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Governor refuses to give details on hold-up of Marijuana Bill

-Cannabis Licensing Act, 2020, yet to be assented since its July 2020 HoA passing
Controversial outgoing Governor of the Virgin Islands, H.E. Augustus J.U. Jaspert aka 'Gus' has blamed bureaucracy for the hold up of bills not yet assented, while dodging questions on the exact reasons for his refusal to make the VI Cannabis Licensing Act into law. Photo: GIS/Facebook
An important aspect of the bill is that it essentially paves the way for the territory to establish a new medicinal marijuana industry, one that must be backed by legislation. Photo: Internet Source
An important aspect of the bill is that it essentially paves the way for the territory to establish a new medicinal marijuana industry, one that must be backed by legislation. Photo: Internet Source
Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has since said the Governor’s hold up has become an costly not only for VI’s economy but the people the industry would have employed. Photo: GIS/File
Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has since said the Governor’s hold up has become an costly not only for VI’s economy but the people the industry would have employed. Photo: GIS/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Controversial outgoing Governor of the Virgin Islands, Mr Augustus J.U. Jaspert aka 'Gus' has blamed bureaucracy for the hold up of bills not yet assented, while dodging questions on the exact reasons for his refusal to make the Cannabis Licensing Act, 2020, into law.

Passed since July 2020 by the democratically elected members of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA), the Cannabis Act has now been with the Governor for several months awaiting assent.

Marijuana bill being considered - Governor Jaspert 

An important aspect of the bill is that it essentially paves the way for the territory to establish a new medicinal marijuana industry, one that must be backed by legislation.

Two other pieces of legislation in the hold-up, is the Advance Passenger Information Act, 2020, passed in June and the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) (Amendment) Act, 2020, passed in July of 2020.

“On the marijuana one, that is something that I am considering very carefully as you would expect and would also understand anything that I am discussing, I'll do first to Cabinet prior to here,” the Governor said when questioned on the reasons for the holdup at a press conference held Thursday, December 3, 2020. 

Governor dodging questions 

However, when questioned again on the specific holdup of the marijuana bill, the Governor provided a vague answer, while ultimately dodging the question.

“On those bills, these are important bills. It's important we consider them properly and it's important that... I consider them fully before giving assent, that’s something I’m doing and then you'll respect that any conversations I have will be with the Premier and with Cabinet.”

According to Governor Jaspert, the bills are new and it is justified that he should get the opportunity to consider them fully and raise issues with Government and the Cabinet before anything is brought to the public.

Economy losing money - Premier Fahie

Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) had months ago said the Governor’s hold-up is now costing the VI’s economy and impacting job creation that should have emerged from the medical marijuana industry.

“It's holding back our economy and also putting our economy under strain in an era that it should not have been, because more revenue should have been coming into the economy from before if this was assented to,” Premier Fahie said in an interview with 284 Media on Friday, October 9, 2020.

The issue has further heightened calls for a new round of constitutional review in the Virgin Islands, one that could limit the powers of the Governor over decision already approved by the House of Assembly through the legislative process.

27 Responses to “Governor refuses to give details on hold-up of Marijuana Bill”

  • whattt (04/12/2020, 08:18) Like (14) Dislike (19) Reply
    This man is a nightmare he needs to go
  • bawling (04/12/2020, 08:19) Like (14) Dislike (17) Reply
    I use to support the Governor but now he’s getting way to out of hand
    • @ bawling (04/12/2020, 09:35) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
      How can you support the oppressor
    • SMH (04/12/2020, 11:10) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
      @bawling: I am saying the same thing. All of a sudden he seems to have a hidden agenda and being evasive and bitter towards BVI Government.
  • bawling (04/12/2020, 08:19) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    I use to support the Governor but now he’s getting way to out of hand
  • one eye (04/12/2020, 08:34) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
    a racist will always be a racist. We will never get an apology from this jerk
  • Easy win (04/12/2020, 08:37) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    We have to get quick and good advice from legal experts in this area and get this done to move on. We cannot have gangsters and fraudsters roaming the streets and halls while people jailed for possession of tiny amounts of weed. It makes no sense. Plus, done properly without the cronyism etc, this could be a niche business for some farmers and producers. Particularly the cbd oil products. The world has lost decades of good research and use of substances from these plants for abhorrent political and not scientific reasons.
  • I agree (04/12/2020, 09:22) Like (3) Dislike (11) Reply
    I agree this ‘man’ is a NIGHTMARE and WE CANT WAIT FOR HIM TO LEAVE!!!!

    He’s incompetent beyond belief. Even his own office can’t stand him! Driving them to chain smoke & drink!! That’s all we see them doing!!

    GET SOMEONE COMPETENT IN NOW!!
  • Rick (04/12/2020, 09:49) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    The people needs to see that the Governor is using them for division of the country
  • Think peolle (04/12/2020, 09:50) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just remeber that the Governor has a boss in the UK that he reports to and its not him on his own that gives the ok.
    I am pretty certain that this Government were told that the UK did not want them to legalise wees because it would set a precedent for other OT's..
  • jah know (04/12/2020, 10:04) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why are we still fighting marijuana? A natural plant that causes no harm what so ever. Legalize it!
  • S (04/12/2020, 10:30) Like (10) Dislike (7) Reply
    MR GOVERNOR YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING GREAT JOB. BLESSINGS FA LL ON THE RIGHT SIDE
  • ccc (04/12/2020, 10:33) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    Because he has no details he is just bad minded
  • Free the healing of the nation (04/12/2020, 10:42) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did any scientist or medical laboratory test marijuana to explore the healing for Corona Virus, of They are too busy focusing on Bill Gates Vaccine and taking his money,,,,, U want to believe Ganja can heal this thing. They need to at least exploring this possibility.
  • US correspondent Banks (04/12/2020, 10:52) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    The US correspondent bank which we rely on in the BVI for all our business would cut-off the BVI if we would enact this legislation. It is not allowed under US federal law to wire or process proceeds of drug sales. This should have been investigated before writing the legislation.
    • @ US cirrespondence banks (04/12/2020, 15:40) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      So how the local drug stores (pharnacies) make payment for the drugs they purchase from oversees?
    • Jane (04/12/2020, 21:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      US Senate passed legislation today effectively decriminalised cannabis at a Federal level.
  • white bread (04/12/2020, 11:42) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    pure hate
    some using this platform chatting piss should continue thanking God for this little place some have nothing where their were born but come road town full of hate !!!!
  • E. Leonard (04/12/2020, 12:54) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The VI has a representative democracy in that voters send 13 elected members (4 At large, 9 District reps)to the unicameral HOA to represent and act on their behalf. The Cannabis Licensing Act was duly passed by the duly elected members of HOA. It appears that the will of the people is being thwarted; the bill seems to be held hostage. Personal feelings or preferences should not thwart the will of the people through their duly elected representatives.

    After a bill is approved by the HOA, it has to be assented to by the Governor before becoming law. The following is the process under the VI constitution:

    Assent to Bills
    79.—(1) A Bill passed by the House of Assembly shall become a law when—
    (a) the Governor has assented to it in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf and has signed it in token of such assent; or
    (b) Her Majesty has given Her assent to it through a Secretary of State and the Governor has signified such assent by proclamation published in the Gazette.
    (2) When a Bill is presented to the Governor for assent the Governor shall declare that he or she assents to it or that he or she reserves the Bill for the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure; but unless the Governor has been authorised by a Secretary of State to assent to it, the Governor shall reserve for the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure any Bill which appears to him or her, acting in his or her discretion—
    (a) to be inconsistent with any obligation of Her Majesty or of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom towards any other state or power or any international organisation;
    (b) to be likely to prejudice the Royal prerogative; or
    (c) to be in any way repugnant to or inconsistent with this Constitution.

    Moreover, where is the bill in the assenting process? The Governor needs to act or get off the p..e. Further, the Sovereign normally assents to bills passed by both the House of Commons and House of Lords. The last bill that was supposedly refused assent by the Sovereign was the Scottish Militia Bill during Queen Anne’s reign in 1708. Assenting seems to be routine on bills passed by both Houses so what is the problem in the VI? With the next constitutional review, assenting of bills should be on the agenda.
  • Please don’t sign (04/12/2020, 13:02) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Things will only go from bad to worse. More corruption and crime.
    • Me (04/12/2020, 15:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Did our government come to tell us anything before they jump up and run with it? What about the consumer rights bill? Have they come to us to set out what we are going to do with their want to go independence for this country? Well get this straight they could go independent themselves, not we the majority. Signed and sealed.. what about gun laws and its enforcing, what about laws for these cyclists? First fix yourselves then go at the wishes.
  • Interested (04/12/2020, 13:35) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    I agree with the Governor on this pbr
  • trampman (04/12/2020, 13:40) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    The UN declassified it as a drug like heroin b/c that was always nonsense and politically socially instigated. What's your excuse? You know there are companies in the UK itself selling marijuana online. Why are you being a blockade to an industry that can make the BVI self reliant as you impose more walls around our Financial Services. How can you know you are stopping that and still trying to stop the alternative? Then imply that there is corruption and unexplained wealth here. It seems that the descendants of slaves owning Land under the british crown's jurisdiction is a problem to you. Like it cannot be. How is it possible. Then some numbskulls have the nerve to ask about reparations too. Seems they've upset the Jaspert & his loyalists who are trying to prey on BVI citizens is loathsome ways.
  • uh (04/12/2020, 16:42) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    D governor have all right to do what he doing he doesn't need glasses to see what's going on in d county all how have eyes to see let them see and stop pretending please
  • He's Right (05/12/2020, 08:15) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    If this bill passes more murders will take place. Yes all who dying mysteriously now think what will happen then. Your son's and husband dealers being gunned down in broad daylight. Not enough to stop your greed.


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