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(CMC) – Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell believes 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 a marijuana is considered to be a criminal offense, 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 Mitchell, who also serves as the Minister for National Security.
Over the years, well-known criminal attorney Anselm Clouden has repeatedly called for Grenada to decriminalise the use of marijuana for recreational and religious purposes.
The laws of Grenada permit a magistrate to impose a fine a maximum of EC$250,000 for possession of marijuana.
Last November, Grenada enforced the rehabilitation offenses legislation which provides for persons with convictions for possession of marijuana joints to have their records removed after four years.
Within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Antigua and Barbuda recently approved legislation to decriminalise the drug for recreational use while within the Caribbean Community (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.