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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I doh like mister / mamselle

This is very simple.

Small country. Someone visits, goes to a small restaurant, eats a great meal. One day they are out with a local and they are looking for somewhere to eat, so brainwave comes. "Lets go to this great place I ate the other night". Away they start to go. Then local asks, but wait a minute, thats the place on x street ? Yes...the visitor says.

Oh. thats the place Sidney own. I doh like mister.

Seems simple right ? Well extrapolate that and imagine if you have enough people with a reason, any reason to not like one person on the other in small island and you can imagine the kind of stalemate the country can be in.

Dominica is in that funk. Everyone seems to have a cast of people they dont like or dont want to socialise around, do business with, or talk to.

So you have a complex nest of relationships with intermediary people who serve as gophers between different people and their cliques.

In the end you cannot get any real common agenda of development or societal push. Because everyone is concentrating on not patronising, helping, engaging or developing anyone they DOH like.

Its a strange thing. And it has nothing to do with good vs bad or morality etc.

Of course, a hurricane or crisis is always good catharsis. When we were hit by the CAT 5 Hurricane David, there was no bandwidth to 'doh like mister'. You had to get help. You had to engage. You had to talk.

Yes its a small island, and as such the mentality can be excused under that label, but it feels at times like we are in a little goldfish bowl with schools of competing fish. And for what ? Coloured stones ?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

decriminalise marijuana

This isnt rocket science. Year after year, young men, young local men, in what is one of the most underpopulated countries in the world, do jail time for smoking a spliff.

As I type this, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and a large amount of CEO's and entrepeneurs, are lighting up all over the world in the privacy of their homes, offices, boats and even their own little islands.

The obsession with ganja is almost consuming. In a country where there are so many more serious issues like abuse of women, child molestation, incest and petty crime, it doesnt seem to fit. The supply of large scale drugs is something which creates its own industry of zombies and that is worth cracking down on, but in an island where anything you throw on the ground can take root, it doesnt take a major supplier to create a spliff.

It might be worth putting away people who supply drugs for a long time, but unfortunately these people seem to enjoy the best legal support and spend the least time in jail. The lil spliffhead caught in possession is more likely to take jailtime.

One more criminal created.

So what could be done ? Decriminalise it. Give people the right to smoke a limited amount of ganja and if there is possession of any more than sactioned,then the state can get the right to bond them to serve as free working resource for a limited time, like 3 months. Nothing like hard work in the sun at no cost to the state (or a contracted entity) to encourage you to smoke your spliff in private quarters and for your own enjoyment.

As for the gateway argument, it is flimsy at best.

The only gateway from marijuana to cocaine is prison.