by Linda Straker
- Time has come for Grenada to reconsider decriminalising the use of marijuana
- Antigua and Jamaica have decriminalised marijuana for recreational use
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell is of the opinion that the time has come for Grenada to reconsider decriminalising the use of marijuana and other forms of recreational drugs.
“More and more we are hearing about countries who are placing less importance on criminalising the use of marijuana and other forms of recreational drugs, but it’s an area we have to examine. Maybe in a sense while we have one smoking a joint of marijuana is considered to be a criminal offence, we may have to examine to some extent that area of activity because we want to spend the police time in dealing with much more major problems than just having to confront one using a joint or two of marijuana outside,” he told a mass meeting of police officers on Friday.
“I am not a smoker, I am not recommending smoking; I am just being a practical person, that’s basically what I am trying to do, and I am sure with the legal department and the police force, we should be examining this,” said Dr Mitchell who also serves as the Minister for National Security.
Over the years well known criminal attorney Anselm Clouden has on numerous occasions called for Grenada to decriminalise the use of marijuana for recreational and religious purposes.
The laws of Grenada provide for a magistrate to fine a maximum of EC$250,000 for possession of marijuana which is scientifically called cannabis.
As of November 2017, Grenada enforced the Rehabilitation Offences Legislation which provides for persons with convictions for possession of marijuana joints, to have their records removed after 4 years.
Within the OECS, Antigua recently approved legislation to decriminalise marijuana for recreational use, while within Caricom, Jamaica was the first to approve and enforce similar legislation. Throughout the western hemisphere, several developed nations have decriminalised the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.