Today, January 25, 2017, I am again hurt and saddened when I read the various newspapers in Guyana. The court courts continue to deny those accused of possession of Marijuana bail.This is even more glaring when compared to the handling of other cases by the same magistrates. I have included a few in today’s papers to highlight my point. The accused of the following charges were all granted bail; Seon David, released on $70,000 bail for unlawful wounding. Devon Josephs, released on $30,000 bail for larceny. Deon Griffith, released on $200,000 bail for robbery, Leslie Lewis released on $75,000 bail for larceny, Eon Griffith released on $20,000 bail for larceny.
However, Carlos Ross and Sherlock Goodridge, possession of cannabis: 25g, no bail, remand to prison. I believe every citizen should be deemed innocent until proven otherwise and I have no opinion on the other accused being given bail. But I am hurt and grieved to see that Marijuana smokers continue to be discriminated against. Marijuana accused are not afforded the same pre-trial liberties as other offenders.
I am of African descent and when I checked the ethnicity of all those men remanded to prison for the charge of possession of cannabis, 90 percent are young black men.
It is time, it is way past the time that Caribbean governments generally and the Government of Guyana especially, follow Jamaica’s bold step and remove these racist, colonialist, apartheid and slavery laws from the backs of young black men. We are turning our young black men into criminals.