marijuana

‘it’s high time’: A marijuana user rolls a joint.

The release of 101 persons from the prisons will bring about relief to a cramped prisons system, says acting Prisons Commissioner Dane Clarke.

“Any circumstance that will reduce the numbers in the prison service will be welcomed.

“I know some of these persons have been incarcerated for some time, in some cases they were unable to meet very simple sentences so it will be a relief for us and them to get them out of the system,” he told the Express by phone yesterday.

Clarke said the office of the Prisons Commissioner would have provided the Attorney General with the information to begin the process and have the release done.

“We welcome the move, it will make room for us, at least we will have 100-odd spaces for persons who are more deserving to be there,” he said.

Cannabis activist Nazma Muller also commended the move but said there is need to discuss a total reform of the criminal justice system so that persons on remand do not spend 20 years awaiting their day in court.

She said the expected decriminalisation of marijuana on Monday is a Christmas gift to the nation.

“It’s really is a great day, Monday is a great day for the country. We are very happy it is long overdue. Finally justice is being served,” she said.

She said the marijuana community, which comprises people from all walks in life, including grannies who use the herb for cancer relief and other ailments, is rejoicing.

Muller said there is need for an education campaign on marijuana.

“To me there is no such thing as recreational use, all herbs are therapeutic, once there are benefits then it is giving you a therapeutic effect,” she said.

Muller also advised that people take the opportunity to apply for licences to import seeds, oils and other related products as the Attorney General had indicated that the regulations to govern this were ready.

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“Nothing has changed. We are still waiting for justice.”

This in essence is how residents feel eight months after they were promised action when they protested the police killings of three men as well as other social and economic issues.

In June 2020 when protests erupted in Port of Spain and environs following the police killings of three men in Morvant, the Morvant community and the surrounding areas of Beetham Gardens, Sea Lots, John John and other areas in East Port of Spain found themselves under the national spotlight.

For days, protesters held the country’s attention as they called for justice for Joel Jacob, Noel Diamond and Israel Moses Clinton who were shot and killed by police on June 27.

Protests alone do not bring about lasting change, says Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds.

He, however, noted there has indeed been peace in the communities since the protests.

“Change comes from thinking and planning and changes in behaviours and attitudes and approaches by all stakeholders—Government, NGOs, places of worship, families, communities, individuals, etc. So protests don’t change anything, it is work and action and shifts in attitudes and cultures,” he said in an interview with the Sunday Express yesterday.

“What are they telling me about International Women’s Day when daily women are suffering. I see images of suffering every day. I am not celebrating any International Women’s Day.”

So said self-employed Arima resi­dent Shelly-Ann Arthur last Thursday as the world preps to observe International Women’s Day (IWD) tomorrow.

The Sunday Express interviewed several women on the Brian Lara Promenade last week to get their views on IWD.