One of the most sought-after lawyers in marijuana cases and a leading advocate for marijuana decriminalization Grant Connell is contending that the local authorities are playing games on the matter of marijuana and the move toward decriminalization.
In an interview on Friday, Connell said that local, traditional marijuana farmers still have questions which are yet to be answered about the process of decriminalization and the farming, transportation, and exportation among other things.
Connell expressed concern that this country, with three marijuana bills going through the process in the Parliament, is on the verge of enacting legislation to decriminalize marijuana for medicinal purposes yet persons caught with marijuana are having their liberty restrained because they can’t meet bail conditions, or they can’t pay fines imposed by the court.
Connell’s comment came months after Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told reporters that concerns have been expressed about the imprisonment of persons caught with small quantities of marijuana because they could not pay the fines.+
Connell’s comment also came days after a client, 27-year-old Josiah Clarke of Spring Village appeared before the Serious Offences Court on a charge of possession of 5 pounds of marijuana.
Clarke pleaded not guilty and was granted $6,000.00 bail with one surety but he had difficulty finding a suitable surety.
“These ganja games must stop. These games have serious ramifications,” Connell stated.
“How could you have medical marijuana farmers on one hand and on the other hand you’re filling the jails with our young people. found in possession of the herb?’ Connell asked.
Connell noted that when the medical marijuana industry is established here, foreign investors will be involved and they will be in possession of tons of marijuana to be extracted and exported under the guise of medical marijuana.
“Why should our people continue to suffer like this? Ganja is ganja! Don’t let them fool you,” Connell said.
Connell raised the question of whether traditional farmers will get licenses to cultivate marijuana for medicinal purpose or whether they will find themselves having to work on the farms owned by foreign investors.
“Once we emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, therein lies the answer. And we can chart the way forward,” Connell said.