This has been rescheduled for October 19, 6pm at Angel Nunez Auditorium, San Pedro High.
Where would you be permitted to smoke Marijuana under the proposed MODA Bill?
While you still will NOT be permitted to smoke Marijuana in public spaces, the new provisions would allow you to smoke in certain places like your home.
Under the new amendment to MODA, smoking Marijuana will be permitted at specific premises:
1. Your residence;
2. A residence owned or lawfully occupied by another person where the individual has given consent to the activity;
3. A hotel, lodging or other private sleeping accommodation for paying guests, which permits lawful smoking.
In every case, smoking Marijuana would still be governed by the rules on possession.
On August 18th, 2017, a Bill for the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act 2017 (the "MODA Bill") was introduced to the House of Representatives. The Bill proposes to put in place new provisions for the possession and smoking of marijuana. The second reading of the bill will be at the House Meeting scheduled for October 20th, 2017.
Possession of 10 grams (3/8 oz. or a handful) or less of marijuana will no longer be considered a criminal offence UNLESS a person is found in possession of Marijuana on the premises of a school or other educational institution.
As long as the amount of Marijuana in your possession is not more than 10 grams, it would no longer be considered a crime to smoke Marijuana in your home, or another specified venue, with the owner or operator's permission.
A person who is under the age of 18 years and found in possession of 10 grams or less of Marijuana will be referred to an approved drug treatment or drug counselling programme at the expense of his or her parents. Under MODA, the current provision for treatment requires proof of addiction for first-time offenders; the MODA Bill goes further.
It will still be a criminal offence to be in possession of over 10 grams of Marijuana: you can be arrested, charged, tried in court, and if found guilty, you will be sentenced to a fine or to imprisonment or both. The offence will be recorded on your criminal record.
The rules against possession of Marijuana do not apply to any of the following circumstances:
- Possession of Marijuana for medical and therapeutic purposes as recommended or prescribed by a registered medical practitioner or other approved health practitioner;
- Prescription by a registered medical practitione or supply by a registered chemist or druggist;
- Possession of Marijuana for the purpose of scientific or other research.
I heard a judge in Dangriga upheld this when an American with a medical marijuana prescription from his doctor in the US was arrested for possession, but he had his prescription so the judge tossed the case.
You will no longer be held responsible for activities of other persons, involving the use of Marijuana (i.e. smoking or possession of pipes, etc.), at premises where you are present and where the total amount in the possession of any person is not more than 10 grams.