GG gives assent, 'Ganja law' now in effect

Monday, March 30, 2015

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THE governor general has given his assent to the Bill amending the Dangerous Drugs Act, making possession of two or less ounces of ganja a ticketable offence.

Justice Minister Mark Golding made the disclosure yesterday, just over a month after the House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the legislation now being called the Ganja law.

"My understanding is that the GG has now assented to the Bill and the signed Bill is now on its way back
to Parliament," Golding informed advocates of decriminalisation or legalisation of marijuana, who were anxious that the amendments became law as soon as possible.

The House passed the Bill on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, following which it was expected to be signed into law about a week later. But Golding did not say what might have contributed to the apparent delay in the Bill returning to Parliament from King's House to be gazetted.

During the month-long wait, there was speculation among some ganja advocates that Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist faith, might have been having difficulties giving his assent to the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The Act is highlighted by a provision making possession of two or less ounces of ganja a ticketable offence, among other provisions that could pave the way for establishment of a ganja industry that advocates believe would make a dent in poverty here.

"When they (Parliament) receive it, they will send it to the Printing Office for gazetting," Golding assured.


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