The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda has split opinion over his call for the police to stop charging people for smoking marijuana.
Gaston Browne made the comment on his radio station during the weekend.
“I want to signal to the members of the police force, in the interim, that they desist from incriminating individuals because the government has made its policy very clear,” the prime minister said.
“Even though the law has not been changed, they must at least respect the intent and to give those who use marijuana a break.”
The government has tabled an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act that would see the decriminalisation of the possession of marijuana amounting to no more than 10g.
Browne said that they would be having a six-week period of consultations on issues connected to supply.
According to Browne, the fact that the law has not been passed does not mean that the police have to take a “puritanic position” on the matter, since they were trying not to criminalise people for using marijuana.
“So for us, some level of cooperation by the police is important in the interim, as we continue the consultations and as we move in the first instance to decriminalise marijuana.”