Marijuana criminalization impacts – Stabroek NewsPosted by On


A few weeks ago, members of the Rastafarian community staged protests in front of the Attorney General’s Chambers. While these specific protests were inspired by the recent arrest of former Council President Ras Leon Saul for possession of a small amount of cannabis, Rastafarians have for years been calling on government officials to lead decriminalization efforts. 

Despite the many promises that have been made over the years, to date, very little has been done to seriously propel us towards marijuana decriminalization. In responding to the protest actions, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said that the government should be given more time – decriminalization is currently not a priority issue given the realities of COVID-19, blackouts etc. He also stated that any law change/amendment regarding marijuana is not something that can be done without the input of the people. There are several things to consider here.

The first is the issue of priority. It is time that we get rid of this either or fallacy of what is important to focus efforts on, particularly since very little effort is being placed on the areas so readily identified. The reality is that marijuana decriminalization will never be seen as a priority because it is perceived as a drug that is only utilized by those who are Black and poor. This perception came about only because they are the ones that are heavily targeted. Other users are simply protected by their privilege and it will never matter to them whether…

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A few weeks ago, members of the Rastafarian community staged protests in front of the Attorney General’s Chambers. While these specific protests were inspired by the recent arrest of former Council President Ras Leon Saul for possession of a small amount of cannabis, Rastafarians have for years been calling on government officials to lead decriminalization efforts. 

Despite the many promises that have been made over the years, to date, very little has been done to seriously propel us towards marijuana decriminalization. In responding to the protest actions, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said that the government should be given more time – decriminalization is currently not a priority issue given the realities of COVID-19, blackouts etc. He also stated that any law change/amendment regarding marijuana is not something that can be done without the input of the people. There are several things to consider here.

The first is the issue of priority. It is time that we get rid of this either or fallacy of what is important to focus efforts on, particularly since very little effort is being placed on the areas so readily identified. The reality is that marijuana decriminalization will never be seen as a priority because it is perceived as a drug that is only utilized by those who are Black and poor. This perception came about only because they are the ones that are heavily targeted. Other users are simply protected by their privilege and it will never matter to them whether…



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