Senator: Decriminalising weed will help curb crime

Gov­ern­ment should have de­crim­i­nalised mar­i­jua­na be­fore re­sort­ing to the con­tro­ver­sial Bail bill, since de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion would have re­moved “weed” from the un­der­world’s pow­er and from con­tin­u­ing to be mixed up with gangs and guns, says Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress Sen­a­tor Tahar­qa Obi­ka.

“…And in so do­ing you’d be able to fight crime with­out fir­ing a shot,” Obi­ka added in yes­ter­day’s Sen­ate de­bate of the Bail Bill.

He ad­vo­cat­ed a “drug/mar­i­jua­na amnesty” such as was done to le­galise al­co­hol.

De­bate con­tin­ued yes­ter­day on the con­tro­ver­sial Bail Bill, which pro­pos­es to de­ny bail for 120 days for those who didn’t have any charges or con­vic­tions and who were held with guns, in­clud­ing pro­hib­it­ed weapons—from au­to­mat­ic weapons to bombs—and peo­ple traf­fick­ing firearms.

He said gov­ern­ment mea­sures—and Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young- failed on crime since the mur­der rate was climb­ing to dan­ger­ous pro­por­tions and the pub­lic’s was be­yond scared. He said gov­ern­ment was try­ing to leg­is­late fix­es for crime but that would on­ly de­flect from fail­ure and wouldn’t solve prob­lems.

Gov­ern­ment mea­sures such as cut­ting Food Cards and pro­grammes—from GATE, HYPE and oth­ers—al­so in­creased fac­tors con­tribut­ing to crime.

“Plus: an un­just sys­tem cre­ates crime when a fa­ther can’t put food on the ta­ble for his chil­dren, it cre­ates crim­i­nal in­tent in the fa­ther,” he added.

Obi­ka said this was a bet­ter time for de­crim­i­nal­is­ing mar­i­jua­na than in­sti­tut­ing the Bail Bill, since de­crim­i­nal­is­ing “weed” would re­move it from the gang/gun sec­tor as many gangs were in the mar­i­jua­na trade. He said this would al­so free the po­lice from “weed” cas­es to fo­cus prop­er­ly on re­al crim­i­nal­i­ty. He sup­port­ed plac­ing mar­i­jua­na in­to main­stream busi­ness and em­pow­er­ing the “small man” to be li­censed to sell mar­i­jua­na for med­i­c­i­nal pur­pos­es.

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