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"Can’t remand a man for a small piece of weed."

- Citizens express as government moves to remove jail time for 15 grams of marijuana

The Government is currently in the process of amending the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Bill that will see the removal of jail time for persons found with a small amount of Cannabis.

This amendment will see persons in possession of 15 grams or less sentenced to counselling instead of being remanded to prison. A team from News Update on Wednesday spoke to citizens on and off camera from around the Stabroek Market and surrounding areas, who voiced their opinions on the issue. Even though most of them were pleased with the move, they related that the amount should have been more.

"15 grams? I think 15 grams is reasonable but they should give people more. What about the people who does consume it like the Rastafarians which is part of their culture? But I support it,"

one man stated.

Another said

"I think they should legalise a small amount of weed because the prison can’t pack up with a joint and two. I don’t think is sense you should remand a man with a little bit of weed."
"I think it is a reasonable move because you got some people who use it for medicinal purposes. They get lock up and spend x amount of time in prison for no big reason at all."
"Yeah, I think is a very good idea because the time that they would be inside there (prison) doing nothing, at least you could get a nice job or something out here."

A few persons expressed that it will have a negative impact on the youth and also on criminal activities.

"You breaking out the youth them in doing that too, it’s a dangerous thing and is a good thing which in marijuana is all about medicine and thing but it can cause crime in the country."

According to the current bill, a person in possession of fifteen grams or less could be remanded to prison with a sentence between three to five years and a fine of no less than $30,000. In the amended bill, a person found with more than 15 grams but no more than 30 will be sentenced to community service which includes employment in public work under the Extra-Mural Work Act.


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