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Bermuda preps battlefield should UK block Cannabis Act

- AG Kathy L. Simmons backs Premier E. David Burt, ‘Gov’t not afraid’ of trouble
Bermuda’s Premier, Hon E. David Burt has warned of serious potential damages to the territory’s relationship with the UK, should the Governor, Rena Lalgie not give assent to the countries Cannabis Licensing Act. Photo: Internet Source
Premier E. David Burt said there were indications that the Governor, Rena Lalgie would be unable to give assent to legislation. Photo: Internet Source
Premier E. David Burt said there were indications that the Governor, Rena Lalgie would be unable to give assent to legislation. Photo: Internet Source
Meanwhile, Bermuda’s Attorney General (AG), Kathy L. Simmons, told the House that the illegality of cannabis was 'an unjust colonial legacy' to criminalise blacks. Photo: Government of Bermuda
Meanwhile, Bermuda’s Attorney General (AG), Kathy L. Simmons, told the House that the illegality of cannabis was 'an unjust colonial legacy' to criminalise blacks. Photo: Government of Bermuda
HAMILTON, Bermuda – Bermuda’s Premier, Hon E. David Burt has warned of serious potential damages to the territory’s relationship with the UK, should the Governor, Rena Lalgie not give assent to the countries Cannabis Licensing Act.

Mr Burt was speaking at the end of a debate on legislation to legalize cannabis and create a regulated business framework for the drug via the Cannabis Licensing Act on the evening of Friday on February 19, 2021. 

UK/Bermuda friction looming

Mr Burt said there were indications that the Governor would be unable to give assent to legislation, “If Her Majesty’s representative in Bermuda does not give assent to something that has been passed lawfully and legally under this local government, this will destroy the relationship that we have with the United Kingdom.”

In the [British] Virgin Islands, its Cannabis Licensing Act passed by Lawmakers in June of 2020, was stalled then denied assent by Ex-Governor Augustus J.U. Jasper over concerns he said were raised by the UK long after the bill was passed in the democratically elected House of Assembly (HoA).

Bermuda's Premier Burt however has indicated that his Government is not prepared to accept any action of the UK to block the ascent of the Bill after it has been passed through the full local legislative process.  

“I say that because it can not be, it can not be, that locally elected governments layout their election manifestos, go to the polls, have broad public support … and it be for someone who represents people 3,000 miles away to tell the country… no, you cannot.”

Attorney General backs Premier

Meanwhile, Bermuda’s Attorney General (AG), Kathy L. Simmons, told the House that the illegality of cannabis in the territory was “an unjust colonial legacy” to criminalize blacks.

She added that changes to the law were “long overdue” and that radical thinking was needed where public consultation had demonstrated “an overwhelming appetite for changes” where new economic opportunities would emerge from cannabis.

While the AG admitted that the proposed legislation in the interest of the territory could cause some friction with the UK government; she added, “That is the type of trouble this Government is not afraid of.”

15 Responses to “Bermuda preps battlefield should UK block Cannabis Act”

  • Okay then (20/02/2021, 17:15) Like (17) Dislike (5) Reply
    Amen! All overseas territories need to partner together and separate from the United Kingdom.
  • Small axes (20/02/2021, 17:27) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    Unity between the OT countries of the uk would benefits more leverage for us all in our all interest of our conflict my people...love to see my people standing up..
    • @small axes (22/02/2021, 23:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Caribbean unity is a wonderful idea, as is BOT unity but if you look at the comments on everyone's news sites, it's full of hatred for anyone not born there. It's like Trump's Southern deplorables, ironically.

      we should be trading with each other much more and forging ahead in areas like education and innovation but each place has the familiar story of two parties taking turns at the coffers with relatively little being done.Cayman is way ahead in many ways, although not without its own overdevelopment problems. They decided it was to be a place where people can sensibly do business in a first world way, where red tape and silly waiting around for bureaucracy and favors to all get in the way, and it's paid off a lot. their schools and infrastructure are something whereas ours not so much.

      back to this issue - surely there is a sensible way to approach the issue and get past the difficulties. the concept should be uncontroversial by now - we all know the spurious reasons these laws were in acted for big Pharma, and the sentence differential to coke in order to criminalize blacks disproportionately. Now we are are past that in the UK, and should be past the big Pharma cartel, it should be a very clever and carefully publicized route to our having these nonsensical laws changed to something science-based and forward-thinking. Time to embarrass the UK if they are going to hold this up without good reason, and this has to be properly reasoned not silly colonialism comments and empty tongue-lashing.

      some in the OTs won't like this but really it's better that the main financial services OTs see what they can offer the UK as partners at this time when financial services is under fire there and over here. We have common enemies in the US lagging way behind the standards we are held to, the EU that wants almost LatAm socialism and someone to blame for their failures, and Asia has a number of places forging ahead to compete with us as well as be clients. we all sell English-based law and a robust commercial judiciary that's not messed about with by politics. that has immense and increasing value in a world that has growing problems with authoritarian governments who are looking to pick a fight with their own people and others. the idea of the CCJ is great but it has to be allowed to grow and prove itself - as the English system has done. The Brits should be shown that the more they fight our corner, which they have been politically to timid to do, the more the UK and the OTs will each benefit. If the OTs have been forced ahead of the world in terms of the beneficial ownership and other AML regimes, we should trumpet that - everyone should be using us because we are now the gold standard. the world's moving ahead of dealing with costly bureaucracy, self-dealing and government bodies who are not skilled and up to speed, our competitors are reaping what we sow.
  • Long Live UK (20/02/2021, 17:39) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    If you want weed; you have to purchase from UK

    If you want cocaine; you have to purchase from UK

    If you want to launder you money you have do so via UK

    love like Margaret Tasha
  • Will say (20/02/2021, 17:53) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    That Bermuda Premier is one fine looking man.
  • long look me come from (20/02/2021, 18:01) Like (10) Dislike (9) Reply
    More white supremacy at play by the Uk that’s why we need our independence now!!!
  • fat boy (20/02/2021, 19:05) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    only here in the BVI Hon Andrew let Gus Jaspert cow he I like Burt
    • BuzzBvi (20/02/2021, 19:18) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
      the BVI along with other overseas Territories will always have this issues with the racist mother country. Independence is the only way to go deman
    • slim (20/02/2021, 21:29) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      It’s the people that didn’t support him that added more friction. It was music to Gus’s ears.

      This new generation of politicians doesn’t care to suck up. Expect more to come.

      Cannabis laws are racist and not based on science.
  • From bhp (20/02/2021, 21:32) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    U cannot fight UK
  • facts (21/02/2021, 10:53) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    White is might but never right
    • @facts (23/02/2021, 00:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      u facts are not straight - we are dealign with the likes of Priti Patel on these issues. Race may dominate these boards and the sad lives of the haters but really, people are just trying to get on with things in the big wide world.

      as Slim says, the origin of these laws and how they are enforced have race as an element. It's not relevant today - this is political. If you don't know your enemy you will never defeat them. Britain lags behind in cannabis laws in their own turf for political reasons (even thought the government has their own farms). We, as a tiny island, can move forward much quicker. We should be allowed to do so, but we have to make it fit with the laws that are already in place. That said, having said this, there is a way through - and if UK is blocking that for political reasons, we need to tackle that obstacle for what it is too, whether their reasons are spurious or otherwise.

      IF we shout racism at every problem we have, particularly where there is none, we are not going to solve those problems and much more, are going to make it even more difficult when we do address it. What's more, when there are problems with racism, they are in danger of not being dealt with properly in all the noise of the false claims.

      and first we need to start closer to home on that - it cannot be that the most important feature about any interaction is where people are born, their grandparents born, color of their skin. If that is our society, any accusation that others are racist is not going to look sincerely or be treated seriously, but more importantly it holds us all back in the BVI when we should be prospering together.


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