Shuman commits to legalising Ganja, giving ex-sugar workers land
The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), launched Saturday, has begun its campaign, making commitments to legalise the use of marijuana and addressing the plight of hundreds of sugar workers who were laid off over the past two years.
Speaking at the party’s launch at the weekend, Presidential Candidate, Lenox Shuman blasted former Governments for not properly addressing the plights of farmers and sugar workers.
“What they have done is simply provide handouts to keep these people in dependence, in perpetuity,” he noted during his speech at the Georgetown Club.
“They (the current and former Governments) all term themselves as defenders of farmers, defenders of sugar workers and rice farmers but in 53 years, neither administration has really addressed their issues and that is one of entrapment,” he added.
Over the past three years, the Government has closed four sugar estates –Wales, Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon, leaving hundreds of workers unemployed.
Shuman, a former leader of the National Toshaos’ Council and Toshao of Pakuri, formerly St Cuthbert’s Mission, pledged to transform the agriculture industry in a way that will benefit ex-sugar workers.
“What I intend to do is to give them that land. Obviously, it comes with conditions in utilizing that land for some purposes that will not only see their personal growth but will also see national growth,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the event.
Shuman said had the government thought about that, “instead of 7,000 people being unemployed, there could have been 7,000 people in private enterprise, all we had to do is to make them all landowners.”
He noted that his plans will support the growth of private enterprises and provide revenue for the farmers and the country.
Additionally, he also pledged his party’s commitment to seriously take up the legalisation of marijuana.
Speaking about its economical and other benefits, Shuman said “there are corporations that are making billions…in revenue, from an industry that we in Guyana criminalise.
“We are locking people up, putting them in jail for smoking a small joint and meanwhile the rest of the world is making billions out of that industry.”
He pointed out that all this is doing is clogging up the prison system and promoting corruption.
The LJP Presidential Candidate warned the Rastafarian community that the Government’s APNU+AFC parties and Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will try to persuade them that they will be doing same if re-elected.
“There has been no move towards legalisaiton and come election, you’re going to hear all of the other parties come out there and talk about legalisation but I want to ask you, in 53 years, have they really been serious about that?”
The APNU+AFC Government has pledged to remove the mandatory three-year jail sentence for the possession of small amounts of Marijuana from Guyana’s laws this year.
However, the Government was toppled in a vote of No-Confidence on December 21, 2018 and has to call elections in three months.
However, it has moved to the court seeking to have the vote set aside.