Time to issue ganja travel advisories, says AHF President
(File Photo) Paul 'Ras Simba' Rock
Barbados has been receiving negative reviews in the form of travel advisories for the sewage crisis affecting the south coast of the island.
Now President of the African Heritage Foundation (AHF), Paul 'Ras Simba' Rock believes a different type of advisory should be issued to visitors- one discouraging cannabis-using citizens from coming to Barbados.
Ras Simba's comments were prompted by a recent court case where a Polish cruise visitor and a Barbadian man went before the Magistrate Court to answer to a marijuana possession charge for a spliff. According to the facts of the case, the two were observed by the police attempting to conduct the sale of the illegal substance when they were apprehended.
The visitor was fined $300 BDS while the local was sentenced to one month in prison for failing to pay a $300 fine for a previous possession marijuana charge back in 2010.
Ras Simba is of the view Barbados is missing out on significant economic gains as result of harsh marijuana laws due to the "blindness and downright stupidity" of the country's politicians.
Referencing recent ganja reform laws in Canada, Ras Simba noted the "tension associated with the law against the plant is nowhere to be felt" as the country is moving to legalize recreational use of the drug by the summer of this year.
He said the plan is to formulate a local, cannabis advocacy working group to push the agenda of legalization as well as decriminalization.
"I think places like Canada that are proactive to cannabis use should place some travel advisories and discourage their cannabis using citizens from coming to Barbados.
"A time is coming when the law that prohibits the use of Cannabis will be seen as a crime against humanity for all the lives it has taken and all the freedoms it has denied. This is a human rights issue as far as I am concerned."
Ras Simba went onto to suggest that the people of Barbados take the government to court to protest the "oppressive" marijuana laws.
"The people need to band themselves together and challenge this law against the herb. We need to as a nation, take the government to court if they will not listen. We the people of Barbados have been oppressed by this law under every administration. This is no longer a matter for the government, it is a matter for the people. "
He added that until reform laws are enacted, Barbadians will continue to be subjugated under old colonial laws.