Former top Cop: Jail for ganja ruining lives

Former top cop, Cuthbert Phillips, has asserted that jailing of young people for small quantities of marijuana is ruining their lives.

Phillips told the Times he has seen this over the years.

“But the law is the law,” he explained.

“I remember one time or the other I tried to catalogue a number of young persons who had gone in there for that and I think one way or another we destroyed a lot of young lives,” Phillips told the Times during an interview.

He said:

“These fellows are young – you send them inside there with hardened criminals when the prisons are overcrowded – we know what happens.”

The former top cop asserted that it was time to bring the situation to a halt.

“We have seen what is happening all over the world,” Phillips said, adding that it was time to correct matters.

Asked about decriminalizing marijuana, Phillips was of the opinion that certain regulations have to be in place.

“We have seen what has happened in other areas we learn by it and then you can put certain regulations into place, rather than have a whole bunch of young people languishing in prison and for what?” He said.

Phillips served as Commissioner of Police in Saint Lucia from 1982 to 1988.

Just this week retired Justice, Albert Redhead, said he did not think it fitting to jail someone convicted for possession of a “spliff.”

Redhead said:

“One should not 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.”

At the same time the retired Judge stressed that marijuana use is not something that he condones.


  1. facts4life
    July 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm


  2. Bornlucian
    July 8, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I agree totally

  3. JayR
    July 8, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Me too! I agree.

  4. Anonymous
    July 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    hmmm slu times really have the time to interview this ex con

    1. Anon1
      July 11, 2016 at 7:48 am

      Your comment is so irrelevant it shows your ignorance, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were both convicts!

  5. Anon1
    July 11, 2016 at 7:44 am

    In total agreement with Mr Phillips views, however I wonder what the current Commissioners’ views are on it.

    This draconian law needs to be changed (along with a few others). Why wait for other countries to test their methods!

    Every single credible medical report carried out over the decades on alcohol has proven it to be the number 1 killer.

    But never any talk about criminalising alcohol.

    The stats should speak for themselves, the Ministry of Health should be publishing these figures. Re. number of alcohol related deaths vs cannabis related deaths!

    I think they may make very interesting reading.

  6. Anonymous
    July 17, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I see that former top Cop, Cuthbert Phillips is still very involved in St. Lucia’s police affairs and has a lot to say about Home Affairs, Justice and National Security. However, there is no mention of the young man he murdered as a civilian back in 1990, on Pigeon Point Beach. Nothing has never come of Phillips murdering an innocent person who had not done anything or committed any crimes. Life has continued as normal for Phillips, as the family of this young man was left to grieve his death all those years ago. I see you have moved on Phillips, but your actions are not forgotten.