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House: cannabis decriminalisation passes

A Bill to decriminalise small quantities of cannabis was passed in the House of Assembly last night.

The Misuse of Drugs (Decriminalisation of Cannabis) Amendment Act, tabled by Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Social Development and Sport, was designed to decriminalise possession of less than 7 grammes of cannabis.

But police will still be able to seize any amount of cannabis.

The minister will also draw up regulations for substance abuse education or treatment for those caught with the drug.

A similar Bill was debated and approved by the House of Assembly in May, but the legislation never reached the Senate because of the General Election.

Both Bills aimed to decriminalise possession of less than 7 grammes.

But the latest specifies that the Director of Public Prosecutions can still proceed with charges if there is evidence the drugs were intended for supply.

The Health Insurance Amendment Act 2017 and the Price Commission Amendment Act 2017 were also passed.

In addition, consideration of the Constitution of Bermuda (Constituency Boundaries) Order 2017 was approved.