Cabinet approves decision to amend law on custodial sentencing for small amounts of marijuana
– AG Nandlall
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall says Cabinet has approved the decision to amend the law to remove custodial sentencing for small amounts of marijuana and is deliberating on the quantity that would not attract custodial sentencing.
The Attorney General made this disclosure during a recent interview on NCN television.
However, the AG said, the APNU+AFC Coalition, in a desperate attempt to gain political points, recently submitted a Bill to the National Assembly seeking to amend sections of the Narcotics Act. They aim to have jail time removed for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The Attorney General said this “is nothing but a political gimmick. I say so because what they are doing there is simply reacting to the fact that we have made it public.”
AG Nandlall said the main Opposition tries to make everything political but failed to amend the Bill during their five years in office.
In 2016, the Bill to amend the Narcotics Act was first laid in Parliament by AFC member, Mr. Michael Carrington. The Attorney General pointed out that the then Government did not attempt to have it debated or pushed on the agenda because the APNU foiled it.
“The President at the time, Mr. Granger, I believe, rejected it. So now that they see that the PPP is pushing it and that we have galvanised great support for the measure, they come now foolishly trying to present themselves as the one to table the Bill for the first time in the Parliament,” he said.
During a recent press conference, the AG said the removal of custodial sentencing for small amounts of marijuana is a manifesto promise the PPP/C administration intends to keep. The Government is being guided by the statistics provided by the Director of Prisons on the number of inmates incarcerated for marijuana possession, to determine the quantity that could be exempt from custodial sentencing.