Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said the People's Partnership Government welcomes a healthy debate on the need to legalise marijuana.His comment was made in the wake of a call by Chief Justice Ivor Archie for the drug to be decriminalise.Saying the CJ was clearly thinking outside of the box, the AG said there were very powerful arguments for and against the proposal.He said while there were medical benefits for using marijuana, there can be medical and social problems if it was abused.
Ramlogan said some people argued that "easy access with a legal stamp of approval could lead youths to increase their usage of marijuana."The minister said the legal benefits were "well documented and should not be ignored for those who fell into that category of patients."He said alcohol and cigarettes were legal commodities and have not resulted in any dramatic increase in usage was debatable.
Ramlogan said "easier access, which will come if something is legalised, can arguably encourage persons to double-dip." However, he added, it would not be sociable acceptable to see someone having an alcoholic beverage and smoking marijuana in a bar.He said the CJ had a valid point when he spoke about the cost benefit analysis to decriminalising the use of marijuana.
He said decriminalising its use also would free up and would remove the stigma for many youths of having an unnecessary criminal record. Ramlogan said there were, however, practical challenges to the proposed measure. He said the Government "will facilitate the debate."