More than two thirds of the respondents to last week’s cayCompass.com online poll think ganja possession should be decriminalised at least to some degree.
Of the 1,158 total respondents to the one-week poll, the largest segment – 437 people or 37.7 per cent – thought ganja should be decriminalised and its sale should be regulated and taxed.
“Personally, I believe if it has that high – no pun intended – of a demand, tax it,” said one person. “License a few growers, regulate sale, tax the sale. Make it legal, but a little difficult and regulated. I’ve never smoked anything at all in 35 years – not even once – but I’d be interested in growing and selling.”
“We’ve sold out for practically everything else, why not this, too?” commented someone else. “Tortuga and Blackbeard’s could add a new special Cayman gold recipe brownie.”
“Prohibition has never worked with anything,” said one respondent.
“By following proven models set by other countries, we would see a sudden drop in crime and an increase in young Caymanian entrepreneurs, not to mention an increase in tourism just like Amsterdam,” said someone else.
“Too many young people are losing their whole future [by being arrested] for a spliff,” said someone else.
The second largest segment of respondents – 292 people or 25.2 per cent – said ganja should be decriminalised for small amounts for personal use.
“It’s crazy to keep filling our prison with ganja smokers who just become more hardened criminals at Northward,” said one person.
“People are going to smoke ganja if it’s legal or not,” said someone else. “Instead of wasting the police time for busting someone for a spliff, charge that same person say $200 a year and let him grow a few trees for his personal use and allow him to carry say a couple grams on his person whenever he goes somewhere. Not to say he should smoke in public. Save that for when your at home or a friend’s place somewhere that is private property. Regulating its sale won’t work – it will still be cheaper to buy it illegally.”
“Maybe you guys should look into how Canada has its marijuana laws instead of branding us young Caymanians as useless and making jobs harder to find because of one little joint,” said another person.
“Scientific research has proven that regular marijuana consumption is not nearly as dangerous as has been presented by the governments,” wrote one person. “Actually it has been proven that it is beneficial against mental illness and other illnesses as well. In comparison to the damages caused by other drugs such as cocaine and alcohol, the few side effects of marijuana becomes bare minimal. The vast majority of users are not involved in other criminal behaviour.”
Another 61 people – 5.3 per cent – thought ganja should be decriminalised for medicinal purposes only, but none of those respondents left comments.
Not everyone was in favour of decriminalising ganja. A large segment of respondents – 253 people or 21.8 per cent – said “absolutely not to the question”.
“Alcohol is already costing us millions of dollars due to accidents and abuse,” said one person. “Ganja will lead to harder drugs being abused adding to the millions.”
“It’s just going to cause a lot more killing once it’s legal,” said someone else.
“Its stupid,” said another person. “The drug dealers spray the ganja with cocaine without people knowing and so causing them to become cocaine addicts. This then leads to random withdrawals and suicidal thoughts. People who smoke it are friends with the dealers. Everyone who is associated should be punished.”
Ninety-one people – 7.9 per cent – didn’t think ganja possession should be decriminalised, but they didn’t think it should be an imprisonable offence.
“Depending on whether there was an intent to sell – that should be custodial sentence,” said one person.
Twenty-four people – 2.1 per cent – responded ‘other’ to the question.
“It is already decriminalised,” said one person. “It is freely used in the prison. How much more decriminalised can you get than that?”
“Of course it should [be decriminalised],” said another person. “The plant itself has so many uses that it’s absolutely criminal that it’s illegal in the first place! Legalise it and watch the crime rate drop just like all of the other states/countries that have legalised it. Start using it for what it is intended – as a release, just like alcohol, in fact far less problematic than alcohol. Hemp T-shirts anyone?”
Next week’s poll question
Do you think 2013 will be a better financial year for you than 2012?
I don’t know