The Bahamas Government Refuses to Decriminalize Marijuana

By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection


Refusing to properly acknowledge a very commonly used herb in the northern Carribean Island nation, the Bahamian health minister wrongly believes that their decriminalization of cannabis would make the nation a “world leader” is progressive cannabis reform. Currently, only a quarter ounce or less will avoid jail, and the fines can be 1,500 to 2,000 dollars.

Dr. Duane Sands,The Bahamas,Marijuana Law,decriminalization
Dr. Duane Sands. Image:

Dr, Duane Sands, the Bahamas health minister, held a press conference on July 19 where he made comments relating to the “objective evidence” and caution he believes The Bahamas should take. From

Dr Sands, during his remarks, noted many countries have liberalised marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. However, he said, such a decision, “however tempting as it might be,” should not be “adopted or embraced by the state without a dispassionate objective review of the evidence which accepts new evidence that has been rigorously validated while discarding dogma or tradition which has been discredited or disproved.”

“Every week my ministry is in receipt of requests to consider medical use of marijuana, or occasionally being asked to opine on the current judicial or law enforcement view of drug use,” he said. “Let me say that we are minded to be cautious, prudent and careful, (and) we are also minded to be objective and open minded. But we do not feel that the Bahamas should lead the world in this particular exercise.”

According to Sands, the nation is in needs to revamp their drug control efforts, but he seems to not understand that cannabis should not be considered in that conversation. In fact, he indicated the progressive nations of the world, like neighboring Jamaica, is crammed together on the international “group think” bus.

“Our intellectual honesty to examine and dissect the events, decisions and trends ought not to be based on intransigents, or stubbornness,” explained Sands. “But nor should we flow passively as unprincipled and uninformed passengers on the bus of international group think.”

So, apparently The Bahamas will continue their stubbornness, refusing to accept modern science and international studies surrounding cannabis medicine and decriminalization of the plant. Cruise lines will continue to have passengers coughing up thousands of dollars to local courts, or coughing up bribes to local cops, to avoid getting charged criminally for smoking a little herb. And medical marijuana patients, don’t bother asking.

Seems to me a cruise to Jamaica sounds a lot more inviting for someone of my cannabis persuasion.

© 2017 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved. 

Main Image by Mike Burton on Flickr. Used under creative commons license.

Keith Mansur

Keith Mansur is the founder, publisher, and editor of Oregon Cannabis Connection newspaper. The print publication has been serving Oregon since 2010. He has been a Oregon medical marijuana patient, grower, and caregiver since 2006. Find him on Facebook or email him at

keith_mansur has 340 posts and counting.See all posts by keith_mansur