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'We shouldn’t damn somebody’s life for smoking a joint' - Hon Walwyn

-urged his fellow legislators to decriminalise small quantities of marijuana
Honourable Myron V. Walwyn (AL), Minister for Education and Culture, made a recent call for decriminalizing small quantities of marijuana during the House of Assembly on April 27, 2018. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Walwyn indicated that other Caribbean countries such as Bermuda have relaxed their marijuana-related laws, adding that the VI should follow. Photo: Internet Source
Hon Walwyn indicated that other Caribbean countries such as Bermuda have relaxed their marijuana-related laws, adding that the VI should follow. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Decriminalising marijuana in the Virgin Islands (VI) has been a topic voiced by many persons throughout the community especially Honourable Myron V. Walwyn (AL), Minister for Education and Culture, who on numerous occasion called for amendments to the drug laws.

The controversial minister made a recent call for decriminalising small quantities of marijuana during the House of Assembly (HoA) on April 27, 2018.

He said, “I’ve said before and I mean this with every fibre of my being. It is time that we have the courage to look at decriminalising marijuana, small quantities of it. I’m seeing it too often, particularity with the young people who call me all the time trying to get a simple visa waiver to go to St Thomas.”

Hon Walwyn pointed out that when job personnel see that a young person have a criminal record despite how minimal the charges are, they treat it like a serious offence, while adding that it “interferes” with potential jobs and opportunities.

“When they see that you have a file for cannabis possession that’s the end of that. Even when you try to get a job people ain’t reading to see the fact that it was just marijuana. When they see a fine there and you have a criminal record they are treating it like it is murder. It is interfering with the job prospects and opportunities for the young people of the country,” said the education minister.

“There are models out there”

Meanwhile, Hon Walwyn indicated that other Caribbean countries such as Bermuda have relaxed their marijuana-related laws, adding that the VI should follow.

“There are models out there. I think it was Bermuda or the Bahamas that has a very good model, rather than fining people and putting it on their criminal record, those persons who they see have a problem with substance abuse, they have to go to some sort of educational training.”

He further explained that after they attend the educational training, a criminal record is not created.

“Those are some of the type of approaches we have to take in the territory because we are damning the lives of people for very simple things. We shouldn’t damn somebody’s life for smoking a joint. Let us try to help them and get them over that,” said the cultural minister.

Caribbean nations such as Jamaica have decriminalised possession of marijuana and under their laws, persons found with two ounces or less will be ticketed instead of being criminally charged.

17 Responses to “'We shouldn’t damn somebody’s life for smoking a joint' - Hon Walwyn”

  • Ok then- (06/05/2018, 10:52) Like (21) Dislike (10) Reply
    need them youth votes to make up those numbers, ah. How much lobbying are you truly doing amongst your peers on the inside? Can they please stand up?
  • the wall (06/05/2018, 11:06) Like (23) Dislike (7) Reply

     jail time will not be for weed its for corruption

    • @ the wall (06/05/2018, 11:57) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
      for real
    • Outlaw (06/05/2018, 12:45) Like (19) Dislike (43) Reply
      It’s soon talking season again, trying to lobby votes. This will not work. As far as I am concerned, possessing small or large amounts of drugs, cannabis (marijuana) or cocaine is a criminal offence according to the Drugs (prevention of misuse) Act, chapter 178 of the laws of the Virgin Islands. Except it is removed from the law books, it remains a criminal offence. We should not only talk to misguide people, we should also act. This minister is a trained lawyer, so instead of just talking why can’t he bring legislation to the HOA to amend the laws that persons found with less that 25 grams should not be prosecuted. All talk and no action, trying to mislead those who don’t know better.
  • Papu (06/05/2018, 11:19) Like (21) Dislike (10) Reply
    “I think it was Bermuda or the Bahamas that has a very good model,...” Some of these politicians are soo fake. Not even basic research to know for sure, just talking points. All this while you pandering this, why not present a basic model? Your gang has the most consultants on board, paying big money (from taxpayers pockets of course), why not utilize them for meaningful causes like this, yet another lip service idea?
  • wize up (06/05/2018, 12:45) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    life is a very serious something however certain movements about life can be funny: some goes to the jail house for a fist of marijuana while other walking up & down free after taking a fist fill with the tax payers hard earned money!!!! these issues will eventually bread contempt(this place far to small for certain levels of behaviour and double standards).....just saying
  • jack (06/05/2018, 13:05) Like (15) Dislike (10) Reply
    poor fella just jumping on every bang wagon smh
  • BVI Blogger (06/05/2018, 14:18) Like (8) Dislike (17) Reply
    This is nonsense. Why doesn't he talk about the countless lives that the use of just a small quantity of weed is ruining. The small quantity adds us...a man peddling and selling the "small quantity" to this one and this one...those who using the "small quantity" start to graduate to a little more each day then to the harder drugs...the peddlers lasing the weed with chemicals to get regular customers....GREED....Decriminalisation is NOT the answer...EDUCATION and REHABILITATION is...this is so sad that this is coming from the EDUCATION Minister...yes don't incarcerate for small quantities...give them hefty fines, community service, hard labour and compulsory counseling. Marijuana for medical use, NOT recreational use.
    • Hey, wait a minute (06/05/2018, 21:02) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
      @BVI Blogger, really? You are talking pure horse S*\t. Everyone that smokes pot DOES not go on to harder drugs. The ones that goes on to the harder drugs are the ones who mix the weed with other drugs or smoking synthetic weed.
    • Rubber Duck (07/05/2018, 17:34) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      Its no different from alcohol. Though I suspect you would want to ban that too.
  • HEALING THE NATION (06/05/2018, 16:20) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
    We have screwed up our existence to the point where we now believe that everything good is bad and everything bad is good. I believe that every plant has a useful purpose. We have lost the knowledge. Cannabis is useful for freeing the brain from the imposed control system placed on us by those who wanted only to exploit and deceive us for their benefit. This is the reason why it is illegal. However I believe unrestricted freedom will be a serious problem.
    There must be a well thought out plan implemented to monitor its use. I think medical marijuana is the solution and it should be carefully implemented. Instead of demonstrations and complaining we need intelligent action. Its sad that people are so small minded that they always see and jump on the negative side of things. If we remain stuck on stupid there's an awful price to pay. Time to network and take Positive Action.
    • Exactly (06/05/2018, 20:42) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Healing The Nation, thank you for that comment. I am for medical marijuana and I think it should be legalize in the BVI. I guess people is thinking if it is legalize, things is going to get out of control. I have a stressful job and at the end of the day I unwind when I get home by smoking a joint in the privacy of my home.
  • Voter/Citizen (06/05/2018, 17:25) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    I understand marijuana is illegal in the BVI. However, a person should not be jailed if they get caught smoking a Joint. Where I am originally from, marijuana is illegal also. If you get caught smoking a joint they would issue you a ticket or a warning.
  • jokers (06/05/2018, 18:35) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    IGUESS YOU GONA FULLJOY FOXYS GANJA FEST
  • Courage (06/05/2018, 21:22) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Takes courage to start this conversation...We criticized but we are cowards We quick to hate and jump on the messenger ignoring fhe message...
  • Offenders (06/05/2018, 22:07) Like (1) Dislike (11) Reply
    I hear the minister that's his view and opinion but where there is smoke there fire. I don't think this is the message we want to send because these same person/persons know where and how to get it. This is nothing about a little joint. It's about the abuse and the quarts. Little knows about much So this message is not a good one. When a child is small we laugh at everything and think that's nice when it's really not.
  • watcher (07/05/2018, 17:37) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    I see some of the independence fans are saying we should copy Singapore. Careful what you wish for. The penalty for smoking in Singapore is a flogging and the penalty for dealing is death.


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