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Renewed call for progress on cannabis legalisation

A pressure group has called on the Government to make progress on cannabis reform despite an impasse with the British Government over legalising the drug on the island for regulated use.

Social Justice Bermuda, a collective that formed in 2020 out of the global Black Lives Matter movement, highlighted police cases involving the drug, saying its “quasi-legal status” meant people involved in the trade of cannabis were resorting to violence to resolve conflicts.

Cannabis remains illegal in Bermuda, but the Misuse of Drugs (Decriminalisation of Cannabis) Amendment Act 2017 rendered it no longer a criminal offence for people to be in possession of up to seven grams of cannabis for personal use.

However, the Bermuda Cannabis Licensing Act 2022, passed by legislators, ran afoul of Britain’s obligations under the United Nations Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971.

SJB said that “any subsequent progress in this election platform initiative’s implementation has been inadequately communicated with the public”.

The group said the Government had recourse to passing cannabis reform through use of a statutory instrument under negative resolution in Parliament.

SJB said confusion over the drug’s status had led to unequal treatment of importers of legal cannabinoid products, with some having products seized while others were free for sale.

“We would like to make the Government aware that the situation is now and has always been untenable and should be rectified immediately.

“It is crucial that Bermuda introduces a safe and accessible cannabis market for all, especially those most impacted by cannabis prohibition.”

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Published February 23, 2024 at 7:51 am (Updated February 23, 2024 at 7:51 am)

Renewed call for progress on cannabis legalisation

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