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A Comic's View: Disappointed With Govt Over Bill On Marijuana

By INIGO ‘NAUGHTY’ ZENICAZELAYA

After a candid round or two (or three or or four or five) with several of my closest classmates from high school, the topic of the Marijuana Bill came up, along with several others that seem to have been bungled by the current administration.

One of my peers who’s been a devout Rastafarian for decades (yes, every Bahamian group of friends has their very own ‘Rasta’ in the crew, it’s a known fact) expressed his disillusionment with the present Marijuana Bill and the government’s lack of vision regarding it.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE

His plight made my mind run on to another of my good Rastafarian brethren, the royal ambassador for the Ethiopian African Black International Congress,

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Rithmond McKinney

Mr Rithmond McKinney, high priest of the local Rastafarian Bobo Shanti Tribe, who raised points of contention with the proposed law changes in the proposed Marijuana Bill.

“With the present government about to table the new Medical Cannabis Bill 2021, the injustices our communities have faced for over 50 years still exist. We are bluntly trampled on by this unclear repressive bill that’s not designed to benefit just the Rastafarian community, but the wider Bahamas,” McKinney recently stated in the press.

McKinney has long called for and lobbied publicly for the Rastafarian community to be a part of the marijuana industry when it finally becomes legal.

Citing that Rastafarians have suffered the most because of their open religious usage of marijuana.

McKinney also stated that he remains disappointed by the government’s delay in bringing the proposed bill to Parliament and the lack of movement on amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act 2021, that would allow for Rastafarians to freely smoke marijuana as a religious sacrament.

JUST A SUGGESTION

Now taking all of this into consideration, might I suggest that the local Rastafarian community take a page from the Rastafari Society of Kenya’s playbook and file a specific court case, petitioning to lift all the laws that criminalise marijuana in The Bahamas.

BACK TO AFRICA

The Rastafari Society of Kenya has filed a case in court seeking to lift the law criminalising the use of marijuana.

The society filed a petition this past May, seeking to be allowed to smoke marijuana as a religious process to connect with the “most high”.

The society is seeking to suspend implementation of Section 3 of the Narcotics Drugs Act as far as it involves the arrest, prosecution and conviction of its members for their spiritual and private growth and use of marijuana in their private homes or designated places of worship.

They claim the police continue to harass, intimidate, arrest and cause the prosecution, persecution and even imprisonment of their members for privately growing and using cannabis for spiritual purposes and for the sole purpose of connecting with the “Almighty Creator”.

“The impugned law which was enacted in the year 1994 is hostile and intolerant to persons professing the Rastafari faith yet we are in a new constitutional framework following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that is progressive and accommodative of diversity,” said lawyer Shadrack Wambui (Kenyans have great names) who represents TRSK.

Wambui says the use of marijuana is solely used in either “meditation” and “reasoning sessions” which are religious meetings that involve group meditation.

Eerily similar dilemmas in both nations and further proof that the current administration needs to revisit the present form of the Marijuana Bill and make the necessary beneficial additions before it’s passed, so that all Bahamians may benefit in one way, shape or form from the lucrative Marijuana and Hemp industries without fear of persecution or victimisation.

Please, Prime Minister Minnis don’t allow this to become yet another “special interest” monopoly.

It just might get you re-elected!

Comments

carltonr61 7 months, 1 week ago

About 46,000 casual users sees only the rich elite enslaving their recreation. Why gov is taking such a harch, needle eyed, narrowed and controlling stance with medical or nothing use boggles the pocket. I have never seen a government more hostile to citizens who placed them in power and openly friendly to monied interest than this one. Just like it's citizenry are chattel slaves needed only for usery. Bill is only in the interest of a racketeering five persons. Dangerous greedy mind disease to come up with a inhumane bill like that. Guess all Rastas are crying. Big boys dem see only their profits going up in smoke.

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Future 7 months, 1 week ago

They know that they are going to lose the election and so they want to destroy everything for the country and destroy everything for the people of the country and Secure stuffing their pockets before the election.

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John 7 months, 1 week ago

if you watch and see what is happening, you will know it is not the Minnis's government that drafted this bill bill, that not only excludes the Rastafarians, and local, ordinary Bahamians, but will send more Bahamians to prison for life or fine them out of existence. You cannot, on the one hand, say a substance has endless medical benefits, but on the other hand make harsh and unreal penalties for possessing it. If the penalties for marijuana posession was only applied to alcohol and places where it is sold and consumed. Amen.

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C2B 7 months, 1 week ago

Rastas sell weed as well as smoke. Anyone who doesn't admit this is fooling themselves. Legalization would dry up their market so they only want it legalized for themselves. In Colombia, Pharmacielo produces high quality, GMP certified cannabis, for 2 cents per gram; 2 CENTS PER GRAM. So just legalize it, import it, and save everyone money. Enough nonsense with religion and medicine; this is all recreational and that is the truth.

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