Action needed to get ganja law passed

| 07/01/2022 | 138 Comments
Cayman News Service
Dr Marc Lockhart (left) and Orrie Merren on Radio Cayman

(CNS): A group of local citizens say that if government does not address the pressing need to change the current legislation prohibiting the consumption of recreational ganja and decriminalise the use of the plant, then will they will get a petition together for a people’s referendum to present to Cabinet by June.

Local lawyer Orrie Merren, one of a small but committed group that includes Prentice Panton and Dr Marc Lockhart, told CNS recently that the time for action on this is now. But although they drafted comprehensive proposed legislation for the government, which has already said it is committed to decriminalising ganja, they have not heard anything from those who have the power to act.

A multitude of issues delayed the group’s efforts last year, including the local spread of COVID-19 which curtailed public gatherings, but Merren said that in 2022 there will be a renewed focus on collecting and collating signatures.

In order to trigger a people-initiated referendum, they must collect the signatures of 25% of the electorate. According to the latest electoral roll, published on 1 January, there are 23,596 registered voters, which means that the group must persuade around 5,900 verified voters to sign.

With the campaign now focused on the petition, they are collecting the sheets that are already circulating and getting everyone who wants to be involved working together. The group is confident that the public supports the decriminalisation of ganja and that there is little opposition now to this first step on the road towards a new industry for Cayman.

“With the start of the New Year we will soon be holding some public meetings, as we now need to recruit a lot of volunteers and get people involved in tasks suited to their talents so we can move this project forward,” Merren said.

“We haven’t heard from government, so we don’t know their perspective yet on the draft legislation that we sent as a courtesy last year, but we know that the deputy premier and others have said that there will be no need for a referendum,” he added.

But he said there is no longer any time to waste on this, so rather than waiting to see if, when and how government will act, Merren said he wanted to press on with the goal of a people’s referendum.

He also stressed that having a national vote will ensure that the public has their say on what will be a significant shift for Cayman, which currently has some of the most draconian laws in relation to ganja, given that even consumption is illegal.

“We have all been kicking the can down the road on this for a long time but now is the time for action,” Merren told CNS.

Panton, a local businessman, said they were now at the point where they needed to recruit an army of volunteers to help organise the petition and focus the campaign. He also noted the pressing need for changes to the law to stop criminalising people for using what is increasingly being shown as a very beneficial drug.

With more than 700 arrests over the last four years for possession of a small amount and consumption of ganja, too many Caymanians are being held back and changing the law will change their lives, Panton said.

He noted that the government spends millions of dollars locking people up for using ganja when down the line it could be a product that not only creates a new industry for Caymanians to develop but also a source of revenue for government.

Local psychiatrist Dr Lockhart pointed to the research and a developing body of evidence surrounding cannabis use and said that legalising it would provide the room for more evidence. It would also advance the use of the plant as a medicinal treatment, opening doors to different types of ganja suited to different ailments.

“Research has been held back because of the categorization of cannabis as an illegal drug. Decriminalizing it would expand the opportunities for treatment and fuel more research and evidence about how effective it is as a medicine,” he said.

Given that cannabis is far less dangerous than alcohol and less addictive than sugar or coffee, Dr Lockhart explained that society’s historical attitude towards cannabis has been misguided at best and we now need to create a safe legal environment for its use.

He said that far from causing mental health issues, there is increasing evidence that ganja can assist with certain types of psychosis and mental illnesses. Stressing the importance of legal research to help the medical community really understand the true potential of cannabis, he said a legal environment would improve access to specific types of medicinal cannabis and better quality.

“We need people to be able to access a consistently good specific product that meets their individual medical needs,” Dr Lockhart added.

“There are people I would like to prescribed medicinal cannabis to but they can’t afford it,” he said, noting that only CINICO and one private health insurance company are willing to cover medical cannabis at present, and even for those who can afford it, there are continual supply chain problems.

Anyone interested in helping the campaign can call or WhatsApp Orrie Merren at 916-4947.

To sign the petition visit a Liquor4Less or Reflections store.

See all three men on Radio Cayman’s Talk Today programme below:


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Category: Crime, Health, Laws, Medical, Politics

Comments (138)

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  1. Curious says:

    It’s difficult to support the above initiative when we still hear stories about crime being committed where drugs are a likely factor.

    XXX

    I still think that legalization causes more harm than good.

    CNS: I deleted the link as comments are closed to this story on CNS for a reason.

  2. Timothy Adam says:

    The discussion and commentary on this topic deserve to be done wisely, sensibly, and deliberately, far beyond and above a crossfire of opinions, perceptions, or prejudices.

    For our Government leaders, for the learned professionals leading this very important initiative, for the voting public, or for anyone else who wants to be intelligently informed about this topic, there is a wealth of advice, guidance and information produced by The Global Commission on Drug Policy created in January 2011 by a group of internationally known and respected leaders and luminaries from around the world, “including former Heads of State and Government wishing to inspire better drug policy globally.” https://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/

    The Commission’s Political Reports “focus on drug policy reform generally and provide recommendations to countries” in areas such as
    decriminalization;
    health and security;
    alternatives to incarceration for low-level people involved in the production, transport or selling of drugs;
    more intelligent measures against violent organizations;
    and policy innovations such as legal, regulated markets.

    Technical reports have included
    the intersection between the war on drugs and HIV/AIDS;
    drug control,
    public health and hepatitis C;
    and the lack of access to controlled medicines.

    “These reports seek to assist governments, international, regional and local organizations and journalists in a better understanding of the drug control system, and motivate humane and effective ways of reducing the harms caused by drugs and prohibition. Since 2011, the Global Commission has strongly advocated for a change in the international drug policy agenda, redirecting the conversation away from prohibition to a more balanced and purposeful discussion.”

    The Commission’s very readable Reports, founded upon solid evidence, data, and clear rationale, are available for download free of charge from:
    https://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/reports

    This Commission is no ordinary panel of “talking heads”. These are world leaders, thinkers and doers drawn from a wide cross-section of countries and competences. Commissioners include, for example:
    (Chair) Helen Clark; former Prime Minister of (New Zealand);
    (Founding Chair) Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of (Brazil);
    (former Chair) Ruth Dreifuss, former President of (Switzerland);
    (Honorary Chair) the late George Shultz, former Secretary of State (United States of America);
    Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of (Poland);
    Ricardo Lagos, former President of (Chile);
    Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of (South Africa);
    Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of (Nigeria);
    George Papandreou; former Prime Minister of (Greece);
    Michèle Pierre-Louis, former Prime Minister of (Haiti);
    José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, former Prime Minister and President of (Timor-Leste);
    the late Jorge Sampaio, former President of (Portugal);
    Juan Manuel Santos, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, former President of (Colombia);
    Cassam Uteem, former President of (Mauritius);
    César Gaviria, former President of (Colombia);
    Ernesto Zedillo, former President of (Mexico)
    the late Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve (United States of America);
    the late Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (Ghana);
    Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (Canada);
    Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, Co-founder of The Elders (United Kingdom);
    Pavel Bém, former Mayor of Prague (Czech Republic);
    Maria Livanos Cattaui, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce (Switzerland);
    Sir Nicholas Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister of the (United Kingdom);
    Mohamed ElBaradei, former Director General Emeritus of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, former interim Vice-President of (Egypt);
    the late Carlos Fuentes, Writer and Public Intellectual (Mexico);
    Geoff Gallop, former Premier of Western (Australia);
    Anand Grover, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Senior Advocate to the Supreme Court of (India);
    the late Thorvald Stoltenberg (1931-2018), former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Norway);
    the late John C. Whitehead, Banker and Civil Servant, Chair of the World Trade Center Memorial (United States of America).

    If you care about national policies regarding drugs, be intelligently informed. These Reports are excellent, well-thought-out resources to enable that.

    • An ex User says:

      Being well-known, or being touted as such, does not make anyone straight-forward nor honest. Keep in mind that certain businesses will make millions of dollars if ganja is legalized as a “good” drug. Many people will become millionaires in the selling of this new “miracle” drug, but there will still be certain people who will not care what happens as long as they can rake in the cash from the sales, no matter the consequences. What happens when you use ganja? Well…. it makes you feel a little light-headed and uncaring about most anything that comes up. It makes you happy along with being unconcerned about most anything you can think of…. if you can think at all. Some people become addicted to it, just like alcohol… some don’t. Most users deny the dark side of their drug use. Do you?

    • Orrie Merren says:

      Thank you kindly, Mr. Adam. Your input is greatly appreciated and has not fallen on deaf ears.

      I will be sure to read through the content on the links that you’ve shared.

      And, if you would like to discuss more, please feel free to reach out to me directly at 916-4947.

      Blessings,
      Orrie 🙏🏻🇰🇾

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m not a weed smoker but it’s better to focus on the real hard drugs like cociane etc, plus weed only creat more criminals if they’re unable to find work, it stairs them to a life of crime to survive!! BRACKA.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yep let’s everyone have access to pot. That will fix this. Question: by smoking weed you spend less money on a) alcohol b) spikey wheel nuts c) dominoes (the game not pizza although spending less on pizza might help the growing obesity issue) d) car stereo and silly loud subwoofer d) 6 sizes too big pants to hang round ya ass. Answers on a postcard please

  5. aspiring greenthumb says:

    Im all for a referendum but I hope the voters are educated on the facts first. As clearly indicated by some of the comments here, there’s so much ignorant stigma from all the misinformation that needs to be addressed so that people can vote from an informed perspective.

  6. Dr. Clement von Kirchenheim says:

    I have been a Psychologist in the Cayman Islands for the past 31 years.
    I have an interest in research and have read extensively in this area. Including findings from across the world, such as Portugal, for the long-term cost/benefits effects and outcomes.
    I fully support this initiative.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because……?

    • Anonymous says:

      Then you’ll know about the horrific increase in drug use, people driving under the influence and episodes of psychosis.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Dr Clem for supporting this initiative! I also support it.
      Sheredan Coulburn

    • Orrie Merren says:

      Thank you kindly, Dr. von Kirchenheim. I’m very grateful for your perspective being shared, particularly from the perspective of a Psychologist.

      If you would like to engage in further dialogue or, perhaps, further contribute publicly or privately (in any way), please feel free to contact me at 916-4947.

      Blessings,
      Orrie 🙏🏻🇰🇾

  7. Anonymous says:

    What’s next…casinos and strip clubs?

    • BLVCKLISTED says:

      God forbid adults enjoy their hard earned money in ways they choose that don’t affect other people in any way…

      • Anonymous says:

        But it does affect other people. If my ex husband didn’t waste his life/money being high all the time and took care of his family and could keep a job we would still be married and his children would respect him. Instead he continues to choose to smoke weed abd do nothing much but the bare minimum. So yes it affects other people. His children.

    • Anonymous says:

      One can only hope and pray – so boring here..

    • Anonymous says:

      Ban booze and you may have half a leg to stand on

    • Anonymous says:

      Both exist already along with access to ganja.
      On occasion, you can procure all three with one call!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, they do. I know a lot of weed smokers that are women beaters too.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It would be a better use of RCIPS and court resources to arrest and convict the child molestors, the rapists and those assaulting women and spiking their drinks.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Please could each of Mr Merren and Dr Lockhart confirm he has no commercial interest in this. Then I’ll start to listen to them.

  11. Anonymous says:

    There is no “pressing need” at all. Cannabis is a dangerous psychotic drug which should remain illegal. Stop pretending it’s as harmless as tobacco.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop pretending tobacco is more harmless than pot. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop watching Reefer Madness, it’s old an no longer relevant.

    • Anonymous says:

      And there you have it: name-calling and the usual shrill, sneery, hysterical, know-all online nonsense. Not a single cogent argument in sight from the pro cannabis lobby.

      Until a few years ago, smoking was a bad thing; but apparently not now, provided it’s cannabis you’re wrecking your lungs with and not tobacco. Then it’s good for you. In fact it’s medicinal.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The CBD alone doesn’t cure anything, only offer a temporary relief. Use the whole plant to fight against all covid related illnesses and all other diseases.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yse home grown cabanis for all diseases especially cancer.

  14. Orrie Merren says:

    Thank you CNS. God bless the Cayman Islands and, most importantly, our precious people.

    Blessings,
    Orrie 🙏🏻🇰🇾

    • Anonymous says:

      Trying to understand how your expression “God bless the Cayman Islands” has anything to do with the promotion of decriminalizing ganga. A close family member is suffering from a mental illness diagnosis said to have been caused by smoking a bad batch that was laced.

      Addiction is heartbreaking and can happen to anyone, unfortunately there’s no crystal ball saying who will be effected by it until it’s too late.
      It started off as recreational.

      • Timothy Adam says:

        This case of your family member is sad and upsetting to hear. Avoiding repetition of the very harmful situation of your family member is one of the very compelling reasons why we MUST find much better solutions than the current prohibitions of ganja.

        How many more of the sad tales of harmed loved ones will we have to endure before we realize that as a nation, we really can do better than this?

        Do you realize the underlying scenario WHY “a bad batch that was laced” made it into the hands of your close family member?
        It’s most likely for the same reasons why dangerous “moonshine” was produced and consumed during alcohol prohibition in the USA and why “between 1920 and 1933 tens of thousands [of people in the USA] suffered paralysis or blindness through the consumption of homemade hooch”: during prohibition a substantially large demand existed with no legal means of supply; no regulation; no quality control, or safety control; little to no accountability for the contaminated product.

        Prohibition all too often makes the victims of illegal drug contamination end up being considered and treated as criminals instead of patients needing health care services and humane treatment. By definition, prohibition means the suppliers are likely already criminals of a higher order and it makes harmed users fearful of identifying the higher-order criminal they purchased the contaminated product from. So, on and on this never-ending damaging cycle of nonsense goes.

        If ganja were to be decriminalized and properly regulated as for alcohol and tobacco products:
        (a) There would be a legitimate supply chain; so that
        (b) The retailers, distributors, and producers would all be much more easily identified and held accountable; and so that
        (c) There can then be properly regulated quality controls, independent testing labs, etc. to ensure that ganja products sold here do not contain other drugs or pesticides etc.

        That is very unlike the sad situation that you described occurring nowadays. As you described, contamination and injury scenarios occur here where there is only prohibition, rather than regulation; and therefore there is typically no identification of the retailer or distributor or producer; no systematic quality control or product safety control in place; no liability for the provider of contaminated products; little to no accountability up the supply chain. And criminal enterprises continue to reap all the profits.

        Is that dangerous and fundamentally flawed system really what you want to perpetuate?

        As expressed in the 2021 report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy:
        ‘In terms of crime and public health, international prohibition leaves drug markets occupying the worst of both worlds: organized criminal groups reap all the profits, while consumers are left navigating criminalized and stigmatized markets where they risk purchasing impure, adulterated substances that can cause serious health consequences.’

        There is a better way.
        ‘The Global Commission argues that options for legal regulation should be explored for all psychoactive
        substances. Regulation means not only protecting the health and safety of the end-consumer, but also creating a supply chain with strict controls for potency, quality and access. Regulation ultimately requires the boldness to build a world that does not yet exist.’
        In its 2018 report Regulation: The Responsible Control of Drugs, the Global Commission proposed ‘a regulation model – a system of rules for governing the production, supply and use of drugs: “Regulation brings state control into a market sphere where there was none. It establishes a clearly defined role for enforcement agencies in policing compliance in any new regulatory framework.”’

      • Orrie Merren says:

        I’m very sorry to hear about your family member, who is suffering from mental illness.

        The aim that this initiative is seeking to promote is the exact opposite of what occurred.

        Quality control is extremely important and can help fight against such type of occurrences.

        I expressed, inter alia, “God bless the Cayman Islands”, because I am a Christian and a Caymanian patriot, who wants the very best for society (both Caymanian and residents as well as the world at large).

        If you would like to have direct dialogue, please feel free to reach out to me at 916-4947. I am very happy to engage in respectful and constructive dialogue at a mutually convenient time. I truly mean this.

        Our intentions are pure and I am certainly more than happy to discuss things further with you, regardless of where your views may lie. All views are important and all lives matter.

        It’s important, especially in any democratic society, for everyone to have the opportunity to ventilate their views and exercise their freedom of expression.

        I will be praying for you and your family, particularly the close family member that was mentioned.

        God bless,
        Orrie 🙏🏻🇰🇾

  15. Anonymous says:

    So this is about not criminalising young Camanians who might then not get a job? Has anybody thought about the education system that fails a significant number of young Camanians? Parenting skills? Supporting those with educational needs? No – let’s just add to the entitlement positive discrimination brings. Then we can have uneducated pot heads in senior positions – and if we call them ‘acting’ we don’t have to worry about them not actually having the qualifications to do the job! What could possibly go wrong 😑

  16. Anonymous says:

    good luck with that…
    we live in place where you can’t buy groceries on a sunday.
    welcome to wonderland.

    • Anonymous says:

      08/01/2022 at 9:28 pm that is not true!
      You CAN buy groceries on a Sunday. And booze, in case you’re wondering.

      There are several grocery stores open on Sundays: from Chisholm’s Grocery in North Side and Shop Right in East End (Health City area) all the way to several community grocery stores in West Bay, and a new Shop Right recently opened in The Grove off Esterley Tibbetts Highway. Plus, McRuss (Eastern Avenue in George Town) is open 24×7.

      Get your facts straight before you come with your snarkiness about how we “run tings” in Cayman!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Will need the referendum to insure persons can grow their own. Decriminalization and legal to consume will incentivize more drug boats. Local production will improve removing the need to buy cheaply from Jam

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no scenario that displaces the narco empires in Jamaica, Guyana, Colombia, Bolivia, Honduras, Cuba, Haiti, or the Cayman Islands. They aren’t going anywhere and won’t be rolling over and surrendering 50 years of hard fought market share. In Canada, the illegal growops are flourishing from undercutting licensed suppliers by half. No QC, and selling candy drugs that aren’t even derived from weed or THC/CBD. There are no seals of provenance. It’s a gift from heaven for them.

      • High time we did this says:

        In Ontario, every household can grow three plants for their own use – seems like enough for me.

    • achildofbGod says:

      yep from Jamaica and tuey mix it with the wrong thing your doomed for life… an invalid ya be
      l prefer to ship from the origin of it INDIA

  18. Anonymous says:

    Like many, I have enjoyed the odd silly recreational toot in the past with close friends, but I feel sorry for those that put this anywhere near the top urgent of their adult and family priority lists right now. Good grief, we are in a global pandemic with supply chain issues and empty store shelves and we need to drop everything and legalize weed? Really? How will that help?

    • Anonymous says:

      False dilemma. Everything doesn’t need to be dropped to deal with the decriminalisation/legalisation of weed. In fact doing so should free up more resources to deal with other more important things. That’s kind of the whole point; the disproportionate use of scarce resources on the war on drugs that serves little to no purpose other than criminalising otherwise good kids and keeping gangsters rich.

    • Al Catraz says:

      Why would anyone need to “drop everything”. Pretty sure it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.

      Are they making rum cakes at Tortuga? How is that helping the pandemic?

      Are the bars open? Are they “helping” anything?

  19. Anonymous says:

    BIG mistake to decriminalise ganja. Now you’ll see the crime rate sore and traffic accidents rise. Why do you think it’s illegal in the U.K.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a class c drug in England you might get a ticket that’s it

    • Johnny Canuck says:

      Canada decriminalized ganja a number of years ago and the crime rate did not sore nor did traffic accidents rise. The Canadian police and judicial system spent more time going after more serious drug dealers and related problems.

      The Canadian Police Association last year said that there was no relationship between crime and ganja since ganja was legalized. It is also important to note that in the Canadian election a few months ago, ganja legalization was a non issue unlike the Canadian ban on assault rifles issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Uk about to do the same look it up. It’s coming can’t stop it like the same sex marriage.

    • Think says:

      There is no scientific research that suggests that crime will increase based on marijuana use. The prohibition against marijuana use is directly related to the financial backing of Alcohol and Tobacco entrenched criminal businesses that are protecting their turf. People have been smoking ganja for thousands of years without the effects when compared to alcohol and Tobacco, but the criminal gang of businessmen in suits and ties who can buy out governments will have you locked up to protect their turf. These are the people who should be locked up. Think! They allow Tobacco to be sold although it’s known to cause cancer! Don’t mention the cost to the public for medical treatments both here and abroad. They don’t care about your health. Don’t be fooled. Just think about it and ask why.

      • Anonymous says:

        “The prohibition against marijuana use is directly related to the financial backing of Alcohol and Tobacco”
        This is categorically false.

        Hemp was banned and demonized (with loads of propaganda videos) in the 30’s in the USA because of the cotton growers (BIG money) lobbyists.

        Top lesson for today: Hemp as a commodity was a far superior crop to cotton and they were going to lose the market share to the hemp growers. It was stronger, grew quicker, easier AND cheaper to turn a crop over and not as hard on the labor force.
        Do your research if you don’t believe me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the UK is the world biggest exporter of weed. Engage your brain it’s all about money

    • Ernie says:

      It’s illegal in the UK? No-one seems to think so.

  20. No frills says:

    Rumour has it those parties have super special interest and none are our health nor freedom. Legal weed means more marginalized cayman people believe it or not brother…think.

    Please dont be fooled. Its nothing good for everyday/medicinal smokers or passionate activist to gain here. Arent you smoking it already? Just dont get caught simple!

    Otherwise if you blind folks make them capitalize then you wont even have that jamaican junk to smoke on trust that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Want better quality at better prices

    • Anonymous says:

      It also means, those already reluctant to find work, or show up for work, will take refuge in the cool, irie everyting goin’ be alright soon come web of false security gifted by ganja.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Change people’s lives my a$$. You want to do that get the charlatans that push alcohol, marijuana or any other mind altering substance to pay for the true costs of the lives ruined by addiction.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Today’s UK Daily Mail is reporting a horrifying rise in psychotic episodes associated with cannabis use.
    Why on earth would you expose your youth to this tide of mental illness.

    Parents are warned cannabis can ‘induce schizophrenia-like psychosis’

    • Daily Male says:

      It should be legalized so that its purity could be verified. It is well known that ganja is being mixed with other chemicals that could impact mental health. You wouldn’t want someone to mess with your Scotch, would you. Just remember that coincidence does not mean causation. The rise in mental health issues could be attributed to a large number of coincidental factors that may not be immediately apparent.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you believe everything the main screen media says?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Most truck drivers smoke weed.
    Why aren’t they tested regularly as taxi drivers are??

  24. Anonymous says:

    Plus we would get decent product and not that nasty stuff they import here.
    People here would be surprised about how many folks use here. Tax it and use the money towards education.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Legalize It! Yeah…. and I will advertise it! – RIP Peter Tosb

  26. Anonymous says:

    Home grown cannabis is God’s medicine if used correctly.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I would assume you would not be able to show up stoned at work anymore than you are allowed to show up drunk. Consequences would be part of the work contract.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Allow cultivation of 5 or less plants per person and create a local medical medical marijuana producer to purchase from the backyard farmers so everyone can get the benefit and not have to visit Mr Panton’s weed cafe and pay inflated prices

    • achildofGod says:

      hehehe You got comedy for real…i like it
      its your xhoice to choose what you want in life as many do have choices.. CHOOSE

  29. Anonymous says:

    The current importers, dealers and their bosses aren’t going to be very happy. It’ll be very interesting to see which politicians oppose it!

    • Anonymous says:

      If voter-initiated referendum is triggered and passed, MPs will be obligated to enact cannabis legislation as mandated by registered voters.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is certainly one politician who will be approached by his former business associates , to make their feelings known.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are the enthusiastic backers. Full decriminalization and production would effectively legitimize all the dark economy money laundering back to Jamaican, Guyanese, and Colombian handlers. They’d finally be able to open and maintain bank accounts and come out of the shadows. More negative publicity, blacklisting excuses, and unintended consequences to Fund/Finance Industry we don’t need. Decriminalizing small recreational possession with a speeding ticket would be on par to Jamaica and progressive in context of surrounding region. That would be enough to expunge and revitalize the career ambitions for any kids with experimental misdemeanor pasts.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Rubbish.

  31. Anon says:

    Put it to a referendum.
    Ganja is destroying other countries and thankfully was excluded here as much as possible..til now.
    But today the local and imported ignoramusses just want to get high.

    • Joe says:

      Destroying other countries? Lmao you sound like you ain’t been on a plane other than to go to the Brac in about 10 years. Open your old eyes and stop living in the past clown.

    • Anonymous says:

      The ignoramus is the dummy who wants to keep the importation, supply and money laundering in the hands of violent criminal gangs.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is modern medicine my friend, if you don’t like it that’s fine, but you have no right to interfere with anyone else’s right to live the life they desire.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s only medicine when under the control of scientists, not backyard Bobo’s without a basic education.
        Take a look around the world at the mental health issues exploding in countries that have legalised cannabis.
        You really must be delusional if you think it won’t happen here.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s mess up the Philippines too.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please…. a lot of locals in Phillippines are functioning crack users and use other hard drugs from a young age. How in the world did cannabis ruin that country?

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      In other verifiable news, entire countries and a few U.S. states have benefitted greatly by excluding the rough drug trade and taxing and packaging ganja.

      Let us look at Colorado, since it has six years under its belt: https://news.medicalmarijuanainc.com/colorado-after-legalization-statistics-what-they-mean/

      Billions of dollars into the state coffers, which would have otherwise have gone to dealers and other foreign interests. Millions to state projects, with a focus on education. Colorado is now a mecca for the VA — Veteran’s Administration, as it is now fully funded and vets in the area actually get what they are due.

      Crime rates in Colorado down. Opioid use down. TEEN use down (that one actually surprised me). Jobs increased due to the sifting, sorting and sales. Jobs for the elderly created (why not hand-sift some ganja while watching the afternoon telly).

      It doesn’t change anything. People that want to use it, will continue. Those that don’t, won’t. With an change in laws, the government — and ALL of us — will benefit.

      If you believe in the truth, have a look at the link. You have to ask yourself, do you want the best for your people, or would you rather they be persecuted for using a natural plant.

      Genesis 1:30 – And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I’ll sign petition and referendum! Let’s get it on!

  33. Anonymous says:

    They will easily get way more than the required 5,900 verified voters to sign. The government needs to act now. With all of the emerging COVID related mental health challenges herb might well be the healing of the nation.

  34. Anonymous says:

    More than 700 arrests in 4 years…unreal…waste of time and resources…maybe we wouldn’t have women getting beat up and shootings all the time if we could allocate our resources more efficiently.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. Resources need to be redirected towards the real serious criminals.

    • Anonymous says:

      True..but that is a sentencing / Decriminalization issue.
      Don’t confuse it with Legalization..which will create even more morons.

  35. Anonymous says:

    10000%

  36. Anonymous says:

    Its available for medical use. What else do these guys want to do. Make it ok for it to be used in a public scene. Im not sure what this is going to do but clear people’s criminal records. They are already using it anyway. Decriminalization will just make it so they can get away with being stoned at work. I would hope that its still criminal to drive stoned or show up to work stoned. Thats all its gonna do.

    • Orrie Merren says:

      Good points, which I will seek to address, as follows:

      The Petition for a Cayman Cannabis Referendum is two-fold:

      (1) Decriminalisation of personal use cannabis by adults (not children) in private (specifically possession, consumption and cultivation on private premises); and

      (2) Broadening existing medical cannabis legislation to allow for a Cannabis Licensing Authority to issue licenses exclusively to Caymanian owned and controlled businesses (for, inter alia, domestic cultivation and cannabinoid extraction, as well as research and product development, and exportation to lawfully authorized jurisdictions).

      A few other points, which were made, that should be addressed are as follows:

      (1) Public use of cannabis is not being advocated. Rather, if up to 2 ounces are in possession in public, it will be seized and a fine issued. In addition, mandatory drug treatment, education and awareness programs. The aim is to keep use out of the public.

      (2) Criminal records, which are purely for personal use, are to be expunged.

      (3) Unless a medical cannabis product, which is lawfully prescribed by a medical doctor and dispensed by a pharmacy is being used as prescribed to treat an medical condition (e.g. epilepsy), there should be no use of cannabis at work. Just the same as consuming alcohol at work is unacceptable.

      (4) Driving under the influence, although it happens, is something that is being addressed as well. This is a major issue that is being addressed.

      (5) It should also be noted that, where high or psychoactive effects (such as by tetrahydrocannabinol: i.e. THC) are experienced, for example, by prescribed medical cannabis products (and cannabis generally), the can be reduced and reversed by cannabinol (CBD).

      (6) Protection of children is a priority. If children are caught with cannabis, drug rehabilitation, treatment, therapy, and drug education would be mandatory. The human brain does not stop developing until age 25. So, we don’t advocate that children use cannabis earlier, unless required for medical purposes.

      There will be more public education and invitation for public input on various issues.

      Thank you for providing some input on your concerns, which, after full public education is complete, should address and allay fears.

      There has been over a half-decade of legal, medical and other research and experience from other sectors that has gone into addressing issues and producing draft legislation (some of which has been made public, some of which has not be made public yet).

      • Orrie Merren says:

        Sorry, meant to say “cannabidiol” not “cannabinol”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Orrie Merren et al – I’m 100% behind your efforts. BUT, please DO NOT promote the legalization of cannabis edibles in any form! The facts that there is to way to confirm the amount of cannabis in such products and the strong likelihood that such products can be more easily marketed to minors, make edibles incredibly dangerous!!

        Please EXCLUDE cannabis edibles from your de-criminalization efforts!

        Remember our children!!

    • Anon says:

      Legalising pot is not a pass for being stoned at work, in the same way legal alcohol is not pass for being drunk at work.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      If we choose to not reinvent the wheel and mirror successful places like Colorado, people are not allowed to imbibe in anyplace except their private homes. Public use is a misdemeanour.

      Further, there have been for several years, a roadside ganja sobriety test, with five nanograms being the legal limit. It’s already been done and taken care of Sir. It is often useful to look first and ask questions before making accusations.

      Likewise, businesses utilise similar laws regarding being high at work as being drunk at work, and the machine that measures the concentration is affordable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you show up to work drunk? I assume not, therefore, why assume that people would show up to work high?

    • Anonymous says:

      If someone is going to work high, they will likely be fired, regardless if it’s decriminalized or not. Same applies for if you showed up to work drunk, so i wouldn’t worry about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Show up stoned at work and you’ll get fired, same as if you showed up drunk. This really the best you got?

    • Anonymous says:

      The legal route is $140 a dose which lasts 3-4 nights max

      It’s far cheaper to buy from an illegal dealer in cayman, I would grow my own, organically

  37. Anonymous says:

    As long as the traffic law is updated to include roadside drug testing. Driving will impaired on weed or alcohol is still driving while impaired. It been in Australia for years and and is used in the UK more and more.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not that I condone DUI, but I can empirically say that I definitely drive slower and less aggressively while high. I also don’t feel impaired in the sense that I can’t brake or stay in my own lane.

      In comparison, after a few drinks I’ll do 20 mph over the limit and blow through roundabouts without a worry.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Agree 100% We need to decriminalise the use, supply and growth of ganja and start a whole new revenue stream for the country, as well as assiting those who need it for medicinal purposes

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said.

    • Anonymous says:

      Medicinal needs, absolutely.
      Others, suggest you look at how well that worked in Amsterdam , a haven for dregs whose addictions were launched by the starter drug, Marijuana.

      • Orrie Merren says:

        Cannabis is not a “gateway” drug, but alcohol certainly is.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ask the weed smokers about that or their mothers. Weed is the gateway drug. There are more important things to fight for right now: Women being able to walk the streets without being assaulted, children not being molested by family and friends, the pandemic, jobs for our jobless, homes for every Caymanian and foreigners not being able to buy property sight unseen (competing against our locals to buy a home).

      • Anonymous says:

        The 1980s are calling, they’d like theirs uber successful war on drugs scare tactics back.

      • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

        You may disagree with the lifestyle in Amsterdam, and that is your right to do so.

        However, they enjoy one of the world’s largest and most successful economies and lowered crime rate in the world.https://www.easyexpat.com/en/guides/netherlands/amsterdam/overview/economy.htm

        Sex and drugs are controlled, but not suppressed there. I am not suggesting this model for the Cayman Islands, only countering your claim that their progressive stance has been a detriment to the people.

      • Anonymous says:

        But have you been there? Guess not…

      • Anonymous says:

        Alcohol is the starter drug.Not grass.are you willing to get rid of it also.

        • Anonymous says:

          If alcohol was invented/discovered today and not thousands of years ago, it would be banned too. An extremely dangerous drug when consumed wrongly to excess.

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