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Wednesday 22 January 2020
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President declares ganja bill law, takes effect Monday

President Paula-Mae Weekes. - Elliot Francois
President Paula-Mae Weekes. - Elliot Francois

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act is now law but it will take effect on Monday, as President Paula-Mae Weekes proclaimed the legislation on Friday.

On Friday, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the President had given assent to the bill but would proclaim it as law on Monday. However, the President signed the proclamation on Friday.

On Saturday, the Office of the Parliament released the proclamation.

It stated: “And whereas it is expedient that the Act come into effect from 23rd December, 2019: Now, therefore, I, Paula-Mae Weekes, President as aforesaid, do hereby fix the 23rd day of December, 2019, as the date on which the Act shall come into operation. Given under my hand and the Seal of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago at the Office of the President, St Ann’s, this 20th day of December, 2019.”

From Monday, adults can have in their possession up to 30 grammes of marijuana and each adult in every home can own up to four plants. They are not allowed to smoke marijuana in a public place and or while operating a vehicle.

The bill on the decriminalisation of small amounts of marijuana was passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, the Senate did not debate the Cannabis Control Bill (to regulate the business of cannabis) as the House sent this to a joint select committee. The committee will report to Parliament in February.

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