CLOUDEN: PRIME MINISTER MITCHELL SHOULD BE APPLAUDED FOR NEW POSITION ON DE-CRIMINALISING MARIJUANA
Written by NEW TODAY on June 29, 2018
The outspoken lawyer who has been calling for the decriminalising of the herb for many years, Attorney-at-Law, Anselm Clouden, believes that Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has finally come to the realisation that Grenada’s Tourism Sector could be affected in some way, if steps are not taken to decriminalise the use of Marijuana.
Clouden, who has been clamouring for years for the decriminalisation of the herb, made the statement after Prime Minister Mitchell disclosed to rank and file members of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) that consideration should be given into the decriminalisation of small amounts of Marijuana.
Taking into consideration that Grenada welcomes tourists from countries like Canada that have decriminalised and legalised marijuana, Clouden told reporters at a press conference Tuesday that the move could be beneficial to Grenada’s tourism sector.
“If we want to maintain our touristic links with Canada and have a flow of Canadians coming here who may wish to smoke for recreational purposes, there must come a time when the legislation here would permit each individual as is done in Antigua, maybe to have one ounce and each household could plant four trees…”, he said.
“He (Mitchell) has seen no doubt the difficulty that would be created if tourists who leave their country have on them a certain amount of prescriptive marijuana, they come with it for medicinal purposes or for recreational purposes, and they cannot enter the country with it.
The lawyer went on: “If they (the visitors) are found with it (ganja) in the country, they are subject to the harshness of our laws. So, he is finding a way to — as it were, to minimise the impact on simple possession because smoking is now international…”
Dr. Mitchell made the startling declaration less than six months after vowing that he will never be in support of the decriminalising of the drug.
Clouden used the opportunity to thank the Prime Minister for “his considerable intention to move in the direction he indicated”.
He said he wanted to express “my sincere appreciation to the Honourable Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell and the Government of Grenada for announcing the government’s intention to decriminalise the use of Marijuana…”
“We in Grenada having regard to the visionary pronouncement that the Prime Minister (made), we hope, and it is our legitimate expectation, and I speak on behalf of myself and all those who over the past two decades have supported and clamoured for the decriminalisation of marijuana, not only for its medicinal use but also for recreational purposes,” he remarked.
According to Clouden, the move towards decriminialisation of the herb could go a long way in lessening on what he considers to be a grave injustice done to some young people in the country by the law courts.
“We have witnessed a manifest injustice done to our young people for consuming maybe one marijuana cigarette. The courts have been very, very stringent in administering high fines and sometimes imprisonment. This has been unfortunate and we anticipate that the new thinking, not only here in Grenada in recent times but globally, the courts would reflect (on) the international sentiments and, as it were, consider a more just and fair administration of sentencing,” he said.
Clouden, a seasoned defense lawyer noted that anyone found with a Marijuana joint is subject to a maximum of five years imprisonment or a fine of $250,000.
Antigua has decided to move in the direction of legalising and decriminalising certain quantities of marijuana and is also making provision for persons to travel within the country with a certain quantity of the drug and plant for medicinal purposes.