Marijuana report expected to land on PM's desk today


Tribune Staff Reporter

THE Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana is expected to give Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis its long-awaited report on marijuana this morning.

“We did our work,” Bishop Simeon Hall, co-chairman of the commission, said yesterday. “We were mandated to survey the Bahamian public to see how they feel about this herb, and that’s what we did.”

Dr Minnis has said last month’s leak of the draft preliminary marijuana report left him “very disturbed” and put him in a precarious position, prompting him to move oversight of the commission from the Ministry of Health and into the Office of the Prime Minister, where he could keep a keep a close tab on marijuana-related matters.

The leaked report recommends marijuana be decriminalised and people be allowed to possess no more than one ounce of the substance.

In November, Dr Minnis became the first sitting prime minister to back some form of marijuana decriminalisation.

“Our laws regarding the possession of small amounts of marijuana have unfortunately led to the arrest, prosecution, conviction and punishment of many Bahamians,” he said at the time. “Some of these people have been burdened with criminal records, making travel and finding work more difficult. Reforming our marijuana laws and changing how we treat people with small possession convictions is a matter of social justice.”

He has said he supports expunging criminal records of people convicted of small amounts of marijuana, consistent with the agenda of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee headed by former Commissioner of Police Paul Farquharson.

“They deserve to move on with their lives free and clear of a criminal conviction,” Dr Minnis said previously.

• PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis will hold a Town Hall meeting at Edmund Moxey Park, Blue Hill Road, at 7pm on Wednesday.

The central constituencies have been invited to join – Centreville, Bain and Grant”s Town, Mount Moriah, St Barnabas, Englerston and Fort Charlotte– when he will give an update on his government.

The meeting will be closed by the Saxon Super Stars.