The Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) have released their official position on cannabis use. The council has decided to approve cannabis for medical use, but not for recreational or religious purposes.
According to Eyewitness News, the council supports freeing cannabis prisoners and clearing criminal records for those who are only guilty of possessing a small amount of cannabis, but because of the psychoactive properties of the plant, they can’t condone full legalization or total support.
“We do not believe marijuana use should be condoned or encouraged as it is a mind-altering, potentially debilitating drug capable of several negative side effects such as marijuana induced psychosis, cognitive impairment, negative impact on the brain of users under the age of 21, and reduced productivity,” reads a statement released by the council. “We have no objection to medicinal use as long as it is properly regulated and scientifically proven to be the best remedy for the condition prescribed.”
The report also reflected that while legal cannabis can bring in revenue, church leaders were concerned about how it would impact values and exposure to young people, as well as mental health issues. It called for resources to be allocated correctly. “Expungement of records is a matter that is currently being addressed by another National committee spearheaded by former Commissioner Paul Farquharson and we will defer to that body to await final recommendations of that committee before offering comment,” the statement continued.
Education is of utmost importance to the council as well. “We favor an urgent educational campaign informing both adults and youth on the impact of marijuana in its various forms (CDB, THC), especially regarding the mental health risks to younger persons and the danger of marijuana edibles which have contributed to increased emergency room visits in every jurisdiction where marijuana has been decriminalized.”
However, despite these concerns, some studies show that teens in legal states wait to experiment with cannabis and churches elsewhere are getting even more involved in the industry. The BCC is willing to embrace cannabis in some cases, but not all the way.