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'Why not just leave them the hell alone!'

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Thursday, August 14, 2014    

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THE relaxing of laws concerning the possession of ganja has left many Jamaica Observer online readers confused as to how the new rule will be applied. On Tuesday, National Security Minister Peter Bunting announced that police can no longer arrest people for possession of small amounts of the weed, but will instead serve them summonses. The announcement came amidst much public outcry over the death of St James resident Mario Deane. Deane, who was arrested over a ganja spliff, died from injuries he received while being locked up at the Barnett Street Police Station. Reacting to the story yesterday, readers had several questions for the minister. Here are some edited comments:

jayjayja

So now we can bun weed and blow smoke pon di police and dem caan do we nuttin.

NejeeperKNG

Long overdue. Now go out and apprehend the real criminals instead of overburdening the justice system with minor offences.

Stafford

This is a load of crap.. "If a JP is not available, or if the offender is unable to provide identification, or is unable to be identified by other means, he/she may be taken to a police station until identification can be verified. Once identification is verified, the person should be granted bail on his/her own recognisance. You are still telling cops to take young men to jail to commit the same acts of violence. Why not just leave them the hell alone!

Yadda

...Why is it that this is only made to do with ganja rather than the bigger issue of abuse of police excesses and/or accused person's rights? So the AG has sensibly made the matter to do with "minor offences". What is a minor offence? How many of our people know what constitutes a minor offence? Is this even a new thing under this Government or is it the law of the land as we speak and at the time of Mario Deane's unlawful arrest? We have a pea brain Parliament and that is our biggest problem.

Hayila

@Yadda: They just react without thinking. Opening mouth before putting brain in motion.

JahB

All Jamaicans should be appalled by this homicide. These actions by modern-day law enforcement agents are primitive. We the people demand justice for the youth. No justice no peace!

Candice

Police have been killing civilians for a long time. It's about time this ends. Now we are seeing it in the states, it's the same thing over and over again. They don't think twice about using their weapons, but I do hope they sleep well at nights. May God help them.

dranks

Here is a step in the right direction. Hopefully it will reach the point where it will become legal to possess small amounts of ganja.

TUN_IT_UP

That's fine. One cannot be arrested but what will prevent the cops from administering a good old-fashioned beating on the spot?

SmithMax

...Better have a JP on speed dial if you feel the police will immediately cooperate with Mr Bunting's directive. Sanctions for them must also be swift and reinforced. Still maintain that there are some very good police officers in Jamaica, but you just have the common ones giving the force a negative image.

Rashane Frater

"If the offender is being investigated for other serious offences, persons will be given bail with conditions, or be remanded in custody."

I hope the police force knows that this doesn't mean that they should fabricate other charges just so they can keep people in lock-up. With their mentality if they can't catch you one way they will the next.

Also, how convenient that the two charge with the murder is of unsound mind and one is a deaf and mute. This is a joke. As if they don't look bad enough for what happened charging these men with this crime just shows how incompetent they really are.

Exactly who read/signed the deaf man Miranda rights to him when he was arrested? Do we not have facilities to hold people pf unsound mind who has committed an offence? Why is everyone just thrown in the same lock-up like a can of sardine?

NYviaJamaica

First off, what constitutes a 'small amount'? Secondly, how can someone be granted bail then have an officer arbitrarily decide that the person is 'facety so him naw badda get no bail'? What kind of foolishness is that? Is it allowed, or even legal, for officers to be punitive in this way?

LZR

Why did it have to come to this? Can't our Government and leaders for once be pro-active to the needs and plight of our people, instead of reactive?

Stafford

These guys only react... It took the senseless death of that young man for them to reach the only conclusion..

chrisporter

Well trouble don't set like rain! The police are not using their brains. This one is kind of serious stuff, because a man's life is lost.

Enigma

This alone won't reverse the backward thinking of some cops. Good step in decreasing the burden on forces to enforce a law on something so ubiquitous. And the Government can still make their money.

pinnacle

Any law that gives the police permission to confront people with small amounts of ganja, whether to arrest them or to give them a ticket, is still too much and does not solve the problem. If people are smoking in a public area where smoking is banned then that is the law that should be enforced. The issue of what they are smoking should not even be a factor.

Kenz1

What is this bloody gov't waiting for? Just decriminalise the blasted thing... Jamaicans will always be treated less than third-class citizens in our own country as long as we continue to support, the worthless politicians of both parties, blindly. When will we get a Government which governs first for the people of Jamaica and not in the interest of our big bully neighbour north of us, when?

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