BVI News

BVI should consider releasing, expunging criminal records of persons convicted for cannabis

Government legislator Shereen Flax-Charles has called for the BVI to consider releasing persons who are serving prison sentences for marijuana possession.

The first-term legislator made that statement while contributing to the debate on the Cannabis Licensing Act in the House of Assembly on Friday, July 26.

She said she supports the legislation which, among other things, provides for the cultivation, processing, importation, exportation, distribution, and sale of medical cannabis in the BVI.

“We need to think about the release of all persons in prison that are currently incarcerated for cannabis possession. Expungement of [a cannabis-related] criminal record should be a reality once certain criteria is met,” Flax-Charles said.

She made that statement against the backdrop that medical marijuana would not have been possible if there was no recreational use at the outset.

Flax-Charles in the House of Assembly on Friday, June 26

While a discussion on her suggestion may not directly apply to the Cannabis Licensing Act, Flax-Charles said she believes considerations for local Rastafarians might have a place in the said licensing legislation.

“I would suggest incorporating the Rastafarian community in this licensing process as they would have had a significant amount of expertise on this matter,” she said.

The proposed legislation says a person must obtain a license in order to participate in any of the activities prescribed in the bill.

The Bill outlines several types of licenses to include a Cultivation Licence, an Import and Export License, a Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary Licence, a Processing Licence, a Research & Development Licence, a Transportation Licence, and an Analytical Testing Licence.

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33 Comments

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  1. Frig up says:

    Of course criminal records should be expunged. To have a whole life tainted for what will soon be legal is injustice.

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
    • Sue says:

      So if it becomes legal for hard back men to have sex with 14 year old girls, we will release and remove all the nasty mean who had sex with 15 year olds at the time.

      The point is at the point and time, a crime was committed. If they are release, certainly their record need to remain. There were no Cannabis Act. when they got arrested.

      Like 8
      Dislike 16
      • wtf says:

        There is a difference between a unjust racially motivated discriminatory law about a plant and what you are talking about.

        Like 5
        Dislike 1
      • GTFOH says:

        Lol @ Sue, did you really compare an adult having sex with a child to using or cultivating a plant. There is no logical explanation for why this is still a crime and I’m disappointed that government did not implement a decriminalization of marijuana use. Most of the government including the Premier are young people not ancient dinosaurs and they should have researched the history of why cannabis was made illegal in the first place. The whole thing was racist and bigotry as the earliest users were people of color and immigrants to the US. The early myths suggested that marijuana use caused black people to go crazy and get horny and attempt to rape white women. Where have we ever seen marijuana making anybody lose control and act violently. Government did to get some balls and do what’s right. Ban minors from using and decriminalize or outright legalize the use.

        Like 9
        Dislike 1
        • Kish says:

          Exactly there are plants that are more serious than cannabis. Definitely I agree with the expungement and freedom of persons who owere convicted. Sometimes other person give people basket to carry water by running and leave ganja on other persons possession and they have to stand the penalty. For God’s bush which he gave men wisdom and knowledge to choose and use as a medicine. It’s now these big dummies sitting at the top realize that it was so useful. I’m sure it helps and cure seizures and epilepsy.

  2. Vidal Sassoon says:

    You should look to release your hairdresser….

    Like 8
    Dislike 11
  3. Musa says:

    Soon we will start eating human and we have to release murders.

    Like 3
    Dislike 6
  4. Peter Tosh says:

    “Legalize it, and i will Advertise it.” Teachers use it… Lawyers use it. .. Doctors use it. .. Police use it. .. Preachers use it. .. Pol-le-trick-tion use it. .. You name them, them a use it.

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  5. YO says:

    I disagree…at the time of conviction it was a crime…..i dont care if tomorrow weed is as legal as salt and sugar…… at the time they did the crime it was illegal….. let them sit and rot in there

    Like 12
    Dislike 13
    • Smart says:

      That’s true will be encouraging illegal behavior hoping it becomes legal the law is the law

      Like 5
      Dislike 6
      • Ya muddah says:

        It was legal before it became illegal in 1937 and now they tryna make it legal again buh only so they can control everything including the money. Doctors before 1937 used to carry cannabis in the doctors bag in the form of a tincture that they would give to patients with a wide range of ailments.

        Like 2
        Dislike 1
      • Bolly says:

        There are unjust laws

  6. I laugh says:

    All I have to say is a boat wah don’t rule by the rudder, the rock does pick them up. An anything goes world will soon come to an end. Men marrying men is legal, women marrying women is legal, women can legally have abortions if they wake up and decide they don’t want to have a baby, a living being created by God. This is the outside world and only a drop in the bucket of the new normal.

    Now, gambling and gaming in this little BVI is legal where some fathers’duties to feed their children is flouted every day over a flashy car and oversized jeans and just plain hangout and rum money. Next marijuana will be planted by the acres presumably for medicinal purposes and we know that is not going to be the only purpose because a Junior Minister is now asking for all persons who broke the law with regards to possession of marijuana be freed. I guess they will all be granted licences once released. And last but not least, somebody told this new VIP Government that it is not stealing or corruption or cronyism to give yourself contracts as Ministers, Representatives and now even Speaker of the House of Assembly once you go to the said HOA and announces it.

    Well, I guess the thief when he comes to your house to thief all he has to say is Madam, Sir, I am here to steal whatever you have that I need. I just ask you to don’t give me any trouble and keep out of my way. Remember I am not stealing as I have now told you what I was going to do.

    Well I must say this VIP Government is changing the very fabric of our Society to our certain detriment. Why? For a fist full of cash. What is going to be done with this cash? Will you be able to drive on it? Can you drive through the western area, where our Premier resides, and breathe deep? Will our children be sitting in state of the art classrooms with smart boards etc? Well I am not one inclined to betting, but I bet that we won’t. We can only pray and ask God to remove them before it is too late. They are worse than CB now and we took him out before his time was up.

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  7. Red Devil says:

    @Yo…. I agree with you.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  8. Please says:

    The bill is for medical use not recreational, where if it gets into the hands of young people it destroys them. Every village has a block where high marijuana use are making zombies of young people.

    Read the bill first and understand what you are reading before standing in the house and talking piss.

    They are many things like venom and certain wild herbs that are toxic and deadly when taken in its raw state but can be extracted to make medicine when refined.

    Unless you all are fooling the people and intend to have a free for all drug country??

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
    • wow says:

      Have you tried talking to the zombies?

      ANd yes when there are more dangerous substances why should people be in jail for this plant.

      Considering alcohol will turn you into a more accurate representation of a zombie or leave you on the sports track!

      But because people are brainwashed by years of propaganda and dont want to admit they fell for it then we get comments about weed turning people into zombies.

      Instead of people have a conversation with those youth (grown men) they are so concerned about or do research.

    • You are funny says:

      Looks like you have a pHD in cannabis studies. Every village has a block where high alcohol consumption is repeatedly making people useless debtors with damaged livers.
      That BLOCK is often called- “BAR and LOUNGE”.

  9. Well says:

    We have reached an all time — when individuals like t— l—–
    Is one of our atlarge representatives. Actually all of them are
    W—. Focus on rebuilding our schools and community centers, fixing our roads. God what a huge waste of time.

  10. E. Leonard says:

    THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD(Cannabidiol), two strains of over 500 strains of cannabis, are being conflated; THC and CBD are the two most prevalent strains/cannabinoids. THC is a psychotic recreational strain, the strain that gets people high; whereas, CBD is showing promise for many medicinal purposes. By the way, hemp share the same qualities as marijuana but it has a much lower THC content, ie, less than 0.3%; marijuana is typically equal to or greater than 5% THC. Here is perhaps a news flash. No one is going to light up a relatively pure medical marijuana spliff and catching an instant buzz.

    Moreover, the marijuana decriminalizing tide has been rising in several locales, eg, US, Canada, some regional countries…..etc. Regionally, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Jamaica have decriminalized possession of small quantities of recreational marijuana and are allowed to cultivate a maximum number of plants for personal use. Several other regional countries are taking serious looks at decriminalizing possession of small quantities of pot.

    Locally, tens, if not hundreds, of residents’ lives have been blighted with being convicted and incarcerated for being in possession of small quantities of pot. To give these individuals a new start, a second chance, serious consideration should be given to expunging their records and releasing them from prison. Further, CARICOM needs to commission a study, a working group, on decriminalizing marijuana possession and use.

    Keeping it fair and balance, there are moral, public health, criminal and societal issues with pot use, trading……etc. Consequently, the Ministry of Health and Social Development, along with MEC, Environmental Dept, RVIPF and judicial system, should develop and launch an aggressive public education and outreach programme on pot use and its impact on individuals, families and the community.

  11. Mad Max says:

    This lady seems to lack the basic understanding of the bill. This about medical cannabis. Drug dealing for recreational purposes will still be illegal.

    Leave drug dealers where they belong – in prison.

  12. Caleb says:

    It’s about time!

  13. hmm says:

    Are we talking about medical marijuana here or the one without being medically prescribed? There is a difference those with charges are not medical marijuana get it together Minister.

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