The retired Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the West Indies, Drexel Gomez, says while he fully supports the decriminalisation and medical use of marijuana in the Bahamas, he is against recreational use of the drug.
“There’s no doubt whatsoever that there is a positive role for cannabis in the medical field, but my concern is how is that going to be controlled. I am strongly in favour of decriminalisation, but you must still restrict the use of cannabis in the community,” the former senior church official told the Tribune newspaper.
“If you legalise it to open it up to the public that would be a serious, serious error. There is no question that there are some negative aspects of cannabis. To give the impression that you can just open the flood gates and let everybody use it, would be disastrous.”
“I am strongly in favour of decriminalisation, but you must still restrict the use of cannabis in the community.”— Gomez
His comments follow the recommendations contained in the 98-page preliminary report of the Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana.
The Commission is recommending the legalisation of medicinal marijuana, the decriminalisation of the possession of up to one ounce of the substance and is endorsing the economic benefits of the industry.
In the report leaked to the media, the Commission is of the view that marijuana should be decriminalised and persons allowed to have a maximum of one ounce in their possession without prosecution.
But Archbishop Gomez told the newspaper that it is important the narrative on the legalisation of marijuana is clear so that the average person understands.
“I would want to emphasise the aspect of decriminalisation. I especially agree for young men who had to serve prison time for just having a joint, to me it’s only rational and sensible to remove that stigma and I would agree removing that from their criminal record.”