Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago are set to expunge hundreds of existing criminal records relating to cannabis charges, as they move forward with introducing their own cannabis marketing in the near future.
Legislation has been proposed for the region, that would bring a new cannabis market, "for medicinal purposes", into the area, which includes the introduction of cannabis business licenses, and the creation of a Trinidad and Tobago Cannabis Licensing Authority to maintain the enforce the rules over this plant.
As far as who might have their old records expunged, it should be anyone who has been convicted of possession of up to 60 grams of cannabis, or allegedly up to 10 grams of resin. Just like many other regions, authorities in Trinidad and Tobago are seeing the significant amount of money that they can make here by taxing these exchanges, putting themselves squarely in the middle of all-things going on in the cannabis market.
Liberty > Money
If only this decision were due to their newfound understanding of individual liberty, and that they shouldn't be making criminals out of patients and initiating violence over a plant.
The economic benefits are too lucrative to ignore here and Trinidad and Tobago authorities want a piece of the action.
It is alleged that users will be able to consume in their own private space, within legal constraints, but they will still be prohibited from purchasing it "legally" for quite some time still.
In a variety of regions that have sought to establish legal cannabis markets they've often taken years to unfold, with patients suffering along the way as they scramble to figure out the centralized coordination of it all.
Growing Cannabis At Home
In Trinidad and Tobago, while legal markets are being established, authorities have insisted that individuals will be able to grow up to 4 plants at their own home.
This option might not be viable for many who rent and who cannot obtain permission to grow, but for those who own their own property it is an option left to them.
Growing your own at home gives you better price, more control over what you are consuming as well, allowing you to know what is going into it. But not everyone has the time or the knowledge, or even the interest in growing their own and would rather trade others for it.
Time To Free Up Valuable Resources
Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago have admitted that this is going to hopefully ease the burden on the criminal justice system, enabling authorities to focus on more important activities.
Let's stop putting plant growers and users behind bars, because they are no threat to anyone but themselves with their actions.
They might be changing the rules on cannabis a bit, but there will still be many restrictions in place. And they admit that they aren't anywhere close to starting to market the region for any sort of cannabis tourism just yet. Maybe once they understand the economic benefits on that endeavor, they'll come around then to that change as well.