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DECRIMINALIZING MARIJUANA- A COMPLEX ISSUE, SAYS DAMES

Marvin Dames on Murders (2)

Marvin Dames on Murders (2)Amid local activists  calling for the decriminalization of marijuana, National Security Minister Marvin Dames said there are a lot of things that go into the mix  that often times people don’t think of when considering the decriminalization of marijuana.

Mr. Dames said he often hears that because the U.S. or other countries did something, that The Bahamas should follow suit when there are some number things that must be looked at.

He was responding to questions yesterday  suggesting that  as Belize, a country similar to the Bahamas  has decriminalized marijuana up to 10 grams, would the Bahamas be next.

“My personal view is that decriminalization overnight is a complex issue,  but what we may or  can do is expunge the records of juveniles who have offenses for very minor possessions of marijuana,” Dames said.

He added that though some say it could reduce crime,  he believes in evidence based studies, therefore he would have to see what the evidence says.

“For a small nation it’s not as easy;  not saying that we will not get there. We may, but I think right now there are a whole slew of important issues that we must focus on such as getting people back to work, strengthening the financial sector, reducing crime and more,” Dames said.
He added that he is proud of the work police officers are doing.

“Our officers are working hard and doing some very great things out there. They are seizing a lot of firearms and drugs, attacking drug houses and young gang members who are trying to take the law into their own hands and they are reaping some very good results,” Dames said.

He added that the government will support them with technology, good sound polices and with the resources they need to ensure that the levels of crime continue to drop.

Mr. Dames also said that with decriminalizing marijuana,  one must look at the dangers like money laundering.

“We have to look at the financial implications from an international standpoint. Are they washing money related to drugs and pumping it into our financial sector?” Dames asked.

The former Christie administration had promised to study and discuss the issue of decriminalizing marijuana after regional partners like Jamaica announced its intention to do so for medical purposes.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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