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Radical approach needed to tackle drugs problem – Mayor

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Mayor says cannabis on prescription could cut crime (Photograph by Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

Making cannabis and other controlled drugs available on prescription could stop users turning to crime to feed their addictions, Hamilton’s Mayor has said.

Charles Gosling, speaking in a personal capacity, insisted a much more radical approach to tackling drug crime in Bermuda is urgently needed.

He told The Royal Gazette: “As a private citizen I have been up to Westgate, I have seen the kids up there. I have absolutely walked away completely and totally depressed that such a pool of young Bermudians could be there incarcerated for what reason?

“And it’s for us as a society, I guess – to get our little pound of flesh.

“Well, we’ve been in this game for, I don’t know how many years, of you’re caught with whatever, whether it be an ounce of grass, or some opiates, or whatever, and you’re gone.

“And, not only are you gone up to Westgate for a number of years, your ability to do anything is completely and totally changed.

“And I really think that there should be some consideration of what can actually be done to take it out of being such a profitable, illegal, form of economy.

Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton (File photograph)

He suggested it could be done on a prescription basis to “get these controlled drugs, and to have them under a controlled means”.

Mr Gosling, who is a JP, would not be drawn on whether cannabis should be fully legalised.

The Mayor, who has announced he will not stand for the post again, also demanded more be done to tackle gun and gang crime, stating Hamilton residents are paying double, or triple tax for some elements of policing

Mr Gosling said: “We have reached out to the police force and we have additional policing in north east Hamilton, and various different spots throughout the city.

“And that is a supplement that our rate payers are essentially paying on top of the land tax that they pay, as does any other Bermudian, or any other land owner within the island, so, in some respects we are paying a double, if not a triple tax, just to ensure that we are coming close to getting proper policing.”

The Mayor added: “Under our Act, while we are able to have a Nightwatchman, and being able to fund the role of Nightwatchman, we are not able to have a police force ourselves.”

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Published January 04, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated January 04, 2022 at 7:49 am)

Radical approach needed to tackle drugs problem – Mayor

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