Gratitude to Joint Services

Dear Editor,
I want to express my profound gratitude to the Police, along with the firemen, the prison officers and the soldiers who did their duty to the nation over the last few days.
They moved 1018 prisoners less the escapees (whatever is the real number because even the Minister remains clueless on the final count at the time of this letter). It was a volatile situation and that has an explosive potential. The fact of the matter is, this is not over and thus the time to castigate this inept and incompetent Granger Administration is not now.
As a Guyanese, I will support all action taken to contain the runaway convicts and bring back order to the nation but observing the performance of President Granger and his time does not make me hopeful at all.  So operationally, the Joint Services deserve full commendation for a job well done.
But on the policy front, I want to put Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and President David Granger on notice; your failure at all levels will be exposed but now is not the time.
Now let me highlight a major contributor to the over-population of the remand system; the Granger Administration remains very reluctance to support a bill proposed by Member of Parliament, Michael Carrington called the Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment)  Bill 2015 – No. 17 of 2015.  In a newspaper publication, Government spokesperson Joseph Harmon unequivocally said: “that the matter of decriminalising the possession of marijuana is not a matter which is engaging the immediate attention of his Government.”
Carrington has told the media in 2015 that his intention was to replace jail time for smoking weed with a big fine or community service. Let me go on record and state that I support this position by Carrington unreservedly.  If the “dread” wants to smoke his weed by the joint so what, let him clean some drains rather than languish in the prison system.
But, Editor, do you know we have a bigger social illness in Guyana called alcoholism that is more dangerous to the social structure of the nation? I was advised by a top doctor in Guyana that more people are dying from “cirrhosis of the liver and other internal organ failures because of the abuse of alcohol” in Guyana other than cancer – which is associated with smoking)?  So if you want to ban smoking, then you must also ban rum drinking.
Based on my last bit of research on this matter in 2016, there were over 200 young boys in the prison system for “smoking a joint”; all because the hands of the Magistrates were tied; they have to follow the stupid law. This Granger Administration refuses to do the right thing by implementing the wisdom of Carrington.
Thank you Carrington for piloting this Bill in Parliament and shutting it down is an oppressive and out-dated act by a group of expired and hypocritical minds who are bent on suppress the necessary changes needed to ease the pressure on the prison system.
The youths have seen what they have in office today and I know they will do something with these geriatric politicians at the ballot boxes come 2020; they are no good for Guyana.

Sase Singh, MSc –
Finance, ACCA