Government officials in Bermuda released an optimistic report earlier this week, which indicates support for legalizing medical marijuana as well as stripping away the criminal penalties associated with recreational use.
The report, which was commissioned by the government and conducted by Cannabis Reform Collaborative, states that non-violent drug offenses, specifically those pertaining to marijuana possession, have consumed the court dockets of the British island territory with a racial bias that has done nothing more than damn the non-white and immigrant population to unjust prosecution.
To deal with this injustice, the group proposes that the Bermuda government shift its focus to the decriminalization of marijuana; a process they say would begin by phasing out the harsh penalties that currently surround cannabis possession, with the ultimate goal being a fully legalized recreational marijuana trade for adults over the age of 21. In addition, the report reveals a plan to increase the legal drinking age from 18 to 21, in an attempt to regulate both substances on an equal plain.
Citing a belief that medical marijuana is “gaining global prominence,” the report filed on behalf of the Cannabis Reform Collaborative urged lawmakers to do everything in their power to make prescription marijuana immediately available to patients in need.
The report, which was submitted by National Security Minister Michael Dunkley, went before the National assembly on Friday for their consideration. Although there are no reports on how well the proposed changes were received, Dunkley believes changing the marijuana laws could be a slow process – one only possible in a “measured fashion.”
Yet, Stratton Hatfield, the Cannabis Reform Collaborative chairman, says he has faith that the public is finally ready to reform the marijuana laws that have plagued Bermuda for over 40 years.
“There’s no doubt that the world recognizes that our approach to drug demand and supply reduction has failed,” he recently told the Associated Press. “The War on Drugs has done nothing but cripple the communities.”
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