Drugs not cause of prison congestion

| 23/04/2018 | 94 Comments

(CNS): HMP Northward is currently at breaking point when it comes to inmate numbers but the police have dismissed the popular misconception that the jail is being filled up with large numbers of young men, in particular, who have been being convicted and jailed merely for smoking ganja. The RCIPS has enjoyed some notable success on seizures of large quantities of drugs being smuggled into the Cayman Islands, which have also resulted in the recovery of illegal weapons accompanying the drugs. Police have also rounded up a number of human trafficking suspects and arrested people for illegal landing.

But in 2017, despite a drop in drug crime overall, more than 100 people were arrested purely for consumption or possession of small amounts of ganja, according to the latest crime figures.

While the misuse of drugs and addiction fuels a considerable amount of crime, the majority of people serving time in HMP Northward and Fairbanks are there for serious crimes. Only 18% of the prison population is there as a result of a drug-related conviction and of those less than 5% relate to the use and possession of ganja. In total, drug crimes represented just 4% of crimes reported to police last year. In the crime statistics analysis published on Friday, the police reported an 80% detection rate when it comes to drug crime.

Speaking to CNS following Friday’s press briefing about the crime figures, Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said it was a popular misconception that the police were rounding up drug users while the real criminals were walking the streets. He said that if in the course of their work the police find people smoking ganja, then they are obligated to arrest the individuals, even when they have committed no other offences, because consumption remains a crime.

As the world moves away from the criminalisation of drug users and focuses law enforcement on the production and trafficking of increasingly dangerous and potent drugs, Cayman is still sending mixed messages. Having shown leadership in the region with the legalisation of medical cannabis oil on prescription, the country continues to arrest recreational users of ganja and cocaine addicts.

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (94)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    For over a decade, when walking my dogs before and after work, I have witnessed police constantly pulling the same known / suspect ganja smokers on the beach in BT, to a point that (collectively) might be considered harassment where I come from. I can only imagine it being the same in other districts. Each and every day I see multiple driving offences on my commute to / from work. With thefts, reckless driving, gun and other violence, crackheads, paedophilia and God knows what else on our streets, we can’t be blamed for thinking that police are not concentrating on serious crimes based on what we see with our own eyes.

    Further, his comments totally contradict those of his predecessor, Comm. Baines who only 3 years ago claimed enforcement against ganja is clogging up the system.

    I imagine hardly anyone reports ganja because most of us are accepting of it and would rather see police efforts expended elsewhere given the nature of the real crimes on-island over recent years.




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    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      Possibly police officers are under pressure from their superiors to meet quotas of arrests???? What is easier than a simple possesion charge to help make the targets??




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    • Anonymous says:

      Have the ganga smokers do community service, you know, like cleaning up public beach. Pick up trash under Dart tunnel, you know, like they do in the USA, England,France all over the modern civilized world. 20 hours first offence 40 for second, jail for the third. Let them be exposed to their cronies on the street, maybe that would be a deterant for future misbehavior.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Always nice when facts are shared to clear up the myths. Now we know that ganja use and convictions are a minimal impact on the prison numbers, lets focus on the serious larger problems of violent crime.

    Now ganja convictions may be impacting peoples ability to secure work, travel etc, but that is a whole other issue that should be covered more so youth understand the consequences of their actions under the current law. Your world becomes much smaller if you are unable to cross international borders and meaningful employment opportunities are not available. This is the message the youth need to hear- with examples of those who have been affected.
    Or get on with decriminalizing it…




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  3. Rick says:

    The truth is, ganja is not illegal because it is bad. Ganja is bad because it is illegal.




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    • Rick says:

      If you made sour sops illegal and generations of people grew up with the negative narratives around sour sops, people would be shunning you for suggesting sour sops were good for you.




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  4. TeeDee says:

    the fact that they get arrested for smoking weed to only end up in prison where they can smoke weed as well…..lol. I have read a report where prison officers ADMIT to seeing them smoking, smell it and say nothing because it keeps them “calm”. All u need in some cigs to survive in there. Just legalize it and done, giving people prison time because they want to get high.Taking away the chance of people ever getting jobs just because they want to smoke herb. We have bigger problems here in Cayman to solve then to worry about some youth or grown person bunning there head top off.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    How do people keep their jobs… by finding or creating work for themselves. Look closely at the police and the prosecutors. That’s your answer.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    While you’re arguing about the weed, the point is that most off the convicts are violent thugs. That’s why Cayman needs a bigger prison.




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    • Anonymous says:

      No cayman needs a proper jail that actually rehabilitate people not mentally suffer them get you facts right




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  7. Anonymous says:

    If Schedule 1, Part II “ganja” is not defined as a “controlled/hard drug”, then what are the current punishments for first time personal possession offenders? Say, Tourists with a 1/4 oz?

    Misuse of Drugs Law (2014)
    http://www.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/11527975.PDF

    In recognition of the ubiquitousness of this drug in the Caribbean, small personal possession amounts of ganja say <1oz should be decriminalized by Cabinet amendment to regulations. A sensible misdemeanor fine of $1000, community service hours and probation if you are knob enough to spark up at SMB Public Beach, the Sandbar, or elsewhere AND get caught. There shouldn't be a criminal record for being an idiot adolescent. $3,000 fine and 3 years hard labour in jail seems like a bit much when we have violent criminals and rapists doing less.

    Moms and Dads should note that destroying drugs by flushing them down the toilet is categorized as a punishable act of consumption under current law.




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  8. You Know A Who says:

    i have a question
    what if it becomes legal to bun weed….
    will it still be legal in northward prison….(not saying its not legal now)




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Why do you need to smoke WEED???




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    • Anonymous says:

      Why do millions of people eat unhealthy food and increase their risk for cardiovascular diseases? Because grown adults do what they want.. Are you implying we should ban unhealthy foods?




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    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t. It can also be eaten or drank as a nice warm cup of tea.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you need to drink coffee, beer or wine? Weed does have a proven medical application.




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    • Anonymous says:

      why do you need to drink alcohol




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      • Anonymous says:

        Beer has been proven to thin blood reducing the risk of the build up of blockages in the veins, red wine has been proven to help reduce the risk of heart attacks, rum has been proven to turn me into a pirate and tequila has been proven to make her clothes fall off..




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    • Anonymous says:

      why do you need to drink? Let me guess, YOUR morality should be everyone’s morality. Guess what. If you have that attitude, you might as well go back to 1970’s communist russia. Where they told you what you could and couldn’t do and what to think. Because that’s what your doing. Who cares if that person wants to smoke weed. I personally don’t do it, used to when i was a kid. but now, won’t touch it. grew out of it. but if someone else wants to do it. have at it. None of my business. And as long as it’s the same smoking rules applies as to regular smokers. Not indoors, and not indoors in a restaurant. I am fine with it.




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    • just a white girl says:

      smoke it and u will see




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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. People over 30 don’t realize that weed isn’t what it used to be. New high-potency herbal cannabis is filling drug treatment centers around the world. 90% of addiction patient intake in the UK are due to these highly-addictive and permanently mind-altering hybrids like “Skunk”.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5642917/Nine-ten-teens-drug-clinics-treated-marijuana-use.html




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      • Anonymous says:

        Lol the word “hybrid” just means a cross between the two types of cannabis, sativa and indica, which in turn yields a more potent strain with a higher concentration of THC (active sedative ingredient). However, to prove your argument is false and just copied and pasted from and anti cannabis site, ganjapreneurs all over the world are extracting and isolating cannabinoids (THC, GBD etc.) to a concentration of 75%+, bearing in mind the strongest strain of cannabis has concentration levels of 25% or less, and people are consuming these extracts (without combustion) and there has not been a single incident of overdose or death. Can you say the same for prescription opiates? Ever heard of fentanyl? Allow me to correct your statement above.

        “90% of addiction patient intake in the UK are due to these highly-addictive and permanently mind-altering legal opiates like oxycontin and percocet (Pharmaceutical grade Heroin).”




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  10. Anonymous says:

    The Prison Service should load up a CAL plane and outsource all serious criminals serving sentences longer than 5 years to a proper max security prison far away, and free up capacity for minimum-security prisoners. We shouldn’t want the career rotten eggs continuing to flaunt authority, running businesses from within the wire, and contaminating and disrupting those with a chance of reintegration into society. USA and UK prisons transfer inmates all the time, why can’t we do more of this? The prospect of a darker hole far away would discourage recidivism, keep HM Northward infrastructure within its designed purpose, and staff within their competency level.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    I have over 100 employs in the U.S. and have some long time weed heads. They are easy to identify. They have the same job they hired on at years ago and have no desire or ability to do anything except complain. They can’t think fast, can’t think straight…seem to have a bunch of kids …don’t want to work…. sound familiar.




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    • "Anonymousir" says:

      you should take your 100 employees to Colorado. thats in the US aint it? How come people there arent like the people you just mention. and holy **** guy!!! weed/ganja is legal there …. legal in your “US” state. Must be a damn shame to have a state full of pot heads eh? Christ no one in that state must work! must all be BUMs? but that state makes more than las vegas now! … hmmmmmmm … maybe if you smoke some ganja, you’ll get the bigger picture.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Companies leaving Colorado cos they can’t get people to work.




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      • just a white girl says:

        i smoke daily since i was 15 and i can function fully keep a good dam job and take care of my kids if weed was legal no one would have a problem with it to me the entire universe should smoke weed the world would be a much happier place!!!




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        • Just a white man says:

          If you continue you will eventually land up in a psychiatric facility with an addled brain. There are thousands of West Indians (and others) in British psychiatric hospitals simply because they have smoked weed all their lives.




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          • Anonymous says:

            im glad your just a white man … clearly with no sense. i wonder why Willie Nelson is still alive and making songs. and all he does is smoke weed …. so seriously. “just a white man” go be “white” somewhere else … do some homework … Jimmy Buffetts a pot head! … why hasnt he gone mad? oh i get it. hes a white man ….




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        • Anonymous says:

          You see, you are hallucinating. There are no dams in Cayman, so your job is imaginary. The wonders of weed.




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    • Anonymous says:

      And I know 100 professionals with decent jobs who perform their duties perfectly, then discreetly and responsibly relax with it AFTER work like the grown adults they are.

      Your mileage may vary – many people show up to the job site drunk too.




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      • eyehavenoIdeer says:

        More people drink on the job than people who smoke. Its part of corporate culture. How many persons do you see having wine at lunch ?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Employs? Ha, I think you’re making stuff up. Must be because you’re drunk all the time.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Why not provide a full breakdown of the statistics?

    1. Breakdown by age
    2. Breakdown by gender
    3. Breakdown by crime
    4. Percentage of repeat offenders
    5. Percentage of Caymanians and district of last known address
    6. Percentage of foreigners and country of last known address
    etc etc.

    Serious crime” can mean many different things. Providing the break down will also assist the police to focus on those areas which produce most of the criminals and it certainly would help to clear up some misconceptions.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    We need to legalise it and only allow the Natives to grow a few plants this will solve the gun importation to this small island




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    • Anonymous says:

      You just identified why it is illegal.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You’ve just shown your lack of thinking. Legal weed means no need for guns because it can be sold at a store and not by some hoodlum. Legalize and put the criminals out of business and give more jobs to Caymanians.




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      • "Anonymousir" says:

        when its legal. there is no more “drug king pin” for weed. no need for them to fight to get it here. no need to steal boat engines / other shit to send to Jamaica to send ganja back. no need for youths to be caught up with guns over ganja/weed. BUT PLEASE NOTE! this will not fix the crime problem. But numbers will drop significantly . dont believe me? look up that places in the world that has legalize it or decriminalized it. Look at their crime statistics and notice the “major” decline … we can all learn from Amsterdam. ALSO NOTE: Weed should be the only drug, you should ever consider legalizing. please do not include cocaine. cocaine is a man made substance design to kill you. just like cigs




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        • Anonymous says:

          ONLY ALLOW THE NATIVES TO GROW this does not mean permit holders or ppl on status give it to us the caymanians to grow you all have taken away everything precious from us our beaches our land so give this back to us Caymanians ONLY




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          • Anonymous says:

            Hahaha you can’t even change the law and we expect our plants to grow on time? I’ll trust my pot grower to be one of mekeevas mass grants kind of caymanian tho…




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          • Fred the Piemaker says:

            When did ganga become a Caymanian cultural legacy? Genuine question – never heard of it being referred to as a long standing tradition like eating turtle, seamanship, etc. Had always thought of it as a foreign import.




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          • Anonymous says:

            In case you have not been following the news, there is no such thing as a “Native” Caymanian. We all have to prove our “status” as Caymanians whether it t is by your birth right or family connection.

            No one has taken anything from us. Our grand and great grand parents sold us out. All of the land that foreigners own, belonged to, as you described it, “Natives”

            And while you’re on here talking about “Natives” being able to grow the plant exclusively, you should also note that no person who was convicted criminally of an offense will be allowed to take part in this lucrative medicinal marijuana business. So mos “Natives” will not be able to participate.

            Caymanian




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            • Anonymous says:

              I am a Caymanian with no record and over 30 I am the one who suggested it why do all caymanians have a criminal record talk about these foreigners who have fake papers covering up their criminal record Caymanians keeping caymanians Down propbably cuz you with a foreigner WE ALONE SHOULD GROW IT ITS OUR PLACE FFS




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              • Anonymous says:

                The truth is no Caymanian on Island has spent enough money and time on R&D relating to the medicinal MJ industry. Simply because it is not legal and no research has been done locally. Cayman would be shooting them selves in the foot by allowing only “Natives” to grow it. We would not be competitive in the slightest bit. Just an FYI the industry is made up of a lot more than just growing the plant and the standards are extremely high. We will no doubt need expertise and consultation from professionals in more advance jurisdictions in order to train the non convicted Caymanians.




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    • Anonymous says:

      No, it needs to be legalized and grown/sold by the government at a cut rate price and the money put to good use to fund things like education and social services. Make it not profitable to import and consider it like any other business. Allow only a few licenses period to grow and sell it legally, have only the seeds allowed for import and treat offenders like those who drive without a license or conduct business without a license.




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      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        “treat offenders like those who drive without a license or conduct business without a license” – what, you mean ignore them?




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        • Anonymous says:

          Yep.. :p I know it sounded good when I typed it but the actual application and enforcement is where it would all fall down.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Why they government?? allow us Caymanians whom they’ve prosecuted for so many years tarnishing our life because we smoke weed to grow it




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        • Anonymous says:

          Newsflash, Caymanians work for the…. dun dun dunnnn…. government.




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        • Anonymous says:

          I say the government because we all know that once it gets into public hands it will only go to a private citizens pocket. Put it in the governments hands and hopefully it will benefit a lot of people. I say hopefully because XXXX would probably put himself as Minister of Ganja and keep the profit for himself.




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      • Anonymous says:

        agreed … whatever it takes. just stop wasting the courts time and resources and stressing people for a plant.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Legalizing weed would have a negative impact on our economy. Smokers would be high all the time, late for work, slurring their speech, slow to act, their breath and clothing would stink of weed and they would spend their entire paychecks on weed instead of taking care of their families.




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      • Anonymous says:

        And they would be terminated for breaking the drug policy. Alcohol is legal but you can’t go to work drunk. Same would apply.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds familiar. Almost like when a cigarette smoker stinks of smoke or a drunk stinks of alcohol. In any case, one would most definitely lose their job.




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      • Anonymous says:

        what are you in the 6th grade? your boss smokes weed … check him/her out … you be surprised the amount of people that smoke weed and go to work on time everyday. and hold a high position and do their job like no other. and are on top of their game. you WOULD be surprised …. go be a pot head. you’ll get the picture. just spray on some sweet stuff and visine up … you will be good to go




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      • Anonymous says:

        @ 10:22 am

        You are no economist. Stop talking out of your arse.

        There are literally more negative impacts on society caused from alcohol, which people just blatantly ignore everyday. We just saw a grant court judge lose her privilege to drive for a year because of a DUI. A judge! Okay.

        Please stop spreading misinformation because that is all you’re doing. You do not understand what you are speaking of and you need to do your home-work before expressing your ignorance all over this website.




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      • Boom says:

        I smoke weed every day and I work a customer orientated job. My customer service is great. My reviews and track record at work is impeccable. If I wasnt buzzed at work Id tell customers about their ass everyday instead of laughing them off when they act ignorant




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  14. Hafoo says:

    Time to legalise.at least for personal use.at home in your yard.why not?




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    • Anonymous says:

      The drug dealers would love that.




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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s bad enough having to house and feed the unguided children of uncaring single parents. Adding marijuana to their lives will only serve to remove any ambition they may have to better themselves.
      Ganja makes the world such a cool place that you really don’t need to get up and find work , adding to the cycle of dependency .




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      • Anonymous says:

        You do realize that keeping it illegal does absolutely nothing but put up a small barrier that is easily hopped?

        If they want it, they will and can easily find it, TRUST ME… At least decriminalize it and offer counselling, not a criminal record that ruins employment chances for a dumb mistake made at age 17.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    These people think they’re slick.

    I am a born and raised Caymanian 80’s baby with personal, social, and familial connections throughout this society – therefore I will unapologetically speak with zero fear of correction on the issue at hand.

    Cayman’s marijuana laws and policies have created hundreds, if not more, of stigmatised criminals.

    Are the authors of this report going to tell me I was mistaken as I witnessed dozens of 17-23 year old peers “go down” for simply consuming or possessing marijuana over the few decades of my life?

    Granted, the attitudes of authority may have changed as of late (most likely ran out of cells), however by then it was far too late for so many of my relatives, friends, and acquaintances to be successfully reintegrated into local society.

    All because they opted to partake in what is an American, Canadian, British, and European staple of tertiary education.

    What an irony.

    – Whodatis

    *P.S. Dear Northward,
    Many, if not most, of your most hardened current inmates and crime-lords were those very 17-23 yr old “weedheads / stoners”.

    In my humble opinion, our self-inflicted drug policy will prove to be one of our most damaging societal missteps in local history.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Who I normally don’t agree wit ya but I’d gladly have a legal beer with anyone that can agree that smoking a joint after work in my backyard is no more harmful than drinking at a legal bar and driving home illegally under the influence.

      Have we not realized the most dangerous part about medical cannabis in the Cayman Islands is being caught with it? Lol




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      • Anonymous says:

        Pull up a stool, my friend.

        My only objection would be to claim the latter is in fact more harmful (to the broader society).

        However, we can debate all that and more after a few draws…always makes for a more colourful discussion.

        🙂

        – Who




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    • Anonymous says:

      “I am a born and raised Caymanian 80’s baby with personal, social, and familial connections throughout this society – therefore I will unapologetically speak with zero fear of correction on the issue at hand.”

      Yet you won’t post your name? Another armchair warrior.




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    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      These people think they are slick? The report and the article in no way contradict your personal observations, so relax yourself. The article mentions over a 100 arrests, but arrests do not necessarily translate to imprisonment. And 5% of Northward is roughly 10 to 11 people. As imprisonment for simple consumption isn’t going to be a long sentence, having 10 people locked up at any point in 2017 is entirely consistent with your comment on dozens of people over decades. By all means argue that simple consumption shouldn’t result in imprisonment – I wouldn’t disagree with you – but there is no need to try and argue that the stats are wrong or make pejorative comments about the authors.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    Pathetic dumb society here.




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    • Kettle says:

      but you still here though……




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    • Expat says:

      What are you even trying to accomplish with that comment?




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      • Anonymous says:

        It’s a compliment. I think he is saying it’s a step up from the Pathetic retarded society he comes from.




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        • Expat says:

          And that comment back is the reason everyone is fighting on here to defend their culture. If you can’t say anything nice, best not to say it. Well, only say the statistically true statements with a little educated finesse.




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