Prime Minister Gaston Browne has criticised Bishop Charlesworth Browne for “his premature departure” after the bishop tendered his resignation from the marijuana commission just four days after the first public marijuana consultation.
At that consultation, the prime minister committed to carrying out the decriminalisation of five grams of marijuana before the end of 2017.
“I will like to challenge him as to where in the bible that says that we have to criminalise people for the use of marijuana and I don’t think decriminalisation contradicts any risks that he may be concerned about,” the prime minister said.
“First of all, our government is not advocating the use of marijuana; we accept that there are downside risks. The issue at hand is whether we decriminalise weed…I don’t understand why he would think that a policy decision to decriminalise weed or marijuana would go against any particular value he may have.”
In an OBSERVER media interview, the prime minister explained that the commission was not established to decide for the government but to gather the opinions of the public for parliamentary use.
“If the commission had come back to us and say, ‘Hey, hold on a second, even though you have a policy to decriminalise the marijuana, this what we found the majority of the people are against it and perhaps you need to reconsider you position’.”
As one of six members of the National Marijuana Commission, Bishop Browne had resigned once before but for an unrelated issue.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)