Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Senior Minister and Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Number Six, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas strongly supported the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which was successfully passed in the Federal Parliament on February 08.
“I am very pleased to be here in this Parliament to lend support to what this Administration, this Parliament is seeking to do, which really started several years ago. This very piece of legislation that we are amending today was in fact passed in 2014,” said Dr. Douglas. “Now we are amending and improving that Act to ensure that we, as a responsible government and Parliament, respond to what is happening around us in this world on the matter of drugs, use and abuse of cannabis, ganja, etc.”
Senior Minister Douglas said that future amendments will be made to this important piece of legislation as it relates to drugs and drug abuse. However, the government “wants to make sure that when we would have done all of the revisiting, we would have prepared our people properly,” he added.
Minister Douglas commended the Members of the Cannabis Commission who “responded as part of their public duties to help to bring some solution to the ongoing issue. I want to thank the participants who were also part of the Cannabis Authority because this is going to continue.
“I also commend this Parliament, the government for bringing this at this time, so that although we are doing the incremental changes, I think the pace at which it is going is good because it gives time for proper education and understanding,” he added.
The Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Amendment) Bill, 2023, amended the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act to expand the offences by which convicted persons’ criminal records can be expunged to include cultivation of five (5) or less cannabis plants or cultivation such that the convicted person was fined or sentenced for imprisonment for less than three years.