LA HORQUETTA – ATTORNEY General Faris Al Rawi says Trinidad and Tobago may come to have the best marijuana in the world.
He said, “We have the best cocoa in the world so perhaps we might have the best marijuana in the world. I don’t know, there is the genetic patterns could happened.”
Al Rawi was speaking at a PNM meeting at the La Horquetta Regional Complex on Thursday.
He said legislation to decriminalise marijuana will be laid in the Parliament on Friday.
Al Rawi said there will also be a clause in the bill to ensure if foreign companies were to come into the market, a minimum of 30 percent local investment must be guaranteed.
He said, “We are going to put in the clause that if you have a licence your licence must be in such a way that if you are a company or a cooperative, minimum guarantee of 30 percent, Trinidadian investment.
“So that way the smaller industry players who are thinking about it could actually have a chance at it and not be swallowed up.”
Al Rawi said the legislation will allow people to have four plants in their possession.
He said a licensing regime will be created to have licences for cultivators, research and development, laboratories, processors, retail and distributors, importers, exporters, transporters and religious purposes.
Al Rawi said persons in possession of 30 to 60 grammes of marijuana will be issued a fixed penalty notice by police. Once paid on time this will not affect a person’s criminal record, he said.
But, failure to do so, could see the offender facing a fine of up to $50,000.
Al Rawi said people will not be allowed to smoke marijuana in public spaces, including the workplace or around children.He said people who have a conviction or charge in relation to under 60 grammes of marijuana will be allowed to apply to the court to have it dismissed and removed from their criminal record.
Al Rawi said there were nearly 85,000 matters currently before the courts in relation to marijuana offences.
He also said 500 people were currently behind bars for marijuana offences because they could not access bail and this cost taxpayers around $700 million. Al Rawi said the decriminalising of marijuana will free up 60 percent of Forensic’s workload and allow the court to focus on more serious crimes.
Watch Attorney General speak on the new marijuana legislation below: