Opposition Leader comments on amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act

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Updated: August 17, 2017

Also expected to be tabled during tomorrow’s Sitting of the House of Representatives is a bill to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act. The bill comes after a Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee was formed in 2012 and its final report was presented to cabinet in 2015. The bill seeks to decriminalize up to ten grams of marijuana and parliamentarians will have the opportunity to debate the bill but John Briceno says his party will be at a disadvantage. When we spoke to Briceno at midday, he told us his party has yet to receive the bill in order to be prepared for the debate tomorrow.

 

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

“That is the concern that we’ve always been expressing to the government that in most instances they call a house meeting and without us seeing what are the bills that we are going to debate. This is a perfect example that here we have such an important bill about amending the act for the misuse of drugs and today is Thursday midday and we haven’t seen the proposed bill.”

 

Reporter

‘No member of your party has seen the bill?”

 

John Briceno, Opposition Leader:

“No, no one has seen it as of 11:55 Thursday morning.”

 

Reporter

“From what I gather it seems to decriminalize at most 10 grams of marijuana would it be something that the PUP would support?

 

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

“Well as I have said both myself and Honorable Cordel Hyde, we have been calling out that it is time for us to talk about decriminalizing the use in small quantities of marijuana. Too many of our young people especially young men have criminal records because they were found with a little bit of marijuana and I think that that discussion should start and it should start as soon as possible. But I just want to alert or call out the government that if you notice that whenever there is a crisis the government always tries to come up with something to divert attention from the real issues, the issues of corruption, the issues of crime, the issues of unemployment and the issues of the high cost of living that these are the burning issues that need to be addressed and the government is talking about decriminalizing the use of marijuana but for the record we have said that we believe that it is supposed to be done and when we look at the entire bill we can make a definite decision but we are at this point saying that we must decriminalize or should decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.”