AG: Draft legal ganja laws completed

The Of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al has com­plet­ed draft­ing leg­is­la­tion for the de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of mar­i­jua­na.

At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi made the dis­clo­sure dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at his of­fice in Port-of-Spain, on Wednes­day.

Al-Rawi said he would now have to seek Cab­i­net’s ap­proval for the draft leg­is­la­tion be­fore it is tabled in Par­lia­ment and de­bat­ed.

He did not give time­line for com­plet­ing the process.

“I can­not be pre­sump­tive of what Cab­i­net would have to say but I am very pleased to say that af­ter sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and the amount of work we have done, we are on track for our com­mit­ments on this mat­ter,” Al-Rawi said.

While Al-Rawi did not di­vulge de­tails on the pro­vi­sions of the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion, he did re­veal that it would fea­ture de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion for pos­ses­sion of small amounts of mar­i­jua­na and reg­u­la­to­ry frame­work for pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­b­u­tion and con­sump­tion of med­ical mar­i­jua­na.

Al-Rawi al­so claimed that the leg­is­la­tion would seek to amend the Dan­ger­ous Drugs Act and food and bev­er­age reg­u­la­tions, which both cur­rent­ly crim­i­nalis­es pos­ses­sion of mar­i­jua­na.

Speak­ing on the is­sue in De­cem­ber, last year, Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley ini­tial­ly sug­gest­ed that the leg­is­la­tion would take ef­fect from June, this year.

Con­sid­er­ing that the phase the leg­is­la­tion is cur­rent­ly in, it is like­ly that the Gov­ern­ment would be able to stick to its dead­line and would have to com­plete the process, lat­er this year.

Gov­ern­ment’s move to in­tro­duce de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of mar­i­jua­na comes af­ter nu­mer­ous re­gion­al coun­tries ef­fect­ed same. Last year, Cari­com’s Re­gion­al Com­mis­sion on Mar­i­jua­na de­liv­ered a de­tailed re­port, in which it rec­om­mend­ed de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion in mem­ber states.

Reporter: Derek Achong

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