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Marijuana commission transferred from Ministry of Health to OPM

The Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana has been transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Office of the Prime Minister, according to Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands.

“I mean he’s (the prime minister) put it under the Office of the Prime Minister, yes,” Sands told The Nassau Guardian.

Asked when the move happened, he replied, “Well, it has happened. I don’t know if there was a particular time.”

Sands declined to comment when asked why the move took place.

The Guardian understands that the transfer was expected to happen last month.

It came after a draft of the commission’s preliminary report was leaked to this paper.

The report revealed that the commission proposes the expungement of all police records reflecting possessions of small amounts of cannabis.

It also recommends the legalization of medicinal marijuana and the decriminalization of the possession of up to one ounce of the substance.

The report proposes that individuals over 21 should be allowed to use marijuana for recreational purposes. It also recommends that anyone over 18 be allowed to use the substance for medicinal purposes.

The Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana was initially given until April 2019 to submit its findings.

However, it was granted several extensions.

It is unclear when the final report will be completed.

Last week, Sands suggested that the government will not rush its discussion to either legalize or decriminalize marijuana.

“This is a very serious discussion,” he said.

“And, you know, I’ve heard that every single day that we delay that there’s some massive, negative impact to the people of The Bahamas. I don’t buy that. I think we ought to do it right so we don’t have to backtrack.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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