Antigua Parliament Passes Bill Allowing Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana
The Lower House of Parliament in Antigua and Barbuda passed the amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act on Tuesday, February 7th. This is the approval of a bill decriminalizing the possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis, paving the way for the decriminalization of marijuana. The amendment will also allow a household to grow up to four marijuana plants.
Despite that, the Upper Level of Parliment still has to provide their stamp of approval, then after being gazetted, it can become law. Prime Minister Gaston Browne stated cannabis is a substance used by a large amount of the population.
“decriminalization is a form of rebalancing as authorities look to deal with the issue directly.”
It was also released that a poll was carried out before the decision of decriminalization was made. In that poll, 70 percent of the population was very much in favor. Prime Minister Browne went on to say that they are not encouraging marijuana use and importation is not an option.
“We are not commercializing the sale of cannabis,”
Marijuana has become a part of the countries culture and is greatly in accepted in social circles. The government made it clear that they are still against anything that is smoked but has come to accept that marijuana has other purposes, especially from a medical perspective.
The Prime Minister emphasized that many sources will be provided throughout the country to ensure the citizens are well educated on the positive and definitely the negatives of the substances. He stated we want our people to be highly aware of the dangers associated with the abuse of the drug.