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Pintard ‘not surprised’ at marijuana delay

LEADER of the Opposition Michael Pintard.

LEADER of the Opposition Michael Pintard.


FREE National Movement leader Michael Pintard said he is not surprised that the Davis administration has delayed presenting marijuana legalisation to Parliament.  

On Monday, Attorney General Ryan Pinder said that it is “not likely” the government will present the marijuana legalisation to Parliament before the end of the year as promised.  

Mr Pinder noted that the government is still working on the proposed legislation, however, he was unable to give a definite timeline. 

While acknowledging the delay due to “technical details”, Mr Pintard said the government has neglected to have “meaningful” discussion with members of the public in regard to their intentions with the legislation.   

Noting that the government has failed to conduct preliminary work, he added that it is “unfortunate” that the Davis administration has failed to engage in a wide range of conversation.  

“The reality is, they could be having discussions with various stakeholders to once again, get a sense on where important segments of our community stand on this subject,” he said. “The government should not be hazy, smudgy on the point of ownership.  

 “This is an industry that should be owned by Bahamians, we ought we can have a discussion about whether or not Bahamians would be permitted to go into strategic alliances with people who are doing this in other jurisdiction, but we should be definitive and in saying these industries will be owned by Bahamians.” 

 In addition, Mr Pintard suggested that the government can engage in conversation with health professionals to better understand the potential impact surrounding cannabis. 

 While the FNM has previously expressed their disappointment in the government’s failure to bring marijuana legislation to Parliament, Mr Pintard said the government must become “definitive” about their position on ownership and the categories of Bahamians eligible to be at the forefront of the industry.  

 Mr Pintard, who continues to support cannabis reform, said that this piece of legislation should be a priority, especially because people who have been convicted of possession of small quantities of marijuana should not continue to have criminal records as it may have impacted employment opportunities and travel.  

 Despite the FNM’S recommendations, he noted the government has resisted and failed to act accordingly, while also criticising the attorney general for contributing to the delay of lifting this “albatross” that affects the lives of many young people.