Months After Decriminalising Cannabis, Bermuda Mulls Full Legalisation

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A senior minister in Bermuda has said the territory could legally regulate the production and sale of cannabis for “recreational”, non-medical purposes.

Michael Weeks, the Minister of Social Development in the North Atlantic island territory of Bermuda, said: “[Cannabis] legalisation is something that’s going to have to be talked about and may have to be sooner rather than later. There’s an almost worldwide trend. Right now, here, it is medical use, but some countries have legalised for recreational purposes.”

Weeks added that the government was devising a report with various drug policy proposals. He said the Cabinet would consider the document in the coming weeks, and that it would be published by the end of the year.

Bermuda decriminalised the personal possession of less than seven grams of cannabis in December 2017, following an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act. Following this amendment’s implementation, Weeks described the government’s reasoning behind the reform:

“It is our hope and our belief that taking this important action will help to prevent more young black men from being placed on the proverbial ‘stop list’ and have their lives completely altered by virtue of not being able to travel to the United States to pursue further education or to seek other opportunities,” he said at a press conference.

The territory’s close proximity to the US means that many young Bermudans travel to the country in search of employment. Having a cannabis possession conviction can considerably complicate the US visa application process, and in some cases result in being barred from entry altogether.

The government in Bermuda has also permitted medical cannabis access, with two licenses being provided so far to doctors to prescribe the drug, the Royal Gazette reports.