The Cannabis Movement of Saint Lucia has welcomed statements attributed to retired Judge, Albert Rehhead, relating to certain marijuana offences.
Redhead has been quoted in the Antigua Observer as saying that he does not think it fitting for someone to be criminalized for having a “spliff”.
“If one is caught with a joint, I don’t think he should be penalized to the extent of being sent to prison. There’s the alternative of probation; probation works sometimes,” the retired Judge said.
He however made it clear the marijuana use is not something he condones.
Spokesman for the Cannabis Movement, Andre ‘Pancho’ Decaires, told the Times the comments were good, coming from someone who has held such high office in the legal field.
“I think over his years he must have presided over many cases and has now come to the reality that locking up people for ganja makes absolutely no sense,” Decaires declared.
He described marijuana possession as the possession of “flowers.”
Decaires observed that especially in the Caribbean where “bacchanal” is tolerated and encouraged and rum is the culture, there should be no imbalance and double standards.
He noted that people are encouraged to behave in a boisterous manner and that is acceptable.
Decaires told the Times that on the other hand, persons become criminals because they have flowers in their pocket.
“The double standards are starting to be glaring and educated people are realizing that we need to reform the laws regarding cannabis,” the Cannabis Movement official stated.
During his comments on marijuana, Justice Albert Redhead cautioned that decriminalization is something that has to be given very serious thought if the authorities intend to proceed in so doing.
“One has to be very careful about decriminalization because I have seen reports where marijuana has had a destructive effect on those taking the stuff. What I’m saying, it should not be seen to be encouraging the use of marijuana,” he stressed.
The Cannabis Movement of Saint Lucia has been in the forefront here of calls for marijuana to be decriminalized.