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Julio S. Henry blasts Governor for delaying Cannabis Act

- chastises VI constitution for empowering H.E. Augustus J.U. Jaspert to have the final say
Social Commentator and former talk show host, Julio S. Henry aka ‘Sam’ has chastised the current Virgin Islands constitution, Order 2007 for what he underscored as empowering of the Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert to have the final say on affairs in the territory. Photo: VINO/File
The VI 'Medicinal Cannabis Licensing ACT, 2020' paves the way for the territory to establish its own medicinal marijuana industry, through the cultivation of special strains of cannabis on local farmlands, by local marijuana farmers, however, the act is yet to be assented by Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert. Photo: Internet Source
The VI 'Medicinal Cannabis Licensing ACT, 2020' paves the way for the territory to establish its own medicinal marijuana industry, through the cultivation of special strains of cannabis on local farmlands, by local marijuana farmers, however, the act is yet to be assented by Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert. Photo: Internet Source
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI – Social Commentator and former talk show host, Julio S. Henry aka ‘Sam’ has chastised the current Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 for what he underscored as empowering of Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert to have the final say on affairs in the Territory, including bills passed in the House.

“From the very beginning of this constitution, this colonial document that we are now living under; and just now becoming aware of how bad it is for all of us living in these Virgin Islands (VI), the Governor is the Chairman of the Cabinet,” he said.

Governor delaying bills

Speaking on the Thursday, September 10, 2020, edition of the Honestly Speaking Show, Henry said the powers of the Governor under the Constitution in the Cabinet, “makes him the boss, whether he votes or he don’t vote,” in Cabinet.

He illustrated that such powers have even allowed the Governor to hold ransom key pieces of legislation, such as the  'Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Act, 2020,' that paves the way for the Territory to establish its own medicinal marijuana industry, through the cultivation of special strains of cannabis on local farmlands by local farmers.

The Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Act, 2020 was passed with amendments in the House of Assembly (HoA) since June 30, 2020 and sent to the Governor for assent.

Henry questioned why the UK appointed Governor is refusing to assent to the bill after it was discussed in Cabinet and passed in the House of Assembly by democratically elected members of the House of Assembly (HoA).

“Was the Governor in line with the decision that was made with the Cabinet Members and if he was, why would there be any delay in actually passing it after the government passes it, brought it to the House of Assembly, [and] now passed it in the House of Assembly?” he questioned.

According to Mr Henry, the consitution has further empowered the Governor to add to the Cabinet’s agenda, forcing members  to debate it.

VI constitution not beneficial to VI – Mr Henry

“Don’t tell me a man will be able to bring something to a Cabinet meeting… and is not part of the discussion?” he said.

Further, he alleged that if Cabinet decisions doesn’t align with the Governor’s decisions, there is a possibility that “it isn’t going to pass because the Governor has the ultimate say.”

As such, Mr Henry agreed that while the Virgin Islands Constitution Order was an improvement over previous alterations, it is not beneficial to the people of the Territory, hence, not beneficial to self governance.

33 Responses to “Julio S. Henry blasts Governor for delaying Cannabis Act”

  • SMH (16/09/2020, 10:35) Like (37) Dislike (3) Reply
    Try go say your prayers for peace sake
    • @ SMH (16/09/2020, 13:56) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
      I'm sure he does pray, do you? Where is your courage ??? Would you have done what he is doing for his people , regardless the fact of topic. Come on ya'll. Something is going on!!!
    • next (16/09/2020, 15:57) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
      it looks like you ready to smoke
  • Blindman (16/09/2020, 10:40) Like (4) Dislike (15) Reply
    Constitutional reform is needed so that this would not be happening. Here is something to provide jobs and generate revenue for the territory and governor is holding it up if anything come the people because we are the ones the voted for the government and they are working on our behalf.
  • Dino (16/09/2020, 10:42) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Dare you go independent.
    • Uzimi (17/09/2020, 18:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      What is this talk of independence? Is this the new wsy of syins Shut Up you people. The voters hsve expectations of their government and have a right to enquire/seek answers. By your remarks it suggest that the governor can tske his leisurely time and the people should shut their trap. Well theres a name for such high arrogance.
  • WTF (16/09/2020, 10:49) Like (59) Dislike (2) Reply
    The economy is effectively dead, and the borders remain closed. The government has not announced a plan or a date to the general public. YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT WEED?!
    • Mo f (16/09/2020, 13:14) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
      DUDE! Weed is probably one of the only option to keep the masses mind stable and comforting at this stage. You believe it is easy with Covid?

      You got the opposition idiots making noise because they on hungry belly but NO other country is opening like they want. Start planting in you back yard deh man!
      • Great ideas!! (17/09/2020, 15:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        When times are tough turn to weed and gambling. These are ideas from people who have not yet hit rock bottom but are on their way.
  • Ms Cleo (16/09/2020, 10:57) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Do you fight fire with fire because one catches more bees with honey: Virgin Islands High-Grade will cause a decline in Marijuana purchases from England(u expect jasper will sign off)..what we need to do is make jasper a business partner so when he resigns the post of governor he come back bvi and work with the cultivation
  • resident (16/09/2020, 11:03) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    Guess it's open season with the governor. He seems to be everybody's punching bag. Be careful people.
  • lower estate (16/09/2020, 11:19) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Mr Julio maybe you do not know the evil, you believe these leaves in the mind od a human I am living it in my own
    flesh, other thing I will listen to it but consult a health specialist and leave the subject of those miraculous leaves
    because a group of us is making noise and does not observe the bill of what they are putting in their pocket with the excuse COVID open eyes that time will tell you about this administration........Tabacco is leaf and it also harmful to health what is you scandal?
  • My Take (16/09/2020, 11:35) Like (32) Dislike (0) Reply
    Simply go for Independence if you don’t want anything to do with England.This all out assault
    on the Governor is totally stupid.
  • bojan (16/09/2020, 11:40) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    May i say this when you had march on the UK then went to the UK to beg you think they forget no slave master forget when you been disrespectful and will be punished so its a silent punishment this is when they will pressure you. This message to all how are not looking at
    the Constitution of the British Virgin Islands what are the FACTS talking cant change nothing read what is writen before you open your mouth.Your Governor keeps his mouth shut and do what the power of his office allow him to do show me one instant you have proven the Governor broke the protocall no time ot one of you can produce fact he did. All who are getting on media talking crap go and read your Constitution and shut up.
  • reality (16/09/2020, 11:42) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I fear that if this racist commentary and behavior continues, one of two things will ultimately happen, we will wake up one morning and learn we are no longer British, or, the complete opposite. Britain is struggling with a pandemic and Brexit, and, their patience is probably wearing pretty thin. We might all wish to consider this, because, if either development occurs, life as we know it will cease to exist.
  • DON Q (16/09/2020, 12:35) Like (1) Dislike (19) Reply
    I agree with Sam this governor is out of order
  • 1st District (16/09/2020, 12:53) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    Thank you govenor for your leadership and your family time with us. God's speed with you and family. BVI, " you know what you have but don't know what you getting " old people say!!
  • GOVERNOR (16/09/2020, 13:20) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    the vip need to call their dogs off
  • Caution (16/09/2020, 13:41) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr Henry what is your problem we have made Big trouble cannot you wait until the Governor does what he has to do. Are we running into a furious death theGovernor is only wating on time he has to wait till England gives the offical ok stop being so stupid the BVI is offically managed by England go and learn your knowledge of island being ruled under England. Hurry curry does eat raw grass because tou want what you want the Governor does not have to rush your request LEAVE THE GOVERNOR ALONE one day youall might be sorry SMALL AXE CUT DOWN BIG TREE< AND TIME WILL TELL one day if you all do not stop your nonsense you might see one day British ships line up out side Peter Island with British soldierson them and they come a shore to take what belongs to them THE VIRGIN ISLANDS then
    what will we do. Keep your MOUTH SHUT and wait till this comes to pass. Henry take your time you do not run the country you donoy have the know how/
  • E. Leonard (16/09/2020, 13:41) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The VI in the modern era has had 4 formal constitutions, ie, 1950, 1967, 1977 and 2007. Each constitution lessened the control of slavery, imperialism and colonialism, devolving more power to the people and by extension local government. Nonetheless, progress made thus far have structural weaknesses that needs to be strengthened with the next constitutional review, which should occur soonest.

    Currently, there is a power sharing arrangement between the people/local government and the crown; the crown rep on the ground is the appointed governor who is the de facto head of state. It may be just a coincidence but the title of Governor was changed from Administrator in 1971. However, to date, there has not been a governor of African descent. Moreover, in the current power sharing arrangement, the governor is responsible for external affairs, defence, internal security, RVIPF, Civil Service, Courts and jail (shared); local government, the remainder, including finance.

    Moreover, the next constitutional review must include some structural changes, eg, 1)unicameral HOA to bi-cameral, 2)governor as a member of cabinet, 3) governor having power to assent bills passed by the people elected members in the HOA, 4) reducing governor’s reserve powers...........etc. From my reading and I could be wrong, the Governor has the power to disallow bills approved by the people’s representatives in the HOA. It also seems that in an emergency the Guv has the power to overrule bills passed by the people’s reps in the HOA. To me the assent power is a colonial anachronism, a relic.

    Further, after long fought painful battles, the people got the right to vote directly for whom should represent them in the HOA. The people vote for and and send 13 members to the HOA to represent them. This representing includes passing sensible laws to govern the territory that are in best short-term and long-term interest. And if the laws are lawful, this right/preference should not be derailed. If the people are dissatisfied with the performance of elected members, they can peacefully protest consistent with existing laws, make their dissatisfaction known at the ballot box.........etc.

    The system of government is flawed. There should be co-equal legislative, executive and judicial branches. Nonetheless, there is little daylight between the legislative and executive. This can be an item for the next constitutional review. If a majority of people want medical marijuana (CBD) legislation, they should have it. Is medical marijuana a money maker for the VI? How will the VI differentiate itself in this competitive business?
    • @E. Leonard (17/09/2020, 08:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Your post is well written, but how do we know whether "a majority of people want medical marijuana"? There was no referendum. A decision of that magnitude should have been put to the people.
      • @@E. Leonard (17/09/2020, 14:57) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        @@E. Leonard, hope all is well and you are staying safe. Thanks for the feedback. The BVI is a parliamentary democracy and the true power lies with the people, not government. The power possessed by government is given to it by the people. Too often, many say that government has too much power; no, the government exerts the power given to it by the people. If people (majority) thinks that government is exceeding the power granted, it is its right and responsibility to act to correct now power used.

        The electorate vote to send 13 elected members to the HOA to work on its behalf. This representing includes establishing laws and building institutions on which social order and justice depends. Legislators are not autocrats and are accountable and responsible to the people for actions taken and for actions that should have been but they didn’t. In regards to the medical marijuana law, if the majority dislikes the approach that was taken to pass the law, they should contact their district and at large reps and actively voice their disagreements. Agree that some decisions should be decided through a referendum, eg, course to self-determination, ie, independence. We can agree that putting every decision to a referendum will be an administrative burden.
  • tree (16/09/2020, 13:47) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Llabu (16/09/2020, 14:06) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    Lips service. Fighting with people for taxi job. The governor does not have time for you. He is a diplomat . You are a taxi driver, know your place.
  • captain flint (16/09/2020, 18:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Give this man a-break! If I was Governor all cannabis would be burnt to the ground. There enough drugs coming to the Tortola from the USA we dont need home grown drugs. My susysr is a doctor there is no benefit medicinally tk your body when you smoke it and it can make people go crazy in the head. There are enough young Tortolians on drugs which its said come in via West End. If you approve home growing of this drugs it will be the end of Tortola as they will misused, and crime will increase. Cannabis is addictive and can alter your body and your mind. All drugs like alcohol are poison to the body. The BVI will become even more a country of drug addicts. God us help.
  • henry (16/09/2020, 19:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    You all bragging so. One day England will say you want independence go ahead. Then the bvi must have it's own currency. The US will stop bvi from using its currency. What you all bragggers will do ? Put your badges In The water and threaten to invade US . Bunch of jokers.
  • T (16/09/2020, 20:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    No man mean all Tom dick and Harry in this governor face so where are d Gide lines no respect for this man I till u the truth first time in life I see this this is no joke
  • Stargo (17/09/2020, 01:19) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Food security (17/09/2020, 04:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Its amazing how Sam and other more interested in picking fight with govonor. I don't see them doing the same for farmers. I guess food security is not important. Growing weed is. God forbid Tropical or Crowley stop comming here for an extended period what are we going to eat. Our leaders and the vast majority of society need to get their priorities straight.
  • R (17/09/2020, 05:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Total disrespectful
  • lodger (17/09/2020, 07:42) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The present constitution was drafted by agreements with a local team of lawyers etc. They held several public meetings to get the peoples input. I attended a few. Two were cancelled because no public turned up. At others there were no more than 10 present. So you got the constitution you deserved, negotiated by your own worthies.

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