Bermuda lawmakers decriminalise ganja possession

| 12/12/2017 | 73 Comments

(CNS): The people of Bermuda will soon be able to possess up to 7 grams of ganja without the risk of legal sanction after the country’s parliament voted to decriminalise small amounts of the drug, provided that there is no indication of dealing. Bermuda’s Minister of Social Development Zane DeSilva tabled an amendment to the island’s Misuse of Drugs Act for the second time, which legislators expect will now proceed to the Senate, Bermuda’s upper house. The amendment allows police to seize any amount of ganja but individuals will not be prosecuted for having 7 grams or less. Prosecutors will still be able to proceed against suspects if there is evidence of trafficking.

The news comes as Cayman is still prosecuting suspects over recreational consumption and possession of very small amounts of ganja, despite a massive step forward last year when the government moved to allow the prescription of medical cannabis oil. While the Misuse of Drugs Act here was amended to pave the way for medical use and implemented in November last year, the government has made no other move to address minor recreational use or examine the potential for Cayman to become a producer of the drug for medical purposes.

Local activist and former political candidate Dennie Warren Jr advocated for the legalisation of the drug for medical use, after his late wife was diagnosed with lung cancer. But as Warren became increasingly involved in the campaign for legislative change, he also began campaigning for idea of Cayman becoming a producer, not just to resolve the challenges of importing the oil, monitoring the quality and ensuring supply but because he believes it could be a lucrative third arm of the local economy as more and more countries come around to the fact that cannabis has a valuable part to play in the treatment of a growing list of conditions, from life threatening diseases to pain management.

However, the current government has made it clear it has no plans to change the law relating to recreational use and possession or to legislate for the possibility that the plant could be cultivated here for the purpose of creating a medical cannabis industry.

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Category: Caribbean, World News

Comments (73)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    All I want for Xmas is a Ganja Tree:{




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  2. Anonymous says:

    I saw pictures recently of the PPM MLAs attending a xmas event with the elderly of these Islands.. It was surprisingly a lot of people in the pictures.. Then it hit me.. That there is the exact reason why the current government and its opposition will never takes such a step.. Their target markets are not fans of herb.. They appeal to a crowd who considers herb, pills, coke, and all other drugs to be on the same level.. Not until the younger people of this Island steps up and is considered to be the majority voters will such steps be taken.. 2,000 of us can demand all we want but If 10,000 people say otherwise then the attempt is pretty much a waste.. We are here talking about people going out and researching the real facts.. Ha! You think the elderly people of this Island going to Google to research the benefits of herb?? Yeh right.. They grew up seeing herb to be bad and will dead with the same idea..




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    • Anonymous says:

      You know so very little on the subject. You only know that you don’t like the way you feel and you want to hide from that. Every thing else is just a story you tell yourself.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    July 1, 2018. Marijuana becomes fully legal in Canada. Sellers (which will be storefronts and not street dealers) become licensed and subject to safety standards. Sales are taxed so raises revenue. And decriminalizes something that in substance is no different than beer.

    Stocking up on Doritos for my vacation this summer back home in Canada!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Actually it’s looking increasingly likely that the conservatives will hold up the process till the end of 2018 at the very least




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Hear this Caymanians! Since English Law allows the decriminalization of possession of small (defined) quantities of HERB and our colleague Bermuda has taken this move, what is to stop us from demanding a referendum on the issue? Constitutionally we can!

    So approach your MLA and demand that a motion is put to the House for a Referendum on the decriminalization of possession and use of ganja and its derivatives – including hemp products, and growing a max of 3 plants at at time. This will eventually eliminate the need for imported ganja and address the guns and cocaine smuggling problem to a great extent. Decriminalization will stop ruining young people’s future. Jailing them for weed and creating criminal records, and worse, breeding them into real criminals in prison has clearly not worked!!!

    If a motion to call a Referendum on the issue can be passed in the house (and with the right pressure on MLA’s it can – they need our support to get back in), once it reaches the people it will pass!! Remember OMOV was implemented by Referendum!!

    LET’S DO IT!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      The MLAs won’t take the risk because although the younger persons are for legalization and recreational use the older, evangelical fundamentalist voters are against it.

      The MLAs would rather pretend that Marijuana is not an issue than be known as the person supporting legalization.

      Look at the election, the one candidate who openly supported it (as far as I am aware) did not get elected




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    • Common sense says:

      I have always said this. Lets eliminate the demand that these yardies come here to meet and bring all of their evils along with them and grow our own better quality cannabis




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      • Anonymous says:

        U R a pothead, that is very clear.




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        • Common sense says:

          Call it what you want, I am also a functioning part of society and I am entitled to my opinion as much as you are… you should lighten up a bit…some herb would do u wonders.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    smoking has negative effects on your lungs period! yes you may laugh, get the munchies, relax, feel good etc. but smoking in general isn’t good for the lungs….




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    • Entropy says:

      I see you over there typing with your KFC and 2 slices of cassawa cake. Diabetes is bad for you too.. should we ban dessert from the public too? Have you done cardio this week?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Rofl, take it easy Entropy, they’re fragile.




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      • Anonymous says:

        @Entropy

        I do cardio 4-6 times a week and I live by a plant based diet.

        Risk factors for me our significantly lower.

        More than happy to help you with any health issues you may potentially be facing.

        With sincerity.




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        • Entropy says:

          By all means, good on you, that’s great. But because you’re on a plant based diet, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be allowed to eat 3 donuts if I want. Assuming that we’re both grown adults.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Just so those donuts don’t make you shut out your kids emotionally, and raise them with a dark hole where their feelings should be which then turns them to a life of crime which may impact me then yes. Stuff your face.




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    • Anonymous says:

      very true…hence you can take it in tea, cakes….etc




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    • Anonymous says:

      yet cigarettes and Jerk Chicken are completely 100% legal
      Have you seen the amount of smoke that those stands produce constantly? ( I have nothing against jerk chicken just pointing out the faults in the logic of smoke = bad)

      If someone wants to smoke, that is their prerogative, doesn’t concern me and it shouldn’t concern the state, assuming they are of age, they should know the risks, it is their decision




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    • Anonymous says:

      Alcohol is legal, so I am assuming that is good for you.




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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s where edibles find a place!




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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you but have you ever stopped to think that there are more ways to consume MMJ other than by combustion? Here are a few: Vaping, Tea, Cooking and through the skin in the form of a patch. Technology has really advanced since the last time you’ve done research. i suggest you get with the times.




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      • Anonymous says:

        And I suggest you look at the smoke/lung issue as a side track. The real issue is why do you have any to get high. Much better if you learn to like yourself.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Good for you Bermuda. Recognizing that keeping this a criminal offense only benefits attorneys in your society. In jurisdictions as small as these, the local civil and criminal attorneys represent a good chunk of lobbying power. Well done on putting a stop to them.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Unna want a good high from plants that are legal? Roll up a spliff made from Maiden Plum, Breadfruit Leaf, dipped in Manchineel sap.




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  8. Call Jan says:

    The cannabis investment fund business is booming in the US and it would be great if Cayman could capitalise on this but unfortunately it is restricted by the Proceeds of Crime Law




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    • Anonymous says:

      A simple amendment could distinguish. Even without legal obstacles the church weild too much power over the politicians and would likely put a stop to any reforms on ganja.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve been saying this for years, one church congregation usually has the votes to make or break a politicians campaigns, that’s why the CIG is constantly subsidizing churches like the new BT CoG buildings which has been ongoing and unchanged for years. While I note that the buildings will also serve as hurricane shelters and have other government/civic uses (meetings/polls/voting station etc) is it not urgent enough for the government to take the project on and then allow the Church to use the facilities on specific days?




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  9. Anonymous says:

    How would one acquire 7g of an illicit substance without a drug dealer? #paradoxes




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    • A says:

      Allow us to grow our own. 7 grams for possession on the road. 3 plants allowed at your residence.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You buy 7g. That’s all you got. They confiscate it but bring no charges. You can go on your way.

      The drug dealer however, has much more than 7g in his pocket, split into carefully weighed and wrapped portions. He is arrested and charged. Taken to court.

      Simple really.




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  10. Anon says:

    You all don’t get the point. The reason marijuana use should be legal is that marijuana users are low rent trash and not worth the expenditure of tax money produced by others who still have intact brain cells. Also, good luck when you pathetic dopers get the ganja vomit/screams! —

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://amp.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article188594884.html&ved=2ahUKEwjL79ftwIfYAhUDTCYKHfrGByoQFjABegQIBxAB&usg=AOvVaw3d4DHDYx_jugRigfeTCeRc&ampcf=1




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    • Evolve says:

      Currently enjoying my day off with a big Bullhead (spliff) in my back yard with my dog running around. Only thing I’m getting right now is laughs from my dog chasing the roosters and an appetite for some seconds of my wife’s Cayman style beef.

      Never got any of those vomit/screams that you refer to, nor have any of my friends who I know like to enjoy some herb themselves. Only screams I’ve had from this is screaming with laughter!

      You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about, probably never even partook, and full of nonsense propaganda. Don’t hate what you don’t understand.




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    • Anonymous says:

      LOL! Reads one article, becomes medical expert.
      12:36 – Just go back to watching some more CNN and FOX news before the internet hurts your feelings.




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    • Unison says:

      Interesting story ?

      At least, besides the reduced fiscal cost due to law enforcement, and not imprisoning people over the herb, a person will have a CHOICE to regulate his or her own health and lifestyle.

      This has to do with individual freedom to do things that are good for you, as well to do things that might not be good for you – the government’s role is not doctor!




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      • Anonymous says:

        Yet you want the state regulating the marriage between two legal adults just because you disagree with it,

        Hypocrite




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        • Anon says:

          That’s right, let a brother and sister marry. It’s their business. (Until the taxpayers have to support the idiots they produce) . – We all have a stake in marriage. It produces children and a family with identifiable parents.




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        • Unison says:

          No, I want the state out of marriage – completely! The only reason why the government should get involve with traditional marriage, is for the sake of children and assets.

          As for same-sex couples wanting certain benefits in society like dealing with inheritance or property rights, I don’t see them having to impose a definition of marriage to be recognized on everyone. That to me, is more of a gay-leftist’s attempt of control. Many conservative gays are against the LGBT leftist movement.

          Do you understand? This is my conclusive stance of the whole matter. Marriage should stay as a personal choice – no government interference. ?




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          • Anonymous says:

            “I want the state out of marriage – completely!”….

            Except for this one part that I have decided in my infinite wisdom is appropriate for the state to intervene ( aka keeping the gays where they belong as 2nd class citizens with limited rights and privileges)

            The sweet smell of bullshit




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        • Unison says:

          * May I add – to get in depth, on how SSM infringes on the natural rights of other people, including children, is whole other dark side to this issue, I wish not to bring up under this topic.

          Peace ✌




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          • Anonymous says:

            More lies, with no evidence other than bigoted personal beliefs and religious sentiments




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            • Unison says:

              Hmmm … okay then, I see you are persistent and emotional over the whole matter …

              Although I know God does not approve of a lifestyle contrary to the natural order, I am not a hard person, bigoted by religious beliefs. You don’t have to be religious to believe in a God and what’s moral.

              Nevertheless, I will reconsider my stance on SSM, ONLY IF you can show me how other natural rights will not be infringed by the government.

              I take it very personally when to think that the state may interfere with a child’s birth right of knowing and being raised by his or her biological father and mother. No social study from the highest institute on earth is perfectly accurate in determining the
              complex issues on how a child may be psychologically affected thru being
              what I call, socially engineered by the state.

              If you can show me how the state will protect such a right and other natural rights whilst legislating SSM, I may reconsider my stance, and you won the debate ?

              Unison




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              • Anonymous says:

                I guess caring about equality means that someone is emotional. MLK must have been real “emotional” about civil rights then. The world you’re looking for Commander Clueless is passionate and yes I am extremely passionate about defending the rights of minorities. I know what it is like to be discriminated against I have experienced it firsthand and It is not something that any rational person would support. The pain that it causes has no end.

                As for your “Natural birthrights”

                They make no sense, if it a natural birthright to know and be raised by a mother and father the please explain to me why birth is an extremely dangerous process that back in the day was often deadly to mothers *(it’s hard to raise a child if you die shortly after birth) Evidently nature didn’t think that mothers were necessary seeing as they tended to die to birth their children (insert human sin causes labour and birth painful bullshit story here)

                Children raised by one parent are generally perfectly fine also note you care so much about kids that you would rather leave them in group care homes where they are neglected than let two parents of the same sex take them into a loving home to get the care and attention they need.

                You are the problem, and may your outdated way of thinking die with you




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      • Anonymous says:

        Any chance to destroy regulations for the sake of destroying regulations, because as they enjoy the comforts of a regulated society these anarchists long for the days of wild human nature

        I’m all for the legalization of Cannabis, but as the good ol Trudeau said going from prohibition to decriminalization makes no sense, We need strong regulations for quality, production and strict sales laws, prohibiting the sale by unregulated dealers and the sale to minors

        Tax
        Regulate
        Legalize




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        • Unison says:

          If legalized, why not deal with the drug like we do with nicotine? There’s always a Surgeon Generals warning on the packets. Treat ganja like any other product in the market, and educate the young about it – simple




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    • Anonymous says:

      You shouldn’t believe everything you read.




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    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      I feel really sorry for you. It is truly sad when people struggle to hold ill-informed opinions. I myself don’t use ganja, however I’ve done the research to understand that it is far more safe and healthy than alcohol, which the CIG currently taxes and allows. You sound like a person who watched “Reefer Madness” and believed it.

      Just think of the boon to our country’s coffers: No more paying for minor infractions which cause court and other expenses, plus it could be grown here, packaged and taxed. It’s a win-win.

      Here’s what you don’t seem to want to understand: Those who want to use it can, and without consequence and they are also productive members of society. The only difference is whether the Cayman Islands make money off it, or the dealers do. Just that simple.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Free the cheese!




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  12. Charles Darwin says:

    Treat this like alcohol and tobacco because prohibition is obviously futile. Allow local growers to create side jobs, tax sales and legalize recreational use. Generate revenue and dramatically reduce costs to enforce and imprison recreational use.

    You can get drunk to the point where you’re throwing up and beating your wife, get hooked on cigs/nicotine in government designated spots, but can’t relax with a little cannabis tea.

    This legislation really needs to be updated. Too many young people’s lives are being ruined over a spliff. Studies show legalization does not increase teenage use also.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Far too sensible.




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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not a state secret that ganja posession is illegal. They actively made the choice to break the law, escalate their rebellion to indiscreet daredeviling, eventual detection and arrest! It’s pretty hard to get arrested for anything around here – you have to try hard and put in the hours. They are not victims – they are morons for having been caught being gregarious antisocial jackasses – and they knew the risk. Zero sympathy for anyone being dumb enough to get arrested in the Cayman Islands. It must really take practice.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I think you need to do a little bit more research about the history why weed became illegal.
        If you did, you wouldn’t repeat the dumb remarks of others.
        Form your own opinion, don’t be a monkey and copy that of another one.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Many youth and adults smoke pot without being brazen jackasses about it, and with a healthy self-preserving paranoia for the ramifications of getting caught. That’s the difference. Only morons get caught, to then become the cautionary examples for others. The “lives ruined” are the ones belonging to the attention-seeking jackasses that would inevitably get caught for something, sooner or later. It doesn’t matter where you stand on the pot issue, this is the reality. Our cretin dirt bikers share the same personality profile.




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      • Anonymous says:

        The problem is there are a lot of people that are much smarter than you.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Something points to a well entrenched select group of big boys pushing back on legalisation since they’re probably making and have been making big money off this on the sly. Can’t take that cheese off their big cracker any time soon.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    while in cayman…we still can’t go to the supermarket on a sunday…..zzzzzzzzz
    just another day in wonderland….




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  15. Unison says:

    We need libertarian radicals in our government:

    Like decriminalize the herb, privatize much of the civil service (a fat cat), salaries stop the government interference and favors to big business names, radically reduce or eliminate fees (including customs) that thwart business growth on the island, create an environment for small businesses to thrive and create jobs, eliminate the lazy encouraging welfare or needs programs, and remove our protectionist’s immigration policies, etc … Apparently, the Premier and certain ministers are not radical enough. They appear to be followers – not principled leader. And in order to not create controversy, they will do whatever they can to get re-elected. They don’t want to step on people’s toes.

    My hope is someday we will have a libertarian party that will revamp this entire expensive red tape system that makes it hard for average people to excel, and to start and maintain their own businesses.




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    • Anonymous says:

      No thanks Rand Paul, you can go home




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      • Unison says:

        Nope. Ron or Rand are not charismatic enough. The LP has great ideas but there is no excitement. Maybe a black person like Obama, or someone with a loud personality to carry the platform ?




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  16. Anonymous says:

    Time to change Islands!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      The MLAs are too scared of losing the fundamentalist vote, wait 5-10 years till the last guard of the old realm are dead, only then will Cayman begin to move forward in time




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  17. Anonymous says:

    It’s now time for Cayman Islands Government to do the same thing! The benefits are clearly obvious. But perhaps they rather fill the prisons and ruin reputations with minor convictions for ganja possession!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Haven’t you ever seen reefer madness man!!!




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      • Evolve says:

        Load of propaganda. Cannabis was only made illegal because big tobacco, paper and pharmaceutical companies poured money into politician’s hands to kill the competition.

        Can someone PLEASE give me a valid reason to keep it illegal and convict someone of a crime for smoking a joint to relax instead of drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes?

        “we don’t need any more intoxicating substances in our society” well stop picking and choosing and ban alcohol and cigarettes all together.. Oh wait, we all know how prohibition of alcohol went. Black markets flourished and criminals profited.

        Before you go on an anecdote to say your uncle fried his brain, I smoked cannabis all throughout University and graduated with high honors. Got a great job now, highly functional.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Effects will vary by person dum-dum.




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          • Evolve says:

            Exactly, so why must a few bad apples ruin it for everyone? Many people drink daily and can be functional members of society, while others abuse it and make nothing of their lives. Yet alcohol is freely available for retail purchases. Why treat cannabis, which has medical benefits and cannot be overdoses on, differently?




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          • Anonymous says:

            The same can be said for alcohol which if you are unaware is the deadliest drug in human history, it just happens to be socially acceptable in most societies




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            • Anonymous says:

              Alcohol is the most dangerous drug yes. Even too much water will kill you.

              Try overdosing on marijuana. It is impossible… yet remains illegal. Hyprocrisy,bigotry and let’s just call it what it really is, IGNORANCE.




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