Sometimes, change comes from unexpected places. The tiny island nation of Trinidad and Tobago is about to make history by becoming the first Caribean nation to decriminalize weed.
On Wednesday, the Country’s House of Representatives approved a bill that would decriminalize the possession of cannabis. But the nation is also planning to go a step further and is considering a second bill that would pave the way for the production and sale of marijuana.
Both of these bills will bring big changes to the small country and will probably also have a huge impact on the entire region.
The country’s Senate will still have to approve the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill of 2019. If and when it does, it will send the bill back to the House for one more vote. Then it will end up on President Paula-Mae Weekes’ desk to be officially signed into law.
Huge impact on the region
Trinidad and Tobago is the richest country in the Caribbean and its decisions are very influential for the entire region. Decriminalizing the personal use of weed and allowing the commercial production of cannabis could have a positive ripple effect on neighboring regions.
The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill of 2019 introduces a number of far-reaching changes for weed users. These include the following:
- Anyone in possession of up to 30 grams of weed and five grams of resin won’t face any criminal charges.
- Anyone in possession of between 30 and 60 grams of weed and between five and 10 grams of resin will face a fine of roughly $200 USD, but no criminal charges.
- Possession of 60 to 100 grams of weed, or 14 grams of resin, would carry a penalty as high as roughly $11,000 USD.
- Citizens of the nation can grow up to four female cannabis plants at home.
The second bill that lawmakers are considering is called The Cannabis Control Bill. This bill would set up a framework to regulate the production and sale of cannabis in the country.
Both bills have not yet been signed into law and there’s still some way to go before they will, but Trinidad and Tobago is on a very good path to making weed available to its citizens.