There are a few things in life over time that become like staple to you, and your daily routine is surrounded by them.
From the time David De Caires brought a second newspaper to Guyana to accompany the Chronicle and my friend Freddie Kissoon was a columnist, I gained interest in his writings.
When I came to UG in the late 90s as a freshman, I met Freddie for the first time through his good friend Vadis (Lisa) Wilson. I said to him then, “I enjoy your columns, sir”. He smiled and went away as usual.
We became closer through my classmate, Leonard Craig. We always have healthy debates when Lenno is around.
Despite his informative analysis at times, I bluntly refuse to accept some of his findings. He rants daily about our prison system being filled because of a MARIJUANA JOINT, and AFC’s Michael Carrington’s impending piece of legislation to legalize the drug.
I don’t think in my humble opinion and seeing what is happening to our youths, Guyana is anywhere near to legalizing GANJA.
Attorney General Williams may have a , let the Guyanese populace decide.
Ian Mc Donald, on Sunday, caught my attention. He penned a very important article about our time on earth. As we get older each day, a friend of ours will pass away and before you know it, all of the friends from that era are gone and a next generation takes over.
The RASTA fraternity is trying to tie the hands of this current administration to pass legislation to legalize GANJA. They cite Canada, the US and other First World countries to add value to their argument together with the legendary Peter Mc Intosh’s LEGALISE IT, as their mantra, extolling the virtues of this wonder drug. It’s good for glaucoma, asthma and the list goes on.
None of the arguments so far mentioned the damaging effects to our youthful population where there is a definite rise in its use.
I was travelling from Port Kaituma to Baramita a few years ago and the police were doing what is referred to as routine checks. Believe me, all the young males averaging age 17 to 35 had little scissors, an officer made attempt to confiscate them; all hell broke loose.
The scissors were to cut up weed. When these young men reach the mining camp, they must smoke before work begins.
I have a friend who is a prominent building contractor, I met him one morning and he was furious. He was expressing himself with expletives. He said, ‘Shep, I get some young man wokkin’ wid me. Them gah fuh smoke weed before them wok. When the weed wok out by 9-10, wok done, them can’t go mo’.
I gave him a scenario that I encountered a few years ago being a member of GuySuCo Training Centre /Port Mourant. A buddy of mine Dion ‘Salt Poke’ Gordon, a former student of St. Stanislaus College, had to have his weed before any test. He got 94 and I got 96 in a Mettalurgy examination.
I told him there and then smoking weed to study is a myth.
The last time I saw my friend, a young budding engineer, because he did Fitting and Machining, he was washing cars behind his alma mater on Hadfield Street with his new found friends, a set of JUNKIES from Leopold Street. It pained my heart.
Here is where my utmost respect for President Granger comes in. When pressed about the impending Marijuana legislation and comparisons were made to other countries, his reply was clever. He said, ‘ WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL WHAT LEGISLATIONS WE ADOPT FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.” Our president was saying that not everything that we see other countries do is applicable to Guyana, and he is absolutely correct.
The countries that are now legalizing the drug are practising what I term CONTROLLED AGRICULTURE. All systems are in place for any negative impact. Guyana is nowhere near to that, and there is a far way to go.
Some of the RASTA pundits want a whole ounce to be walking around with and smoke without a care in the world.
A few days ago, I saw a headline, MAN DECAPITATED IN DIAMOND. At first I took it for nothing, maybe a family feud went wrong.
My phone started to ring off the hook, ‘Hi Sheppy, you hear what happen to Peto? I said no. One of our colleagues broke the bad news to me. Sheppy is you partner Peterkin get killed, bai. As an electrician, he simply knew his trade. All the electrical work at my home he will do.
Peterkin would say ‘“All y’all went UG and thing after training school, but one contract, and I make your month money in a day.”
I was reading the papers yesterday, and his father-in-law said a mouthful when interviewed, he said “JUSTIN AND HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW ARE REGULAR MARIJUANA SMOKERS, AND HE MAY HAVE TRIPPED. HE KNEW OF NO FEUD BETWEEN THEM”.
There are many prominent people in our midst that are weed smokers. Lawyers, doctors etc. will indulge at the beginning of their daily routines.
As you move around the city, every group of unemployed youths you see becomes jumpy and jittery when a police van approaches; a stash is somewhere around. Legalizing ganja has catastrophic effects for Guyana.
There will be more incidents like these if we don’t control the supply of this substance on the streets of Guyana.
As I say farewell to a comrade and friend, on behalf of the entire apprentice fraternity, let this be a lesson to the people who are trying to bring legal chaos into Guyana.
To his mother, wife and children and his extended family, the Paradise community, REST IN PEACE, PETO. You did it your way.
Ronald R. Shepherd
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