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Minister Usher Says Bar Association’s Opinion is Just That An Opinion

And while those are the Leader of the Opposition’s thoughts on the matter, the Minister of the Public Service has weighed in on the Bar Association’s 17-page information digest issued this week. As we reported, the Bar, currently led by Senior Counsel E. Andrew Marshalleck, has argued that even if the referendum is triggered, the Government can still legalize marijuana. Here’s what Minister Henry Charles Usher had to say on the subject.

Hon. Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Public Service: “Well I think everybody has opinions, legal opinions, personal opinions as to what the particular section of the Referendum Act and what that particular decision in that case speaks about but the only real determination or interpretation that has any meaning as if it goes to court. So the Bar Association is a body of legal persons and they have a right to put out their opinion but that’s all that it is it’s an opinion. I think and I’ve said this before as well I wish this conversation had happened back in 2017 when the law was amended to allow for ten grams or less to be in your possession. It created an absurd situation where you could have it on you but you couldn’t buy it and you couldn’t grow it so where would you have gotten it from? You know so that’s really an absurd situation so the church and all the churches should have known that there would have been further amendments to the regulations because you can’t have that situation persist. All that did was create a discriminatory position in that the run man is the one that would get charged because the run man is the one going for the cannabis. So I wish that the conversation had happened from then and I think that if it had we wouldn’t be in a situation now where we’ll be last minute pushing for a referendum.” 

The Bar noted that if Government goes ahead with legalization in the face of a referendum, it will have to quote “live with the political consequences at the next general election”. Those elections are constitutionally due in 2025.