“This marijuana business… I think it will outlive my presidency, there will be no change in the law whilst I am here,” Jagdeo told members of the media during a press conference on Saturday.
At the launch of the International Year for People of African Descent (IYPAD) Jagdeo made it clear in the presence of a large gathering of Rastafarians that his government is committed fully to their wellbeing but the promise of legalizing marijuana cannot be assured.
Earlier in the ceremony president of the Guyana Rastafari Council, Ras Leon Saul had lobbied for consideration to lift the prohibition on the substance, which the Rastafari community values as a “sacrament.”
In April last year the Guyana Rastafari Council had vowed to join a worldwide march to press countries to waive the laws that criminalise the use of marijuana even in small quantities.
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee spoke out against the move, arguing that it is a contradiction to the fight against drugs, and read out the law “which states that that anyone in violation of the policy will be penalised.”
At the press conference on Saturday, Jagdeo expressed doubt that the society is “ready” to go in this direction but seemed more concerned about the double standards in the developed world’s policy towards the substance and their attitude towards the policies adopted by the developing world.
“I am a little concerned when the countries that lecture us on this issue, they are busy legalizing marijuana on a ballot,” Jagdeo said, making reference to California and Holland.
(Caribbean News Now)