Dominica parliament passes legislation to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana

Minister Rayburn Blackmoore speaking during debate on the Bill in Parliament

The Parliament of Dominica has approved a Bill for an Act to decriminalize the possession of 28 grams (one ounce) or less of cannabis (Marijuana).

The Amendment of the Drugs Prevention of Misuse Act was passed in Parliament on Monday.

The Act applies to Dominicans 18 years and above.

“There is a different view today than yesterday for persons who actually possess small quantities of marijuana for personal religious use and we are therefore, Mr. Speaker, taking a further approach towards decriminalizing small quantities of marijuana and to expunge the record of persons in respect of possession of 28 grams,” Minister of National Security and Home Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore, said while introducing the Bill in parliament.

According to Blackmoore, there is a common misconception that cannabis should not be decriminalized entirely without some measure of restriction being imposed.

“It shall not be lawful for a person to have more than 28 grams of cannabis in its possession,” he stated. “Therefore, any person who has 28 grams or less of cannabis in his possession is not guilty of an offense under section 72.”

However, the Minister stressed that that the lifting of the restriction of being in possession of 28 grams of marijuana does not apply to persons under the age of 18.

He went on to say that section 78 of the Act states that any conviction before the relevant date for the offense of possession of 28 grams or less shall be treated as spent conviction and shall not be used against that person.

“A new section, 7B, is being created and it is important to note, Mr. Speaker, of the right of the public,” Blackmoore stated. “Therefore, using cannabis in a public place is prohibited…Privately owned premises, not used for commercial and other purposes of worship, is not included”

In keeping with the principles already outlined, section 8 places the restrictions on the cultivation of cannabis and indicates that the head of a household, owner, tenant or other person who has actual control of property is allowed to cultivate not more than three (3) plants per household.

Parliamentary Representative of the Grandbay Constituency, Edward Registe, welcomed the passage of the Bill as it pertains to the expunging of the police records of the youth, in particular, and as an oportunity for marijuana users who derive recreational and medicinal benefits from the herb.

“They can now possess limited quantities of marijuana without fear of being subject to the law,” he stated.

However, Blackmoore made it clear that “in lending support to this Bill I do not want to give the impression that I am in support of the full legalization of Marijuana at this time…”

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19 Comments

  1. de boss Rhino
    October 29, 2020

    alcohol and marijuana are two different things
    and has different effects on the brain,it’s nothing like driving under the influence.Not proud to say but speaking from experience

  2. GodHelpUS
    October 29, 2020

    So you decriminalize marijuana. Big deal!! How does that benefit us as a country?? Are we going to plant to export to other countries so can increase our exports, then the entire country would benefit…. then if not, they WHY??? During a pandemic we are just trying, aiming to please a few…. like seriously….. SMH then we’re surprised why we are still STAGNANT!

  3. pureblackmagic
    October 28, 2020

    It is very obvious that anyone who has tried drugs will tell you its like a step, it starts low then move to harder and harder drugs. Can you imagine you on a job and a very dangerous at that, and your coworker is high endangering you and the rest of your crew because his or her mind is altered can’t think because the drug is controlling them. Who do you think is more likely to try drugs? Let me make it abundantly clear, kids, school children, college kids. Setting our kids on a path to become drug addicts, is not a concern of the government. It’s a victory because you only have to try it once then you become a slave to it. STOP SERVING OUR KIDS DEVIL’S LETTUCE.Can you imagine a hungry child uneducated high every day where his FUTURE home will be, HER MAJESTY PRISON, idle hands smoking devil’s lettuce has just become the devil’s advocate.

    ADMIN: Individuals under the age of 18 are still not legally allowed to possess marijuana in any quantity.

    • derp
      October 29, 2020

      devil’s lettuce hmm I wonder where you got that term from… your statements are based on fear mongering lies, it has been shown that it’s not a gateway drug to others and places where it’s legalized the use among younger individuals has dropped

  4. look joke
    October 28, 2020

    3 Trees can be grown legally but legal possession is less than an ounce? Someone please make it make sense. One tree is already half a pound so how can I be within my legal limits to have 3 trees. Also, if I can legally grow a plant then I can legally commercialise on it so what sorta halfway vibes is that? This maes no sense at all. seems like some dristraction pandering that going on

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Toto
      October 29, 2020

      Well folks, one thing the price of ganja will drop like a stone because every one free to grow it now and the only way to make money now is to take it backdoor to Guada but still the white powder more profitable for these boat boys now.

  5. Possie Direct
    October 28, 2020

    So is Skerrit and Blackmore going to make sure that every police officer will be equipped with a scale, so they could accurately measure the small portion of marijuana smokers have? By the way why not give the amount in ounces since we don’t go by grams and many people don’t know what amount is a gram? Also, if according to Skerrit and Blackmore the reason for decriminalizing ONLY 28 grams so that families that are not able to get a US green card will no longer be affected, what about those that are caught with a 1/4 pound or so? Will they not be still affected?
    When I look at the timing of this bill, especially at a time when China is taking over, and provision is being made for people to get passports for half price, am I wrong to believe Skerrit is doing his best to make it easier for more Dominicans to leave Dominica so the Chinese take over could begin? I mean to hear the Security say that one of the reasons for legalizing 28 grams is to help people go to the US is frightening

  6. kubulol
    October 28, 2020

    Is the road considered as a public place or not ?
    How will the police control a dangerous driver having smoked marijuana ?

    • Pipo
      October 29, 2020

      That is a very valid point. First of all, no matter what my Rasta brothers say, I don’t think putting smoke into your lungs is a healthy habit. However, smoking this stuff can have the same effect as driving under the influence because your reaction time and judgement are impaired. In any case, I would not put my life in the hands of a driver or pilot that is high on canabis. Sorry.df

  7. Rudy george
    October 27, 2020

    Legalize it…..the Caribbean is 10 years behind…..while the rich countries are making billions in cannabis sales we in the Caribbean decriminalizing 3 and 4 trees and 28 ounces……from the day our banana industry was wiped out our government should have replaced it with marijuana!!….#greenfreshmoney.

    • Soldat972
      January 25, 2021

      I totally agree with you, I’m from Martinique and we have laws dating back to the colonial era, it’s time to take a turn in the right direction.

  8. our Sisserou laying Eggs
    October 27, 2020

    just imagine how much revenue we could generate if we fully legalized and manufactured it.

  9. John Cohen
    October 27, 2020

    Decriminalize the ganga and I will advertise it. And smoke it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  10. Bob D
    October 27, 2020

    This is not good enough DLP Dominica. Piecemeal legislation is not what is needed in this time of economic stagnation. Other Caricom States have relegated Dominica way down the ladder in Ganja legislation, some thought that Dominica would have taken COPIOUS notes from the other region Gov’ts, before implimenting this “FEEL GOOD” policy. In a house hold of four in T&T, each is allowed 4 trees, some Caribbean States are presently into BIG BUSINESS MARIJUANA, while ALCOHOL remains Dominica’ must have. What is the fear of legalizing Marijuana? are Dominicans living in 2020 materialism with thoughts of 1930′?. It is the Alcohol that Dominicans love so much, We should be FRIGHTFUL of. When one looks back on all the lives that have been destroyed by over ZEALOUS State servants, the Gov’t , while expunging the past, is admitting being wrong, and must pay Reparations. The aggrieved should/must Demand justice, which is hard in coming under Black rule.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  11. RoRo
    October 27, 2020

    Where is Skerrit? He deserted the country again to do his Christmas shopping. He’s gonna be the only one in DA that have a good one!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7
  12. derp
    October 27, 2020

    Therefore, using cannabis in a public place is prohibited…Privately owned premises, not used for commercial and other purposes of worship, is not included”

    What about cigarette smoke ban the smoking and use of it in public places too, you have people smoking that all around people, having people suffocating NONSENSE and it’s 100% legal!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3
    • click here
      October 27, 2020

      Derp why dont you shut up. Why not ban Alcohol also. you have people getting drunk and being public nuisances also. If my cigarette smoke offending you come out there. Half the time u come around and you meet me smoking a cigarette and is you that getting vex. Come out there boy. simple.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10
      • derp
        October 27, 2020

        Smoke disperses in all directions I guess you can’t understand that and you are not only harming yourself, but other innocent people, you don’t have to be right next to the smokers to inhale their smoke…

        • click here
          October 28, 2020

          Feller come out there! if you dont like to smell cigarette smoke. While you at it, make them shut down one of the last great Dominican manufacturing businesses which still exports, the tobacco factory, since you have such an issue with cigarette smokers.

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