Chairman of the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Dr Terrance Drew said recent amendment to the Drugs Act was a feeble attempt to respond to an order from the High Court that persons have a constitutional right to use small amounts of cannabis in the privacy of their homes.
“If there was no order from the court, all of the talk and the hype that this Team Unity government has created about changing its attitude towards marijuana would mean nothing,” said Dr Drew on Tuesday night’s Ask the Leader on Kyss 102.5 FM.
Dr Drew told listeners that the Drugs Amendment Bill 2019 “does not decriminalise anything. Again, (Prime Minister) Timothy Harris continues to try to mislead people and he doesn’t care that in misleading individuals he may cause someone to go to jail.
“The government has no intention of changing the status quo. Harris has already given his personal views about marijuana use. He has already insulted and disrespected the Rastafarian community. His views are the views of his government. He is against it. What transpired in Parliament is a clear indication that this government intends to maintain the status quo,” said Dr Drew, who further pointed out that despite the amendment, the Bill states very clearly that penalties will be meted out for persons who violate the law by being in possession of 15 grams or less (the penalty for carrying more would be more severe) and are caught smoking in certain areas.
He pointed out that although the Bill has been passed persons who are sitting in prison and will still have to serve out their time. There is no expungement of records or any release of persons who are currently serving time for possession for which this is their only offense.
“The Team Unity Government only rushed to parliament because a judge gave them a deadline to change the laws to respect the religious and human rights of the Rastafarian community. The Team Unity Government was never serious about the decriminalisation of marijuana,” Dr Drew said