Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the new proposed marijuana legislation is really an attempt to revamp the justice system and save taxpayers millions of dollars.
Rowley gave most of his speaking time to Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi last night at the PNM’s local government meeting in La Horquetta but said that he was happy to see a reform of the judicial system through marijuana legislation.
“You know how much millions we paying people to say whether this plant-like substance is a black sage bush, is not this, is marijuana,” he said.
He said during prohibition in the United States when alcohol was illegal, the police service spent half their time chasing people engaging in the illegal alcohol trade.
“You know what happened? They made alcohol legal and they could tax it. It was made available to those who wanted to use it and there were restrictions on it. That’s the same thing here,” he said.
He said if you choose to use it, the State would manage it.
“It will change a lot of life in T&T. You know how many lives were destroyed because someone smoke a joint of marijuana? Is jail, is bail is, is people can’t get a job,” he said.
Rowley referenced the U.S democratic presidential debate where presidential hopeful Joe Biden talked about the legalization of marijuana.
“Marijuana had been legal for the upper class for a long time,” he said.
The privileged elite has been smoking marijuana for a long time, any change now is to free up poor people from an unnecessary jail,” he said.
“It’s a social justice issue,” he said.
Rowley said people with 60 grams of marijuana was rotting in jail but the PNM was trying to change that.
“We are going to do what we can do about marijuana and we are going to manage it,” he said.
- Renuka Singh