PM: Decriminalising weed will save T&T millions

Date: 
Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 23:15

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

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