Government should have decriminalised marijuana before resorting to the controversial Bail bill, since decriminalisation would have removed “weed” from the underworld’s power and from continuing to be mixed up with gangs and guns, says United National Congress Senator Taharqa Obika.
“...And in so doing you’d be able to fight crime without firing a shot,” Obika added in yesterday’s Senate debate of the Bail Bill.
He advocated a “drug/marijuana amnesty” such as was done to legalise alcohol.
Debate continued yesterday on the controversial Bail Bill, which proposes to deny bail for 120 days for those who didn’t have any charges or convictions and who were held with guns, including prohibited weapons—from automatic weapons to bombs—and people trafficking firearms.
He said government measures—and National Security Minister Stuart Young- failed on crime since the murder rate was climbing to dangerous proportions and the public’s was beyond scared. He said government was trying to legislate fixes for crime but that would only deflect from failure and wouldn’t solve problems.
Government measures such as cutting Food Cards and programmes—from GATE, HYPE and others—also increased factors contributing to crime.
“Plus: an unjust system creates crime when a father can’t put food on the table for his children, it creates criminal intent in the father,” he added.
Obika said this was a better time for decriminalising marijuana than instituting the Bail Bill, since decriminalising “weed” would remove it from the gang/gun sector as many gangs were in the marijuana trade. He said this would also free the police from “weed” cases to focus properly on real criminality. He supported placing marijuana into mainstream business and empowering the “small man” to be licensed to sell marijuana for medicinal purposes.