Bahamas Attorney General and Health Minister Introduce Marijuana Legalization Proposal

Attorney General Ryan Pinder and Health and Wellness Minister Michael Darville have announced legislation that would make marijuana legal for medical and religious use through the Bahamas.

The Bahamas, officially referred to as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an island country within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies in the North Atlantic. Although their population is only around 400,00 (less than any US state), around seven million tourists visit the area on an annual basis.

The measure introduced by the two officials would allow marijuana to be used for medical and religious purposes, while also allowing for an expansion of marijuana research. Although recreational marijuana would not be legalized under the proposed law, personal possession of up to 30 grams (one ounce plus two grams) would be decriminalized. The proposal also allows past marijuana possession convictions to be expunged.

The measure is designed to allow for “a well-regulated, safe and controlled cannabis industry”, says AG Pinder, who says the goal is to have the measure debated by the end of the year.

“There are many Bahamians, some who suffer from debilitating illness such as end-stage cancers and various forms of depression that are not responsive to clinical therapy and post-traumatic stress,” Health Minister Darville said at a recent press conference.

The legislation would establish a Cannabis Authority to oversee regulation and licensing for the marijuana industry.

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