Senator on cannabis law: 'If we don’t do anything, it is the worst thing we can do'
The Government’s unsuccessful venture to bring a regulated cannabis industry to Bermuda was backed by Progressive Labour Party senators but defied by the independent and Opposition members. A selection of quotes follows.
Joan Dillas-Wright, Senate President:
I have a major concern about our young people, our children, and so I will say to you while I appreciate what the Government would like to do with this bill today, the Cannabis Licensing Act, is about creating another pillar in this island and not speaking about the possible deleterious effects.
Michelle Simmons, Senate Vice-President:
Is it a drug that we should advise people not to use, since it causes both physical and mental impairment?
Ernest Peets, Government Senate Leader:
I have not met a single drug dealer who does not deal drugs simply for the money … they do not care about the product and what it’s doing to their customers.
Owen Darrell, Government senator:
There are young men in this country who have used small amounts of cannabis, get caught, are sent to jail, paid their debt to society – only to enter society with more shackles on then when they were incarcerated.
Arianna Hodgson, Government senator:
If you don’t use it, it’s not because it is illegal; it is because you don’t want to.
Curtis Richardson, Government senator:
If we don’t do anything, it is the worst thing we can do. This Government is acting on what has been asked and is responding responsibly.
John Wight, independent senator:
Reconsider this bill and prioritise the science and health of our community above all else.
Ben Smith, Opposition senate leader:
The millions and billions of dollars brought in by California, Colorado and Canada have not been able to cover the cost of the regulation. Bermuda is a much more expensive jurisdiction.
Marcus Jones, Opposition senator:
My brother and I were raised in the home of a single parent who watched our community be decimated by the use and misuse of illegal drugs.
Robin Tucker, Opposition senator:
This bill gives Government control of the local cannabis industry, Government becomes the primary dealer, and encourages people to be in a business that has negative impact on our Black families.