By Anthony Martinelli

Bermuda’s House of Assembly has overwhelmingly approved legislation to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis.

The Misuse of Drugs (Decriminalization of Cannabis) Amendment Act, tabled by Minister of Social Development and Sport Zane DeSilva, would decriminalize the possession of up to seven grams of cannabis for personal use. The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration. Passage in the Senate would send it to Governor John Rankin who could sign it into law, allow it to become law without his signature, or veto it.

Although police would no longer be able to arrest individuals with up to seven grams of cannabis under the proposed law, they could still seize it. The minister would also be tasked with drawing up 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.

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