Submitted by Napolean Bonaparte
Time we unleash our true potential. The United Kingdom has taxed and barricaded our other crops like sugar and bananas, even tourism (APB) almost to non existence. Think that was by chance? Think again and while we at it, reconsider the Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves’ position.
We sitting on a gold mine !
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
The Honourable Mr. Justice Randall Worrell
We are in full support of High Court Judge Randall Worrell’s call to decriminalize marijuana for personal purposes. We are also in full support of his position that our court system is clogged up with old cases involving marijuana charges. We do not condone drug abuse in any form but we believe that if cigarettes can be legally sold, there should be sales of marijuana as well. At least we know that cigarettes destroy millions of lives annually and place tremendous pressure on health services.
We hope that a more progressive approach is used in assisting those afflicted with the addiction of marijuana. We strongly believe that prison should be used for the punishment and rehabilitation of hardened criminals and not those who for one reason or another find themselves addicts. We know that many kids today are addicted to their parents’ prescription drugs and there are those amongst us who are addicted to medication. Certainly a modern judicial system cannot continue to waste time, resources and prison space on what are unfortunate human maladies. Our kids today are under constant pressure and sometimes they fall victims to habits that cannot be cured by excessive floggings or imprisonment.
We are equally concerned about the use of alcohol by our very young citizens and find it very hypocritical, that we are content with turning a blind eye to the heavy intake of alcohol in our communities. Alcohol is also a drug and its addiction is widespread. We are also concerned about the role the heavy use of alcohol plays in instances of domestic abuse , the financial ruin of many families and non –productivity in the work place. If we intend to seriously tackle addiction, we must be prepared to do so at all level.
Submitted by Charles Knighton
The August 26 article “Drug courts or drug treatment centers” hopefully signals the tectonic plates of the drug debate are shifting. Perhaps the appetite for spending millions and incarcerating thousands, in the service of pieties immune to rational analysis, is not limitless after all. Exhaustion is finally setting in with the enormous human and fiscal costs of attempting to eradicate the ineradicable. People have always used intoxicants, and always will, in ways ancient and new. The Bible tells us that no sooner had Noah planted a vineyard than “he drank of the wine, and was drunken.” We seem to be exiting the era when a focus on the harmful effects of illegal drugs excludes all consideration of the harmful effects of their hard-fisted prohibitions. The debate is becoming less susceptible to cheap rhetorical bullying.
Though tantamount to crying out in the wilderness, one final thought. In our censorious public discussions about substance abuse, drinking often gets a pass. But alcohol abuse kills far more people than powders, tablets, and vials. According to a recent survey, about 40 percent of the adult population of Barbados is either addicted to alcohol or binge drinks dangerously. Booze seeds and squires a broad range of diseases, from cirrhosis to various forms of cancer, and contributes to many deaths from shootings, stabbings, falls and drunk driving. Just as with other classes of drugs, prohibition would prove ineffective, but if we’re going to discuss the drug problem in Barbados with any honesty, then we shouldn’t edit drinking out of the picture.
Once again the issue of drugs and the way we treat convicted drug dealers has returned to the public agenda. And, as in the original discussion, the issue has moved from the justification swung from the kind of justice meted out to offenders to the ‘humanity’ of Barbadian society and its moral compass.
But, our Christian nature aside, it is an unnecessary economic burden on taxpayers to adopt a so-called war on drugs when some of the biggest players are easily forgiven and then, worse, incentivised by being allowed to stay on in Barbados with a right of residence and, in due course, a right to citizenship. In so doing, government is recognising for the first time in our history that we no longer believe in the rule of law, but rule by lawyers and the most vocal of us. The treatment of these offenders must, however, be linked to the wider policy objective of combating drug abuse and dealing and the call for a drugs court.
First, there is no need for a specialist drugs court as is proposed. What is needed is a sentencing policy to prohibit magistrates and judges from abusing the custodial system by remanding and sentencing young drug users to lengthy terms in prison for the possessions of small amounts of drugs, usually cannabis. Rather, an effective drug policy should revolve around treating drug use and addiction in the first instance as medical and psychiatric problems, but offenders/victims should first have to cooperate fully with the authorities by giving details of suppliers, etc., before being treated with leniency.
Submitted by Pachamama
Tony Bennett suggests legalize drugs, click to read about it - (MARK J. TERRILL / AP Photo)
Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Amy Winestone, Jean-Michel Basquait, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on – again. A few days ago Whitney Houston joined a Glorious Band of the most exceptional artists this world has known. There are many factors that seem to militate against the most talented human beings who give meaning to the aesthetics as philosophy. These could include certain self destructive elements, a seeming inability to deal with the lavish adoration of millions of fans globally, a vicious entertainment management culture constructed on predation, a drive to go to a certain place to find that elusive and perpetual genius and a perception that we make unreasonable demands of our most talented citizens. In fact, this culture of death is not recent. It goes back for centuries. What is a growing factor however is the role played by the pharmaceutical industrial complex. In fact, in the United States big pharma is directly responsible for 150,000 deaths every year and a total of 1 million people injured by so-called ‘legal’ drugs. In this article we will argue that we are long past the stage of asking for the decriminalization of all plants. We consider that no human being or institution has the authority to criminalize nature and that all of mother earth is our collective birthright. What we will demand from all Governments, everywhere, is the immediate and total LEGALISATION of all plants – without apology.
Excerpts from the book “Cocaine and Heroin Trafficking in The Caribbean – The Case of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Guyana”, by Darius Figueira. This book is available at the UWI Bookshop and online on Amazon.com.
“The dominant race based illicit drug transhipping organisations/race groupings are:
The Syrian/Lebanese grouping. This grouping consists of crime families descended from Syrian and Lebanese immigrants to Trinbago and generations since born in Trinbago. ..The Syrian/Lebanese organisation has created a division of labour in which their illicit drug transhipping is masked by the legitimate front businesses and drug money laundering operations that pass for legitimate businesses.
The much publicized Myrie Affair occurred in April this year. By all accounts Barbados came out of the affair with a bloody nose if we are to judge by the comments made by all and sundry. Despite the vitriol spouted from both sides Barbadians, Jamaicans and onlookers are none the wiser what actually happened to Shanique Myrie when she attempted to cross the border of Barbados. She alleges that she was inappropriately searched by local officials, a charge which was denied. In the absence of substantive evidence who does one believe?
What was evident from the episode is that the Jamaican media and political directorate were in cahoots to ensure Jamaican Myrie’s story was propagated and propagandized. To be expected we had the so-called regionalists like Peter Wickham, Rickey Singh, David Commissiong et al who abandoned the need to be patriotic and gleefully jumped across to the other side of the debate.
BU does not intend to paper over any indiscretions made by Barbadian agencies if any did occur at all in the Myrie incident. Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart’s offer for Myrie to return to Barbados to facilitate meaningful investigation remains unaccepted after several months. The haste with which Jamaicans and others across the region used the opportunity to exposed a latent dislike for Barbados cannot be ignored. Some in local media and elsewhere would want Barbadians to ignore the obvious and not rock the CSME boat. It always has to be Barbados to turn the other cheek!
Posted in Blogging
Tagged Bajan News, Barbados, Barbados Police Force, Caricom News, CSME, Drugs, Immigration, Jamaica, Jamaican Drug Mules, Law,Crime, Shanique Myrie