Cabinet’s announcement that it has approved a proposal to remove custodial sentences for the possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana is not sitting right with the Parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
In fact, the party says that the revelation is nothing but a “ploy” orchestrated by the governing coalition, the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) + Alliance for Change (AFC), to mislead the nation and to gain political mileage.
The party contends that APNU+AFC cannot make such a consideration since it is “illegal”.
In a statement, the PPP noted, “The APNU+AFC Coalition Government is currently illegal, and Cabinet should have already resigned, consistent with Article 106 (6) of the Constitution and the recent ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). How then, is Cabinet meeting and making decisions?”
PPP further claims that the David Granger-led administration has had over four years to address the issue of removing custodial sentences for possession of small quantities of marijuana but failed to do so. This, the party hinted, is evidence that the latest announcement of the approval is not coincidental.
The Opposition referenced instances in the past where the APNU+AFC could have addressed the issue but refused.
“The Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill – a bill to remove custodial sentences for possession of small amounts of marijuana – was brought to the National Assembly since December 10, 2015. The Coalition Government refused to debate it.”
Further, the PPP said that without an act of Parliament, talk about removing custodial sentences for possession of small amounts of marijuana is nothing more than talk.
“It is not a promise fulfilled by the Coalition Government. It is a reminder that this is just another promise that was broken…This issue has been used repeatedly by the APNU+AFC Coalition to secure political mileage, nothing more.”