Just days after the Bermuda House of Assembly overwhelmingly approved legislation to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis, the Senate has done the same.
The legislation, titled the Misuse of Drugs (Decriminalization of Cannabis) Amendment Act and tabled by Minister of Social Development and Sport Zane DeSilva, will decriminalize the possession of up to seven grams of cannabis for personal use. Given the measure has been approved by Bermuda’s full Congress, it now goes to Governor John Rankin for consideration. Rankin is expected to sign the measure into law.
Under the proposed law cannabis possession up to seven grams would no longer be a criminal offense, though police would still have the authority to seize any cannabis found on a person. Charges could also still be applied if it’s determined that the cannabis was intended to be distributed, rather than consumed for personal use. The minister will also be tasked with determining regulations for substance abuse education or treatment for those caught possessing cannabis.
According to a Profiles of Bermuda poll released in 2015, 79% of voters in Bermuda support either decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis.