Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience and for the purpose of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
(2) Every religious community shall be entitled, at its own expense, to establish and maintain places of education and to manage any place of education which it wholly maintains.
(3) No religious community shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community in the course of any education provided by that community whether or not that community is in receipt of any government subsidy, grant or other form of financial assistance designed to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of such course of education.
(4) Except with his own consent (or, if he is a person who has not attained the age of twenty-one years, the consent of his guardian), no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction,
ceremony or observance relates to a religion which is not his own.
(5) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner
which is contrary to his religion or belief’.
(6) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision which is reasonably required-
(i) in the interests of defense, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
(ii) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practice any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion; or with respect to standards or qualifications to be required in relation to places of education including any instruction (not being religious instruction) given at such places.
(7) References in this section to a religion shall be construed as including references to a religious denomination, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.
PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
OF THE INDIVIDUAL
Whereas every person in Barbados is entitled to the Fundamental fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty and security of the person;
(b) protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation;
(c) the protection of the law; and
(d) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association,
the following provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.
Taken from the Barbados Constitution.
The Attorney General has stated that the Sacramental Cannabis Bill does not include the first place of worship, the home, as the government could not police such a situation effectively. He also said the government did not want to create a Rastafari register. A register he said, would require them to determine who was ,and was not Rasta, before allowing them their constitutional rights that are applicable to cannabis use. However the government has opted to make a register of Rastafari places of worship and its leaders (Priests and Priestesses). Is this not the same registering of Rastafari for efficient policing by government?
How is my use of cannabis in the privacy of my home a threat to public safety? It must be noted that the Barbados constitution provides for the freedom of association. So if any Barbadian wants to associate with Rastafari and its “religious” customs, they are by right entitled to do so and use the plant within the confines of their home, as does Rastafari.
Some food for thought! Preparation is being made to effect a legal challenge against the government of Barbados to have the justice brought to cannabis reform in Barbados.
Win, loose or draw we can no longer afford to wait on the greed of the government or cannabis opportunists to do for us what we must do for ourselves.
We have waited a year for justice resulting from a moral choice by the BLP. This has not worked as no moral standing seems to exist with the bones of this government.