Rastafarians will be able to use the herb solely for religious purposes.
renadian legislators are soon to debate legislation seeking to decriminalise the use of marijuana as well as allowing for anyone over the age of 18 to have no more than 28 grammes of the drug in their possession for personal use.
Agriculture Minister Peter David is to table the amendment to the Drug Abuse bill at the upcoming session of Parliament, scheduled for Friday.
The main objectives of the amendments are to allow anyone over 18 years to be in possession of 28 grammes or 0.987671 ounces of marijuana and to allow each homeowner over the age of 18 to grow no more than five trees. Rastafarians will be able to use the herb solely for religious purposes as a sacrament in adherence to the Rastafarian faith and at a place of worship.
The legislation also indicates that notwithstanding the provisions of the Act, the Minister may by Order designate any premises or place as a place of worship of the Rastafarian faith for the purposes of this Act.
Despite the legislation for people to be in possession of marijuana, smoking in a public place will be prohibited and a person who smokes or uses cannabis or cannabis resin in a public place commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of EC$500 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents)
However, the legislation allows the Minister to prescribe a list of approved public places where the smoking of cannabis or cannabis resin may be allowed.
A person who, whilst under the influence of cannabis – operates, navigates, or is in actual physical control of any motor vehicles, aircraft, or ship; or does anything which constitutes negligence, professional malpractice or professional misconduct commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of EC$500.