THE EDITOR: In a daily newspaper dated 15th October, there was an article about this country’s first ever National Cannabis Rally hosted by All Mansions of Rastafari to decriminalize marijuana. My letter is not about the rally or if marijuana should be legalized.
It is about the linkage of crime and justice to marijuana legalization as per two politicians’ comments. In this article, Minister Hinds commented, “The jail is overpopulated with young men who would have been found with a small amount of marijuana. It is really unproductive.”
Also stated by Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah, “The criminal justice system is stacked up against thousands of our young people who sometimes are on remand for small quantities of marijuana. That really does make no sense whatsoever.”
Make no mistake Mr Politician, many of these men are not in prison because of handling or using marijuana. They are on remand or in prison because they broke the law. Even if marijuana is decriminalized, many of these men and I am not saying all, will continue to break the law by committing other crimes.
It is a mindset that needs to change. One that should be changed in a rehabilitative environment. Some of these men, some of whom belong in gangs, must prove their allegiance by constantly breaking the law to gain more wealth, prestige and power for their gang. I am certain that many of these men who are now in remand or in prison have very little knowledge or do not even care about the religious or medicinal values of marijuana.