNU is committed to ensuring that the energies of all the 
people of this country are utilised for the building and the 
development of the country. And to the extent that we have a large 
group of our young men in prisons for minor offences in relation to 
marijuana, we believe that it requires some kind of review and we are 
committed to reviewing that. We are committed to reviewing the laws 
for these offences and the way they are dealt with by magistrates," he added.

Further, he said that unlike the current People's Progressive 
Party/Civic administration, which has said it will not be looking at 
the decriminalisation, the coalition will have a study done and work 
on recommendations given.

"We are not like the PPP, to say it won't ever happen ... the world 
is moving in a certain direction and we have to take cognisance of 
trends and world patterns," he added.

Last year, Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee repeatedly stressed 
his government's "Zero Tolerance" policy on illicit drugs, including marijuana.

In June last year, the Jamaican government decided to decriminalise 
the possession of small amounts of marijuana, joining countries 
moving to soften laws on the drug.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom