*iStock photo
*iStock photo

A former cannabis legalization campaigner yesterday said he is highlighting the dangers of drug decriminalization.

And Alan Gordon — a law graduate from the University of Buckingham in England, currently preparing for his Bermuda Bar exams — added that any decriminalization of the drug risked weed ending up in the hands of schoolchildren unless strict safeguards were built in.

Now Mr Gordon, 43, is planning to run a full-page advert in a Bermuda newspaper aimed at highlighting the dangers of drug decriminalization.

Mr Gordon said: “What substance abuse professionals have said is that when potentially habit-forming drugs are regulated, it’s easier to keep them away from children.

“We’ve had greater success with alcohol and tobacco than we’ve had with cannabis, heroin or cocaine. We have to regulate the sale of cannabis the way we do with alcohol and tobacco.

“Kids have difficulty buying alcohol and tobacco, but they have no difficulty buying cannabis at school, which is tragic.”

Mr Gordon added: “Mr Dunkley listened very carefully — I consider him and the entire Cabinet to be very responsive. They are trying to do the best they can to give the people what they want.

“But the public has not considered the message this sends to children or the funding of overseas terror. I don’t blame the Government. They’re doing their job reflecting the wishes of the people, but the people haven’t thought this through.

“I would just urge the Government not to act until this has been thought about a little bit more.”

Attorney General Mark Pettingill in March confirmed government is to examine the issue of penalties for marijuana use.

He told the Bermuda Sun that, based on an appearance on a talk radio show, most callers appeared to back a relaxation of the current laws — although he stressed he had no position on the subject.

But last night Government was staying tight-lipped on its next move.

Review

A spokesman for the National Security Minister, which exercises delegated powers over policing, said: “The Department of National Drug Control has prepared a comprehensive paper on this subject which is currently being reviewed internally prior to any discussion of the matter at Cabinet or elsewhere.”

Police

Mr Gordon was a prominent pro-legalisation campaigner 1990s in the US, using civil disobedience techniques as part of his campaign — including turning himself into police and judges with marijuana plants in his possession.

But he said he no longer supported these methods, although he retained an interest in the subject after moving to the island in 2005 with his Bermudian wife.