Last update: 08-Dec-2013 4:55 am
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Marijuana a gateway drug? Jury still out
Sometimes I feel like I have spent my life in court with teenage boys charged for possession of marijuana. I’m sure that’s part of the reason why I support Chief Justice Ivor Archie’s idea of decriminalising marijuana. I can personally testify that being charged for possession of marijuana means a case that will go on for years in court. I can’t tell you how many hours or how many years I have spent in court seeing one marijuana case postponed after the next—usually because the police didn’t bother to show up to argue their case. Eventually many of those cases are thrown out of court.
Decriminalising marijuana would send a clear message to everyone: police need to be tackling major crime problems. That doesn’t include arresting a kid who smokes a joint. There are many issues that have to be sorted out when it comes to courts in this country: the endless postponement of cases; police not showing up for court or showing up unprepared for their cases. Throwing out petty marijuana cases would be a good start in saving everyone’s time. There are other good reasons for decriminalising marijuana. Don’t get me wrong. I do think marijuana is a problem. Teenagers use it to zone out and escape pressure. They use it to self medicate. But these are issues that need to be dealt with, and those issues would be dealt with better if marijuana use was out in the open.
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