Director of Africana Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Prof Onwubiko Agozino is calling for the legalisation of marijuana. He believes people who use/sell marijuana and may be arrested and sentenced to prison for it cannot be compared with one incarcerated for homicide. He also believes imprisoning someone for a marijuana offence exposes that individual to violent socialisation.
The right to sell marijuana, as in Netherlands or Portugal, he said, should also be decriminalised thereby allowing people to earn a living. Other illicit drugs such as cocaine, he said, should also be decriminalised, but through education, the public should be made alive to the the dangers.
“The war on drugs is a choice our leaders have made. Waging war on drugs is not working; what works is education. Marijuana never killed anybody. We should end the war on drugs, legalise marijuana and allow the young people here in Trinidad and Tobago to grow their little marijuana and make a decent living and pay some taxes,” he said.
Agozino’s comments came as he delivered the keynote address at the opening day of the 14th Biannual International Conference on Penal Abolition (ICOPA). The conference invites the opinions and expertise of activists, academics, journalists, practitioners, people currently or formerly imprisoned, survivors of State and personal harm and others from across the world working toward the abolition of imprisonment, the penal system, and the prison industrial complex.
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