Cannabis legislation a step too far
I write reference the recent legislation on cannabis. While not disagreeing with the decriminalisation of this product, this should be looked on as an act of compassion to people who have made a mistake. It doesn’t make cannabis any less a narcotic. Or any less dangerous. While agreeing that under supervision it may have medicinal benefits, to bring about legalising this drug on the grounds that it is an entrepreneurial opportunity is really a step too far.
There is a saying, “beware the law of unintended consequences”. By the nature of the law, no one can predict what these will be. But we still have a law under the Road Traffic Act that makes it an offence to drive under the influence of drink or drug. Cannabis is a residual drug. Its effects don’t cease when you put out the joint. As with alcohol, it takes time to clear the system.
Likewise, as a relaxant, it is dangerous around machinery. How will businesses that have a drug-free workplace policy work this one out. Suspensions? Sackings? Union confrontation?
Legalisation suggests approval of use. Even though cigarettes are not supposed to be sold to minors, smoking of cigarettes is common among students. Likewise, cannabis will be available to them. An entrepreneur, by nature of the term, is an active business person. They will want to market their product. And the social scene is their market. I suspect a blind eye will be turned to age.
I notice, too, the comment by a government minister, in defence of this action, plays the race card again. Sad. As a White Bermudian, let me tell you that cannabis use is a biracial activity. Full stop.
I would request the Government pause with the practical introduction of this Bill. Perhaps start with the decriminalisation aspect, then go forward slowly. It’s a bit like bungee jumping. Once you jump, there is no way back. The vote in the House suggests there is still a degree of unhappiness about this piece of legislation, both politically and in the general public.
To say that cannabis is a dangerous drug that should not be abused, and then license persons to produce and sell it to the public for profit, is nothing more than self-flagellation. Which brings us back to the law mentioned above.