The Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana Medical proposes that cannabis users in the country should have the right to grow as many plants as they need — and they just might get it.
The commission’s report to the House of Assembly was tabled by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis this week, edging the Bahamas closer to serious reform with regard to medical cannabis and home cultivation.
A previous version of the draft of the report had recommended limiting patients with a physician-ordered prescription to cultivating just five plants at home.
“We did not want to put a specific amount because circumstances may be different for each individual who is prescribed medical cannabis,” commission co-chair Quinn McCartney said earlier this week.
The report also recommended enacting legislation to protect workers from consequences such as termination for using medical cannabis, and decriminalizing the possession of an ounce or less of cannabis for residents over the age of 21.
“However, it is recommended that further consideration is needed in establishing the age that a person can be in possession of cannabis without a criminal record,” the report noted.
The commission also called for the rules to be subject to review on a regular basis, incorporating analysis and impact studies into its decisions. Still, the commission did not stake out a position regarding the more controversial topic of legalization of adult-use cannabis.
“Commissioners are aware that decriminalization is, in effect, a form of legalization of the recreational use of cannabis.”
“Commissioners are aware that decriminalization is, in effect, a form of legalization of the recreational use of cannabis, as it is, in effect, authorizing persons to possess up to an ounce of cannabis,” reads the report.
“It is recognised that this poses a paradox, as decriminalization on its own does not provide a legitimate and legal means for persons to obtain their supply of cannabis. It is appreciated that decriminalization may further facilitate the already existing illegal ‘black market’ for persons to obtain cannabis, which has its inherent law enforcement challenges,” it noted.
“If, alternatively, provisions are made for regulated facilities to supply less than an ounce to persons 21 years and older in an attempt to eradicate or reduce the ‘black market,’ this is in effect the legalization of the use of cannabis for recreational purposes,” it added
The report also cited Canada as an example of legalization, but commissioners deemed the evidence of the societal impact of legalizing the drug to be “insufficient.”
“Some commissioners, therefore, recommended that more research be done, and additional data be obtained to make an informed and responsible decision on the legalization of recreational use of cannabis at this time,” the report noted.