The office of the Attorney General in Barbados has notified legal council for Mr. Paul Rock, also known as Ras Simba, that they will be represented by three lawyers. Two of those lawyers are Queen’s Councils (QC). They are QC Leslie Haynes, the father of Prime Minister Mia Mottley, QC Elliott Mottley and Marsha Lockheed.
Ras Simba is making a constitutional challenge to have his home considered a place of worship, and to have that reflected in the Sacrament Cannabis Act. This would make it legal for him and all Rastafari to cultivate cannabis in the privacy of their homes for their spiritual uses. He is also challenging the law that prohibits the possession, use and cultivation of cannabis for private adult use within the homes of Barbadians.
QC Leslie Haynes
Prime Minister Mia Mottley and father QC Elliott Mottley
The government of Barbados is sending in its big guns, and coming down heavy to defend their position that;
- The Rastafari home should not be considered a place of worship.
- The law that prohibits the adult use of cannabis in the privacy of a persons home is justified.
On the 5th November (tomorrow) the Rastafari community represented by Ras Simba and his lawyer will face the government of Barbados, whose fundamental stance on cannabis is that it is illegal due its danger to the nation. However, it is this very government that is in the process of establishing a medicinal cannabis industry, and that is making the use and possession of 15grams or less of cannabis a ticketable offence carrying a fine of $200. It is also this government that has recognized Rastafari as religion by the passing of a Sacramental Cannabis Act, and more recently the observance of the rights of Rastafari to keep their heads covered when taking pictures for their national identification cards.
One must then ask, what really is the position of the government when it comes to cannabis in the society? Take into consideration that this government has promised the Barbadian people a referendum to decide on the issue of legalizing cannabis for recreational use.
Meanwhile in New Jersey, voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis, putting pressure on neighboring states like New York. New Jersey voters on Tuesday authorized the legal use of recreational marijuana in a year when supporters rallied around the disproportionate number of arrests for the drug in minority communities.
What was once an argument centered mainly on the bottom-line benefits of taxing and regulating a product widely in use has been reframed as one with racial equity at its heart. In the United States, Black residents are 3.64 times more likely than their white neighbors to be charged with marijuana possession, according to a 2018 report by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Tomorrow morning, in the courts of law in Barbados, the issue of cannabis legalization will be fought on the foundations of religious tolerance, constitutional and human rights.
In Barbados it is a well known fact that huge disparities exist in the treatment of people from different racial backgrounds, as it relates to all criminal matters. Therefore it is not baseless conversation to say tomorrows court battle is also founded on racial justice.
Cannabis Barbados wishes Ras Simba/Masimba (Paul Rock) and the Rastafari community the very best as they start their battle with the government of Barbados for their liberation.
Let the people note the strong show of force the government is presenting to discredit the Rastafari home, the foundation of their family. What they will not dare to do to other religious groupings, they feel proud to do to Rastafari.
Let the record state it is the position of Cannabis Barbados that until cannabis justice is had, all Rastafari and people who would see justice be bestowed unto all, should refrain from voting for this government in any election.
Voting for those who would easily violate your “HUMAN RIGHTS” is like committing suicide.
This is a sure loss for the BLP government. Should Masimba win, it is their loss. If they should win the case, they will loose the confidence, respect and support of many. That is a sure loss for any political party.
This should have never been allowed to reach this far.
Finally, we do hope that a strong show of support is given to Masimba and his lawyer. If he is fighting for you, the least you can do is be there. We are positive the media will be present and it would be good to have the public speak with them about their feelings on the matter.
One for all and all for one.