Antigua and Guyana Both Looking to Decriminalize Marijuana

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The island of Antigua in the Caribbean has become the latest country to discuss decriminalizing marijuana for personal use.

This week, the Antigua Observer reported that the country’s Cabinet is publicly recommending that residents of the island nation be allowed to possess up to 5 grams of cannabis without penalty.

According to the notes from the Cabinet meeting held on August 24th, Antigua’s Ministry of Legal Affairs has been directed to draft a law that would eliminate fines for 5 grams.

The reasoning behind this change in legislation is the wasted expense in prosecuting people for such a minimal crime.  The move is also an attempt to stop people from getting criminal records for marijuana, which makes it more difficult for them to get employment and travel.

A prominent leader of the Church in Antigua has gone on record as not being opposed to legalizing marijuana.  In that part of the world, religious institutions carry a lot of weight in regards to public opinion, so even a small step towards cannabis reform from a Church leader is significant.

Further down the map in South America, President David Granger of Guyana says he is open to easing laws on marijuana for personal use. In a TV address yesterday, President Granger stated that his Cabinet would soon be reviewing marijuana regulation in an attempt to reduce prison overcrowding in Guyana.

Granger added that he is not in favour of full decriminalization, but a proposal to eliminate jail time for 15 grams or less is under consideration.  The Cabinet is awaiting a report from the Health Ministry before moving forward with the discussion.

These latest international examples of cannabis reform are a direct result of the global awakening that is currently taking place for marijuana, hemp, and its related products.  Antigua and Guyana are in good company in regards to cannabis reform; they join a growing list of countries on the brink of change like Italy, Costa Rica, Canada, and several others.

(Photo Courtesy of mycaribspot.com)

About Author

Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.

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