PACT plans to decriminalise ganja

| 16/07/2021 | 204 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Wayne Panton delivers the final speech in the SPS debate on Thursday

(CNS): Premier Wayne Panton has announced plans to decriminalise ganja to help address one of the major barriers to employment for many young Caymanians. The policy proposal was one of several revealed Thursday in a detailed address by Panton that outlined the agenda proposed by the PACT Government to directly improve the lives of ordinary people, moving Cayman away for the historic trickle-down policies of previous governments that favoured business. The decriminalisation of ganja, the premier said, has been shown in other countries to be an effective tool and has not proven to increase criminal activity.

Panton explained that his government wants to eradicate the concept of the working poor and reduce the number of people unfairly classed as unemployable, “and to do that all the barriers and obstacles to employment, especially entry level employment, need to be removed”, he said.

“An immediate step is to reduce discrimination against young people in education and employment through decriminalisation of marijuana,” Panton said. “Far too many of our young people suffer unduly harsh punishments and have their futures permanently blighted by what are minimal misdemeanors. In far too many cases the punishment far outweighs the crime. As has been shown to good effect in Canada, the United Kingdom and several states in the USA, decriminalisation is an effective tool and has not proven to increase criminal activity.”

The issue was raised on many candidates’ platforms during the election campaign and few of those now elected to office on the election trail opposed this first step in creating a less draconian environment regarding ganja. While Cayman made the progressive step in 2016 to change the law to allow doctors to prescribe medicinal marijuana, with the exception of expunging criminal records for old ganja convictions, no more steps have been taken since then to address the crime of consumption, despite popular support for a more liberal approach to use and personal possession of weed.

This was not the only policy outlined by Panton that will have the potential to make a real and direct difference to people’s lives, as he wrapped up the debate on the Strategic Policy Statement and responded to the opposition leader’s criticisms of PACT.

He committed to “specifically and fully recognise healthcare as a basic human right” here, adding that no citizen should go without necessary medical care because they cannot afford it. “We will revamp and expand CINICO services to extend access to healthcare to more Caymanians, provide free healthcare for children and the elderly, and reform existing criteria to access free healthcare,” he added. Panton also outlined additional policies to address mental health issues.

Having already revealed plans on Wednesday for free school meals, he said government was going to fund homework centres at public schools, early-morning supervision of students at all schools and robust after-school programmes. The premier also revealed plans to integrate Caymanians and non-Caymanians within the public school system. He also said that government would offer financial assistance to help working families offset the costs of daycare services, and that a daycare pilot programme at the Government Administration Building was about to be rolled out.

He said that PACT would roll out cultural sensitivity training and support to all front-line police officers, and work on reducing the causes of crime in the community through effective anti-gang strategies and support for vulnerable young people, with more investment in rehabilitation to assist young offenders before they become long-term criminals.

“We aim to help fix what is broken in our society and ultimately make our communities safer,” the premier said.

Panton unveiled a multitude of policies that could have a major impact on ordinary people, including plans to address the critical issue of affordable homes, noting that the dream of home ownership has slipped away for many because of Cayman’s rising property costs.

“Many are asking how, in just a few generations, property costs have so far outpaced the middle-income Caymanian’s earnings. When you feel like you’re not a part of your country’s success, like you’ve been excluded from owning a piece of the pie, how are you going to feel invested in its growth and success? Too often our own people are feeling as if they’ve been left out and left behind.”

In addition to investing more in the existing government-guaranteed home-assisted mortgages, the government will use the Cayman Islands Development Bank to offer low cost loans. Stamp duty on land for Caymanians will also be cut.

A major platform focus for PACT, alongside building climate resilience, is social justice in the workplace. Panton said Caymanian discrimination is rampant in the labour market, as he outlined the long-held distorted beliefs and stereotypes regarding local workers.

“This government will not further it. We will not tolerate it. We are going to smash each and every one of those stereotypes and provide the opportunities that our people deserve in their own land,” he said. “We will maximise Caymanian employment. We will enforce the laws and regulations surrounding work permits.”

Using a data-driven and robust compliance approach and changes to existing labour laws and regulations, the aim is to allow WORC to match work permit applications to unemployed Caymanians and new graduates. To reward good employers, PACT will implement the accreditation system, but he said it will also increase work permit fees in areas where Caymanian labour is readily available and increase administrative fines for illegal employment practices. “We will also name and shame companies that consistently engage in poor labour practices,” he warned.

The permanent residency point system will be reviewed to address the impact on the property market, and the preference it gives to certain demographics, which he said had “unalterably skewed the composition of our local population”.

He added, “We have also seen how grants of new permanent residents have been used to block the employment and advancement of similarly qualified Caymanians. This was never the intended goal of a permanent residency system and necessitates a thorough review to ensure that we are not putting Caymanians at a disadvantage when we grant permanent resident status. Under this umbrella, we will both reform the rollover policy and provide initiatives to address under-employment of Caymanians.”

The premier also committed to generally improving work-life balance with family leave policies, including improved maternity and paternity rights in line with international standards. “We will promote diversity in the workplace and introduce a national wellness programme that incentivises employers and encourages employees to strike a better work-life balance,” he said.

“To ensure equity and remove discrimination, we will implement national anti-bullying and sexual harassment policies and enact stronger laws to protect the disabled, elderly and other vulnerable groups.”

The minimum wage will be increased. Given that Cayman has often been listed as one of the world’s most expensive places to live, earnings are being outpaced by the cost of living. “While this may not be a popular move among the business community, it must be done and we will have to gradually enhance the current minimum wage to become a realistic livable wage,” the premier added.

See Thursday’s full speech in the CNS Library.

Watch the delivery on CIGTV below:

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Category: Policy, Politics

Comments (204)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If the Cayman (not US or UK) data support decriminalisation, then it’s a good idea. I’d be curious to know what % of the population already take some form of THC. My guess is that it’s a large portion both local and expat.

    Violent crimes and driving under the influence are mainly caused by alcohol and class A drugs. It means the police can focus on the bigger problems – it’s a clear and smart move to free up resources.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Have you not got enough death and destruction on your roads already? I don’t know where Panton gets his information from but cannabis definitely hasn’t been decriminalised in the UK – we’ve been watching the road death and injury tally rising in countries where it’s now legal (not to mention the devastating effects on mental health).

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      You are living in an alternative reality. I’m sorry for you. Ganja does not cause — nor is there any evidence for — “road death and injury”.

      In Colorado, where they have legalised ganja, the state makes tons of money and has upgraded the infrastructure. The Veterans Administration, which helps U.S. veterans, is the best in the nation.

      They have created a ‘road sobriety test’ for their standard of ganja intoxication. It is necessary. I think that most people who ONLY smoke are very safe on the roads, because they are likely to be driving EXACTLY the speed limit and completely focused. However ganja combined with alcohol requires a measurement system.

      We will get there eventually. Nobody that doesn’t smoke now, will use it after the decriminalisation. We don’t want our people to go to jail for using a substance that is less powerful than the legal alcohol do we? No, we don’t.

      We as a territory stand in a great place where we can define growers/farmers, employ pickers/sifters and package ganja and the government can tax it and make beaucoup dollars, which will only enhance the Cayman Islands.

      The Premier has (FINALLY) put us on a course that will lead only to good things.

      Don’t forget that when we do for ourselves, we exclude the drug trafficers. Win-win.

    • Smoke Pot™ says:

      Bullshit. I sure hope that you are this strong a stance for any and all alcohol beverages. Because we do know that has true and tested many, many, many, many times over to be a deadly combination, drunk driving. I’ve not read a report about “ganja high” driving and causing accidents and/or deaths. Pure ganja, now, not anything else in the mix. Show us the proof!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The black market across the border between mexico and USA has been thriving much better now that cannabis is decriminalize in the USA. Reality is the very costly infrastructure of the legal stuff keeps the black market very busy. Ask the US law enforcement if it’s slowed down..

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason the legal stuff is so expensive is that it’s not legal federally so whilst some very large companies operate within state laws they struggle to borrow at ordinary bank rates and get absolutely hammered by the IRS as none of their expenses are recognized as coming from a legitimate business.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It should be legalized so that everybody who wants in on the action can get in on the action and not just the rich. Everyone who wants to grow and sell should be given the opportunity to, especially those who were made criminais by the system.

    • Anonymous says:

      O great, now those who had even the slightest inclination to get out of bed ,and get to work, will have even that feeling completely removed .
      Cool Irie and no problem…be very careful what you wish for as you fry brains.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think there is some truth behind what you are saying, but I don’t think the problem is weed. I think the problem is the mentality and motivation of certain people who then use weed, or maybe its a bit of both. But to attribute the issue to one side only is narrow minded in my opinion

        I’ve went gone to college, completed my degree, came back to work in a global company, got promoted twice in 1.5 years, switched careers to start at the bottom of another industry, passed qualifications for that new industry all while smoking a bit every single day in the last 3 years.

        Can weed make people less inclined to do certain things? Yes. I found myself less willing to accept bullshit jobs and wasn’t willing to sacrifice my life to the pursuit of being a good wage slave. I developed a plan for myself because getting high made me appreciate the simplicity of life more than being a wage slave. I’m still a wage slave, but my plan is to exit after 2 years and work on some projects to improve the community because I don’t need millions of dollars to buy things. I want millions of dollars to make change. Weed took the edge off during the 12 hours days of working and allowed me to slow it down a bit and reflect and enjoy relationships. I worked to build long lasting bonds with family and friends instead of trying to project an image of myself with material things that didn’t matter.

        Weed made me forget about materialism and I’m now working to improve the lives of those around me. First I got my house in order, now I can work to help others.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey man, we can’t do that. The government wouldn’t get their share!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good luck to anyone thinking about setting up a “legal” dispensary. You will find that they will have nowhere to bank their takings, as the banks will refuse to deal with any ganja business, legal or not, licenced or not.

    Also, my understanding of legal herb in Canada and USA is that it can’t be exported, and can’t cross state lines. And they too have the problem of unbanked takings, leading to cash security issues, and robbery risks.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you are going to decriminalize it, you need to legalize it. If there is no penalty to buying and consuming it, you need to set up licensed marijuana dispensaries. Supply can’t come from street corner dealers.

    Legalize it, license businesses, and consumers can be assured they are getting proper, quality controlled and labeled product, supplied by legitimate businesses in Canada and the US.

    Canada legalized it in 2018 (Im from Canada). It is sold in dedicated marijuana shops.

    • Dennis says:

      You can grow your own and save your money

    • Anonymous says:

      Or ya know maybe we can just grow it ourselves? I don’t see why I gotta pay anybody anything for a herb that grows like any other in the earths soil.

  7. anon says:

    Just so long as if we have another lockdown the ganja shops will be allowed to remain open along with the liquor outlets so we can all get high two times over and forget our worries.

    • D. Truth says:

      That is the prime purpose of ganja……. get stoned and forget everything. And that is why most companies or individuals don’t hire potheads.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I still wont be hiring no ganja head.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Repeat after me as I inhale on this fine Cannabis spliff:

    Keeping this medically prescribed plant does not stop consumption, and only provides incentive to illegally smuggle other actual dangerous drugs, guns and people. Your neighbor growing a few plants in their garage will pose no threat to you.. because they probably already are without you knowing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Keeping this medically prescribed plant *illegal* does not stop

      typo sorry

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t disagree that the illegality needs more crime, but enough with the “medically prescribed plant” BS. First, medical prescriptions have the THC content removed or reduced – you are not comparing apples and apples. Second, just because it’s plant based or medically prescribed does not inherently make it safe. Cocaine is plant based, so are opioids, both medically prescribed- you wouldn’t be advocating their use based just on their origin and medical applications.

      • Anonymous says:

        But they’re not plant-based if they’re cut with other stuff.

      • Anonymous says:

        Marijuana is not processed, you cannot compare it with cocaine and opioid, do some research man.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is false – my medical prescription locally contains a blend of THC and CBD.

      • Anonymous says:

        People don’t waste your breath on this. Obviously, a delusional person that still believes in reefer madness.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So, to be clear, they want to decriminalise weed but not legalise it? In other words they’re going to increase demand but keep the supply controlled by the black market/dealers. What a stupid idea. The dealers must be over the moon!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry to say, but after 100 days in office PACT has done nothing other than make some “feel good” statements. It’s the political equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic.

    1. Promised a Code of Conduct. If it ever arrives and is signed by all MPs, will it make McKeeva or any other MP a better person? Will it change their behavior? Will it be used to censure any of the current MPs for their actions past or present? The answers to all of the above is a resounding NO, but we feel good that he promised to bring it. Never mind that Wayne also promised to bring a Code of Conduct when he was a Minister in the PPM government.

    2. Promising to decriminalize marijuana. I have no problem with it being decriminalized or even legalized, but it’s not even a drop in the bucket towards solving the real problems that need to be fixed. However, hundreds, if not thousands, of voters will be able to smoke weed all day and say “what problems you talking ’bout? take another draw man.” Next election in four years they will still be too high and happy to show up to vote.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Panton seems to be a very intelligent man with modern attitudes on social issues more befitting the 21st century than the Old Testament days we seem to so often be living in. It would be nice if he had a government of similar intellect and attitudes to work with but he doesn’t so we will have to see how far he gets. Credit is due him for raising these issues and also the important one of the massive inequalities in our society.

    • Anonymous says:

      17@8:24am – “it would be nice if he (Panton) had a government of similar intellect”. Lol!! Yes, it would! But who picked that bunch of numpties and novices to be the Cabinet? He did!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        All those experienced Progressives could have had several Cabinet seats but they were too proud and stubborn. Wayne had no choice in the end but he did try to give himself one by offering seats to Progressives. Apparently coming together for the national good is something that only exists if someone else is joining the Progressives, it doesn’t work any other way.

    • Anonymous says:

      You nailed the problem right there. Its the same old habit of taking advice from the same old consultants and advisors and a failure to be inclusive and take advice from the public and expertise within the wider community. So past and future government policies will continue to be driven by lack vision, foresight or innovation until this changes.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The choice of word is interesting.
    Ganja – this connotation is normally associated with something bad, evil, coming in by boat, lower class, and all that other negative descriptions you can think of.

    Marijuana on the other hand conveys the complete opposite, more accepting, coming in by plane, upper class, genetically modified, and 4 times the price.

    The one coming in by boat is too violent, as it has to endure all manner of evil and adventures to get here.

    The one coming in by plane is genetically modified, very potent above which can leave one in a the state restlessness and worthlessness. I cannot fathom why anyone would want to be in this state.

    Growing it naturally, you will appreciate how much love and care has to go into it from planting the seed, growing, flowering, harvest, and curing.

    This plant is intelligent, therefore it should be handle with love and care, just like the food we eat, should be handled with love and care.

    Vaping is better and it’s best to have with black coffee to stimulate your senses, to activate the neurons, and engaged.

    It is imperative to allow all citizens to grow their own, to stop the importation of ganja or marijuana , as decriminalizing only may promote said importation.

    Therefore, there should be minimum barrier to grow it oneself, so that everyone can benefit, especially those who need it the most.

    These are exciting times for the Cayman Islands and its people.

    • Free at Last says:

      You don’t seem to have much of a life. I’ve smoked several varieties of marijuana and I never thought it did much for me. I did some stupid things but I survived them all, so I suppose the drug itself is not especially life threatening…….. unless you decide to outrun a cop or see how fast your car is and have a smashup. I have some children and I sincerely hope that they never get involved with any dangerous drugs. And yes, I believe ganja is a dangerous drug if it affects your mind………. and it does.

      • Anonymous says:

        Marijuana is not for everyone, just as alcohol, cigarettes, fast food, meat, etc. You do not know me, why are you judging me?
        Thanks to CNS to provide this platform for us to state our opinions in a civilized manner.

        • Anonymous says:

          I didn’t mean to judge you. Perhaps losing a son to drugs makes it worse for me.We all have to live our own lives and I feel you and I are pretty far apart….but that’s o.k. You certainly have your right to disagree with me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Smoke bullshit! You’ll like it! And it’s free!

  14. Anonymous says:

    . As has been shown to good effect in Canada, the United Kingdom and several states in the USA, decriminalisation is an effective tool and has not proven to increase criminal activity.”

    Just for accuracy, it has not been decriminalised in the UK.

    Furthermore has the impact assessment of this policy taken into account the evidence regarding long term mental health?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the quote is misinformed – Canada has legalized marijuana and almost half of the states in u.s. have also legalized it. As far as impact assessment, long-term studies have been done by other countries. The realization has to occur that it is far less dangerous than the long-term effects of alcohol. If legalized, quality control also plays a large part as street marijuana could be mixed with more harmful substances to which the user does not have knowledge before consuming. Not to mention the criminal records incurred by young Caymanians attempting to secure employment.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Before all the weedheads get too excited, I want point out one very important point!

    Well, maybe more than one.

    1. The weed of today is not the weed your mummy or daddy smoked back in the ’70s and ’80s. Today’s weed is crossbred and genetically modified to breed out the CBD and increase the THC. Why is this important? The two chemicals have a symbiotic relationship. THC alone causes psychosis, paranoia hallucinations and can severely increase mental health issues that may exist. The CBD counteracts this effect making the weed safer. Decriminalising is a good idea from a criminal record point of view but taking the above point into consideration begs the question, how are they going to regulate the strains of weed people are smoking and how are they going to ensure that smokers are not doing serious mental health harm to themselves with the newly decriminalized weed they are smoking.

    2. Are they going to allow local cultivation or even licensed growers that are monitored and regulated to ensure they are producing a quality product and not using dangerous additives and other chemicals like roundup etc?

    3. Where will I go to get my weed? Will my local dealer still be pushing imported stuff? or will there be licensed dispensaries? I see a certain business entity already gearing up and who had a smoke shop up and running selling pipes, bings, etc under the cover of them being used for tobacco consumption. Those items are all illegal because we know they are not for tobacco consumption but I guess the authorities prefer to go after licensed pharmacists and give those other retailers a bligh.

    These ideas sound good but the amount of research, planning, preparation, etc that will be required will prove just how difficult it is to get this done. Resources that could be used to tackle workplace discrimination and joblessness and cheap labor and poverty will have to focus on decriminalizing weed. Kind of doesn’t make sense now, does it?

    PACT has to learn that headline-grabbing announcement and feel good policies are not going to fix this country. There is too much already waiting to be fixed, and now they may be adding to the list.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ugh your first point is so moot. Currently smoking my own homegrown weed that’s been genetically selected (got the seeds in from Europe) and yea it’s very potent but I’m not here losing my mind. It takes away my suicidal tendencies and makes me actually want to eat or sleep. No one has ever overdosed on Cannabis, and people with pre-existing mental conditions should not consume any drug – including coffee – without consulting their psychiatrist.

      2. Why is QC such a big deal when you can sell all the produce on the side of the road with no business license? Regardless, that’s a way to generate jobs in science. Big deal.

      3. Certain stores in Cayman aren’t allowed to operate on Sundays past a certain square footage to allow smaller stores an edge. Balancing retail isn’t a new concept.

      How is it difficult when there are numerous places who have legalised yet their world hasn’t ended? They’ve instead created new industry, revenue streams and boosted their tourism product.

      • Anonymous says:

        The truth is… The drugs legalized by the various governments are actually a way to get more money,
        which comes from people who have twisted beliefs that if it doesn’t kill you, it’s O.K. The government takes a big bite for duty, of course, and there will be fees that are added so that they get all they can. The smugglers ganja trade will be gone, which is good for most everyone except the smugglers.

      • Anonymous says:

        How do you know when it’s safe to drive again after indulging (and I use the word advisedly)?
        You don’t.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      You are reaching for your own conclusions, and your conclusions are not supported by established science.

      Your elders probably watched “Reefer Madness” and were horrified at the repercussions of the devil weed.

      It’s really okay. I don’t use it myself, but I did when I was a wee sprout. People all around you use ganja without you knowing it. Those on the fringe that you identify as ganja smokers likely also drink heavily and use other things.

      I think we should all focus upon our own salvation, and not concern ourselves with others. +

  16. Kadafe says:

    Three people in the background all on the phone, I’m sure of course that they were dealing with urgent business, I’m just wondering if they would hire me, I’d actually sit there and actually pay attention.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pretty sure the Attorney General and Deputy Gov are in fact working on their phones and are capable of multitasking. Makes sense to me or would you have then sit there for three days and not do any other work ?

      • How much you wanna bet? says:

        That is some straight BS. If they are going to multi-task during a three day session they should be using laptops and or pen and paper to perhaps take notes and be efficient.

        There isn’t a phone in the world that is as effective or efficient as a PC of Mac laptop.

        If they have pressing work to do durign the Premier’s speech perhaps they shouldn’t be there.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ever heard of sending text messages to delegate work and keep up to date with colleagues ? Jesus we are a bunch of complainers

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ganja is a gateway drug. Simple. Comparing it to alcohol is not helpful given all the problems alcohol give us. Where do we stand on cocaine and amphetamine. This is not going to end well. Go to Amsterdam and ask them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amsterdam is doing just fine with it. The Netherlands has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Besides, alcohol causes many more issues than ganja. Furthermore, ganja is nature-made, alcohol is man-made; the properties in ganja have been used by many different cultures for centuries for healing etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am from Amsterdam, and you are an idiot.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Ganja is a gateway drug”. Without a doubt the most ignorant post of 2021.

      Please, please give us your facts to back that statement up. Nothing. Thought so.

    • Anonymous says:

      saying ganja is a gateway drug is like saying eating steak is a gateway to eating human flesh. You can do one with out wanting something else

  18. Anonymous says:

    Total disaster. Mr Premier when the Jacques Scott’s and Tortuga’s of the marijuana industry start to rake in profits you will need to require them to fund the rehab clinics needed to serve those with addiction vulnerabilities. I have lost many a friend to weed and alcohol abuse here, giving people easier access to mind altering substances – which is the end result of decriminalization of marijuana will lead Caymanians down the same path as the inhabitants of reservations in Canada and the US.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bernie Sanders Heads To Cuba To Tell Protesters To Be More Grateful For Their Excellent Social Programs

      CNS: Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist (like a number of European countries) not a communist.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for trying CNS but these people just don’t understand the difference and all they do is listen to Fox News and get their minds warped with that actual life damaging drug.

      • Anonymous says:

        What is a democratic socialist va a communist? Explain it like I was a child please. If you can.

        CNS: This video explains it very simply and well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bernie Sanders is a capitalist as he has not spread the wealth with his own money. Just another con artist.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pretty sure Sanders is a Social democrat, not a democratic socialist. Big difference; the latter believe in social (state/worker) ownership of the means of production, Marx considered it a temporary phase in between capitalism and Communism. Social Democrats believe in market led capitalism with strong regulatory oversight, social justice and a heavily redistributive tax system.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Finally – but follow the footsteps of many other countries and legalize it, tax it, etc..

    Many people are suffering because we are so far behind..from medical use like cbd oil, to young Caymanians being held back by possessing small amounts and having a record.

    It’s a step in the right direction.

    • Anonymous says:

      Medical cannabis is already legal here. That argument is misplaced at best. What you are suggesting is that we allow the country to self medicate. We are not a country of licensed pharmacists

      • Anonymous says:

        Legal does not mean accessible. It is extremely expensive and out of reach to the normal consumer. There is no suggestion of the country to self medicate. The post says 3 things – legalize it, make it more accessible to those who need it for medical conditions and finally the benefits it will have on young caymanians with criminal records in terms of employment.

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you seen the prices at doctors express? That is why people still buy it illegally and risk getting caught by the police.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are more than enough zombies walking around considering it is illegal, just imagine the multiplied masses if made legal. I was hoping that this PACT could come up with something new and beneficial. Since they pulled all the strings to get elected. I hope they were thinking further down the road than election night,

  20. Anonymous says:

    help is on the way cayman!!!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Goodbye 900,000 dollar townhouse condos, hello Cayman Brac?

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly who will pay fir all these things? Businesses will either layoff, clise and leave ir simply just not start.

  22. Reality Bites says:

    Didn’t realize the comments were all about decriminalizing weed. My comments were about everything else. Yes of course weed should be decriminalized. Better yet, legalism and regulate it for safety and duty income.

  23. Reality Bites says:

    These are all great ideas in theory; but in reality they are costly. Who will pay? I hear the chorus, ‘businesses will pay’. But many businesses are holding on by a prayer. And as a business owner whose receipts are down 50% due to the lack of reopening, I really question whether this government has done the math, or even considered the realities. Socialism looks great on paper. It’s all free and everyone gets a puppy. But how has this model preformed for Argentina, Cuba, Jamaica? If people are not required to be responsible, many will choose the nanny state option.

    • Anonymous says:

      Suggest as a business owner you google what socialism is and stop embarrassing yourself!

      • Reality Bites says:

        I accept your criticism. My background is in more hard science. So I never took any electives in the social sciences. I paid my own way through school, working at least 60 hours a week, and couldn’t afford the luxury of non essential courses. Although I am sure they would have helped inform me.

      • Reality Bites says:

        Also just curious, so I won’t mistakenly misclassify it, what form of government is it that forces hard working, responsible persons to pay for irresponsible selfish people? Why should I have to pay for others poor decisions? I used birth control so I wouldn’t have children that I couldn’t afford to support. I saved money for a hurricane fund rather than getting the newest phone. I sacrificed everything so my children could go to a good school, and now, I should fund those that didn’t do so? No thanks.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s called giving back to the community.

          Just doesn’t involve a couple of poses and fake approval from your social media followers.

      • Anonymous says:

        It didn’t seem to work in Cuba, Venezuela, etc. Ask them if socialism works. It always turns into dictatorships!

    • Anonymous says:

      WTF are you talking about? CUBA isn’t the UK. Socialism isn’t Communism.

  24. Anonymous says:

    All sounds good and back down to earth proposals from the Premier and PACT, let’s hope we see them carried through and not just further promises from politicians for their own gain. Cayman needs to get back it’s heart which has been sorely missed.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This is the best thing I’ve read in a long time.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, let’s see how far it gets.

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM what was that about no plan and no action PACT?

      Just with this action PACT have done more for Caymanians than you have in 20 years.

      Let that sink in.

      • Anonymous says:

        Can you kindly list all the things thsthe Past has done.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hasn’t been done yet, let’s hope it does.

      • Anonymous says:

        PACT Plan. Keep the economy low and the people high. Compared to the PPM, at least the people will be high.

      • Anonymous says:

        On Wednesday Panton spoke for 30 minutes and said little. He correctly gets accused of not putting forward anything of substance and is forced to give more details on Thursday. Not sure how much of his plans have been costed out.

  26. Anonymous says:

    You want to lower the cost of housing? Let’s start by reviewing the practice of pre-construction purchases solely for the purpose of speculation and reassignment of contracts before closing. All this does is create artificial demand and drive up prices with absolutely zero value-add.

    We could also look to the real estate cartel CIREBA as well. The commission rates are extraordinarily high compared to other jurisdictions (which, to preempt any BS about industry standards or oversight, require licensing and have more scrutiny in the industry than is present here).

    Lots of opportunities to cut out the fat driving up housing prices and reducing access for the middle class.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about developers who are trying to get out of fulfilling contracts so buyers get fed up waiting on apartments to be finished so they can sell these at higher prices to others. I know i of some on Old Crewe Rd. I say all the buyers under contract should sue the developers and make them finish the apartments!

    • Anonymous says:

      Cireba needs to go. It adds no value other than to enrich realtors. There no justification for any commission to exceed 1% or $10,000.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your only telling part of the story. Real estate stamp duty is one of the biggest factors driving costs up. Every time a property changes ownership it has to increase by 7%. Don’t like the CIREBA “cartel”? Then don’t use them. Nothing is stopping anyone from selling their own property or using non CIREBA brokers/agents which are out there. Cost of construction is so high because import duties on materials and the unbelievably high cost of planning and permitting to get a simple house built is ridiculous. Want to put solar panels on your house? Good luck going through that bullshit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Spoken like a real estate agent, with focus on property turnover. Most of us are just hoping to own one home, let alone multiple ones.
        Has anyone noticed a lower cost for large developments with their duty concessions? Or you think it just led to bigger profit margins for their luxury product?
        Yes, there are plenty of factors built into housing prices (pun somewhat intended), but I’d rather we not cut corners on building codes, for example, when there are better opportunities to reduce waste and lower artificial and inflated prices.

        • Anonymous says:

          Stamp duty and import duty has nothing to do with building codes. Owning one home vs multiple homes??? Wtf are you talking about?? Idiot.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Let’s go PACT! Get Cayman to where it should be – A country for its people. All who call Cayman home. For the young, older persons and everyone else in between.

    Let’s go PACT!👏👏

    • Anonymous says:

      I think he is fixing to not get elected again. You do realise he will have to put that idea to a referendum.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think most people that are for decriminalisation know that. There is already a petition going around. Once it gerners enough signatures, whether or not CIG passes it, it will go to a referendum.

    • Say it like it is. says:

      3.58pm He’s saying what you want to hear, this needs no effort juts lots of hot air. The proof is in the pudding and I suspect you will see very little of the pudding.

  28. Anonymous says:

    You know what? Fair play…it all sounds great and he sounds like he really cares…good luck with it all

    That’s it. Good luck, it’s all good stuff. I hope it works.

  29. Anonymous says:

    So this is a PACT half plan at best

    – great idea to stop criminalising children for mistakes but then what

    – what is the plan for dealers and importers- decriminalise and you increase demand by some unknown amount – that means more canoes carrying drugs and guns coming from neighbouring countries unless controlled local cultivation is allowed.

    increased demand will mean more profits for criminals and more gang activity and more mass shootings unless licensed distribution systems are created to displace the gangs. Is PACT going to make available business development grants for growers and dealers? Is PACT going to license and tax local cultivation and distribution in order to pay for the negative consequences?

    – what is the plan for drug education and rehabilitation and who is going to pay for it

    – how are police going to handle driving under the influence for this ‘new’ drug

    Clearly a populist announcement with no real thought behind it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Points could be put forward in a positive way to suggest and help than whine, whine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some of the states in the US started down the same path and with the licensing fees, taxes, and administrative burden – the local legitimate shops were put out of business because the cost of their product was too high. Everyone went back to their neighborhood corner for the usual baggie.

      • Anonymous says:

        Decriminalising… Not openibg shops!

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s not true. Several cannabis stocks (US growing and distribution) have market caps > $1bn. They aren’t there with no sales. The tax situation is excessive there because the feds haven’t legalised it, not because the states have.

        • Anonymous says:

          >Implying micky mouse cannabis companies stock price is any meaningful metric during a massive bull market / bubble.. kek.

          • Anonymous says:

            I shopped today my friend. Nice place, nice people, small line, and great stuff. I love the USA. And Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is nonsense! Why on earth would anyone buy unregulated and inferior quality ganja from the black market when there is a safe and regulated legal market for it – or better yet, if you want it, grow your own.
      This takes money out of the hands of the drug cartels who currently operate what is effectively a state-sponsored monopoly.
      Without govt. prohibition, it would be uneconomic for cartels to compete with domestically produced ganja which could be grown by caymanians, regulated by caymanians, and consumed by caymanians! No Jamaican drug boats coming and dumping their low quality stock and taking the proceeds back to Jamaica with them.

      • Anonymous says:

        And your suggestions are? How would you handle this? What would you put in place, step by step as not all of us are so knowledgeable on this subject?

      • Anonymous says:

        Cost genius. If someone who wants to get high and can buy it off the street for a few dollars less than in a store they will do it. As for quality, give me a break its literally growing a weed. Would you only buy tomatoes from the regulated and taxed grocery store and not from the street vendor for less?

        • Anonymous says:

          Quality is a big factor. Once you have the medical quality you won’t want to smoke the mouldy Jamaican stuff. It is not literally growing a weed. The plant needs proper care to produce high-quality flowers. As for tomatoes, have you tried the organic local grown vs the imported GMO ones? Big Difference!

    • Anonymous says:

      Or, you know, let Caymanians produce the god given herb (read Genesis) and its medical extracts themselves and there would be no more demand for illegal smuggling.

      Case in point: when I started growing in my spare bedroom after my son moved out, I stopped buying the smuggled stuff. I simply couldn’t continue paying $115 for half a gram legally from doctor’s express, so started producing my own supply for a fraction of the cost.

    • Anonymous says:

      If it’s legal, why would I purchase it from a gangster or street dealer? I’m a 40 year old business owner, I don’t want to deal with criminals.

      I can walk into the hospital express and buy 3 months supply right now.

      Banning a plant doesn’t work, when alcohol and tobacco kills millions every year.

      Portugal legalised every drug, demand and crime rapidly dropped.

      • Anonymous says:

        And they used some of the profits to amp up rehabilitation facilities which in turn gave help to many addicts for free.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because they aren’t talking about making it legal; just decriminalising possession so if you get caught you don’t get a record. You’ll still have to buy of said gangster.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, Wayne’s world on steroids with his womb to the tomb proposals. If you thrown in basic universal income (BUI) why bother to work you get a the free stuff you ever wanted from Wayne’s World. If you think living in Cayman is expensive now just wait, and hold on to your wallet. Socialism’s great until it runs out of other peoples money. Margret Thatcher nailed that one.

  30. Concerned citizen says:

    🌹 Okay, great. Now do something about pedophiles ruining our high-school aged teenagers- the laws are there already. ENFORCE THEM.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I think these are really great goals (talking about health care, school programs and so on) but where is money going to come from? Tax on ganja sales?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Waft them out!

  33. Sunrise says:

    Wow, starting off with a bang!! Just keep up the good work throughout your term and there won’t be a problem putting you all back in four years. Finally, it looks like someone is interested in the welfare of the locals!! Great work Mr. Premier and the team that supports you!! You have my full respect!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    This is man is truly for the people and this is great to see.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Not my thing at all but prohibition makes no sense, it doesn’t work, it gifts a sector of the economy to murderous criminal gangs and minor possession convictions ruin more lives than the drugs do. Legalise, regulate and tax just like booze and not just weed either but weed is a good start. The war on drugs is completely irrational and was lost decades ago.

  36. Anonymous says:

    OOOOoooooohhh!! NOW I understand why ol’ Tag was whinging about everything PACT.
    What a whining sore loser.

    He’ll be surely annoyed with how all of these initiatives are coming out.

    So maybe he will now know what’s been going on in the background for 3 months.

    But let him keep on about the ‘opening plan’, like that is going to be fixed in a matter of weeks.. Meanwhile PPM had NO plan even in the works.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Excellent job wayne and rest of pact…as a caymanianian with 2 kinds on govt scholarships..i welcome the increase of 10k per year…hope ppm looking at what they were doing wrong?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Please ensure in the revamping of Cinico that the fees are not ramped up as well. Please mandate all private health insurance companies to participate in honouring Cinico claims bearing in mind that sometimes, for specialist care not provided by CIHSA, we have to go to private providers at an alarming fee. Please let me remind you that a huge number of patients fall in the category of “retired” and living off our pension which is really not even sufficient to live above the poverty line. Most of us are living off a pension of US$ 15,000.00 (until it runs out) per year or less and many of us with pre-existing conditions are paying over CI$ 500.00 per month. So again revamping must not include ramping up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said, the more people put foward what is real life here for many, hopefully this Premier is listening and taking on board.

  39. Ex User says:

    Having had the opportunity to work with ganja users I can assure you that ganja is detrimental for the success of most anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      What the what?? How ignorant.
      You’re working with people drunk at work too?

      Just because it is decriminalized doesn’t mean more people will now use it.

      And it doesn’t mean people will smoke now before going to work! If you are working with stoners, that is a completely different thing and has nothing to do with this.
      Oh, what, now they’re going to be even more high?

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s ban sugar, alcohol and tobacco then?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ex User, but had the ‘opportunity’ to work with ganga users. Which is it? Hope you are still working and made the best of your work opportunity.

    • Anonymous says:

      What the what is right. Dont hate on weed by not talking about how detrimental those hard core drugs can be. Us caribbean people been hush hush about the white people in our workforce doing lines or popping pills. Left some white white n your nose there buddy. Sniff, sniffing! I see u with your glossy gaze. We see you.

  40. Anonymous says:

    That’s great to hear. But why not legalize, regulate and tax it? Canada have done a great job selling through the state, Cayman could do the same by distributing, implementing taxation and stronger punishments for those convicted of either supplying cannabis to minors, or of impairment while driving a motor vehicle. In addition, banning cannabis paraphernalia and marketing. This could be a great source of income for the government for a product that helps people, and people enjoy.

  41. Caymanian says:

    This is going to be a sh!t show to be honest.

    I am not even sure where to start on this.

    So, here are some numbers.

    158.8 millions people use ganja globally. That 3.8% of the planet’s population.
    Among 12 to 17 year olds 6.7% were current ganja users in 2007.

    Now on to some alarming stats.

    In 2005, 242k emergency room visits were related to ganja.

    According to the US DEA 40% of males arrested for a variety of criminal acts tested positive for ganja.

    Of adults 26 and older who used ganja before age 15, 62% went on to use cocaine and 9% went on to use heroin.

    Now let’s talk seriously.

    About me first. I am a proponent of Marijuana for medicinal purposes. Me personally, I would be open to making it easier for it to be available for this reason but would stop short of legalizing it until a full study can be done as to the effects on:

    1. Health Care Industry (Good and bad. What damages it could cause and how it could be put to good use.)
    2. Legal Industry (Criminal aspects)
    3. Business Industry (addressing legal aspects such as employment and business legal rights)
    4. Educational aspects (How this can and will affect youth and how this plays out in a global marketplace)
    5. Financial aspects (How to make money from this to reinvest into the associated cost)

    There are more aspects I am sure but I would like to see a 5 year study and plan put in place to determine if the pros truly outweigh the cons or reverse.

    I am almost to retirement and only would use this now medically. I say this for our children. Let’s think this through completely. Medical yes and now. This could be implemented quickly but legalization is a completely different ball game. Now we are asking for a sh!t show.

    • Al Catraz says:

      “According to the US DEA 40% of males arrested for a variety of criminal acts tested positive for ganja.

      Of adults 26 and older who used ganja before age 15, 62% went on to use cocaine and 9% went on to use heroin.”

      And how many of them drank Coca-Cola before committing crimes or using other drugs?

      Would you care to wager the numbers are even HIGHER for Coca-Cola?

      I will tell you something else that is very shocking.

      100% of criminals and 100% of hard drug users were breathing air before they went on to commit crimes and use hard drugs.

      We have to get them to stop breathing air before they move on to other things.

    • Anonymous says:

      he said decriminalisation not legalisation.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason that cannabis sometimes leads to use of stronger drugs is a simple one – it’s because it is illegal, and therefore sold by criminals. If alcohol was made illegal the same thing would happen. The criminals would sell booze and any other illegal drugs. Cannabis is not more harmful than alcohol and it really should never been made illegal in the first place. This is a step in the right direction.

    • Anonymous says:

      And in 2006, the number of emergency room visits for alcohol was 3,080,214 (vs 242k for ganja). Are you saying that alcohol should be be criminalised? There is large amount of peer related study material in relation to legalised cannabis. There is an overwhelming amount of data from Canada and from US states, pointing to the positive effects of legalisation. More studies are not needed. Action to legalise is instead, needed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Emergency room visits Hahahha

      What for? Pizza and burgers

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d love to see the reasons potheads ended up in hospital. I’m sure it’d be ate too much or thought you were never going to feel normal again or the good old heart racing when it’s not fear. Pot is harmless.

  42. Anonymous says:

    one small step for man…one giant leap for caymankind.
    well done pact and i detest them generally.
    but it is is too little too late…cayman has got the ability to be huge ganja producer/exporteer and benfit hugely from ganja tourism.
    if it it done right with proper controls there is nthing to be afriad of.
    usa is looking at legaliazing ganja at a federal level right now.

  43. Anonymous says:

    If you want to make a change create a ganga licence board like the liquor licence.
    Decriminalization is a bandaid solution as there is no where to legally cultivate it and the drug dealers will thrive the same

  44. Thank you Elvis! says:

    No Weed! No Vote!

  45. Anonymous says:

    It would be great to hear from the Minister of Finance as well on how all of these programs will be funded whilst achieving surpluses in 2022-24.

    • Anonymous says:

      Talk is cheap! Does this mean more young men and women will be harassing us in front of the supermarket asking for money to buy ” the proverbial piece o chicken or bus fare”. This PACk needs to come up with another pillar of economy but certainly not this way. This will not fly in Cayman- please do not get carried away with the likes and “good comments” you are mainly only hearing from your voters . Beware of the silent majority, those who voted and those who didn’t.

      • Anonymous says:

        Who said tbis was goibg to be another pillar of economy? Those people you are referring to exist all over the world! Give thanks it is not you!

        • Anonymous says:

          I give thanks every day, I am also not doing anything to make the situation worse. Those addicted need help to get sober and opening up the flood gates to legalize marijuana will Only cause more harm.

        • Anonymous says:

          Tax and spend. Who’s going to pay for it all after the $350 million COVID emergency loan funds get diverted and spent by PACT on unsustainable feel good handouts?

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Roy!

  46. Anonymous says:

    Decriminalisation of small personal amounts, and replacing that with a first offence public use fine (and it can be a big fine to help fund needed drug education and rehab programs) would be a good step. Past small-quantity criminal records should also be expunged. The counterpoint is that we need to appreciate that getting busted for publicly blazing dope in Cayman can’t be an easy task. You’d have to be pretty dense already, brazen, and try hard over a span of time. But kids can be dumb, and second chances are a good idea for those eager to show they can wisen up. For others, they will help fund the missing social services Cayman desperately needs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Decriminalize and allow personal use… stop fining and jailing people for doing something that’s less damaging to yourself than alcohol.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Are you implying that every person with a job doesnt smoke weed? Or Americans or Canadians or any other soveriegne country in the world?

  48. Anonymous says:

    Zero Caymanians will be employed as a result. You heard it here first.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Or hiring someone because they have a history of illegal activity is hardly the definition of “discrimination”.

  50. Anonymous says:

    What’s the hold up?

    • Anonymous says:

      I dunno cause I still gine suck on one fat Rizzla tonight anyway.

      Happy Friday

      • Anonymous says:

        Just this morning I was with a group who thought this government have been quite useless so far. I’m impressed with the list and hope we as a country can achieve these goals. Now get your calculators out and rethink your unattainable 80% vaccination rate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s hope many of the proposals are put into action.

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