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Apr 26, 2022

Churches Can Challenge Decision on Marijuana Law

Francis Fonseca

The churches have been actively petitioning signatures needed to trigger a referendum which, by law, requires ten percent of the voting population. These signatures would subsequently be turned over to the Governor General for her vetting. But is this process all for naught if the timeframe during which the petition was to be made should have preceded the passage of the Cannabis and Hemp Control and Licensing Bill 2022 into law? Today, Cabinet Minister Francis Fonseca told the media that the churches may challenge the constitutionality of the law.


Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“Cabinet approved that bill, the National Assembly of which I am a member approved that bill, passed it into law. The senate approved that bill, passed it into law so that is where it is. The bill has the support of the cabinet; it has my support as a member of cabinet, as a member of the National Assembly so that’s where it is. The issue of a referendum, let’s see what happens. We’ve yet to receive word from the Governor General that any petition has been lodged with her office. At that time, we will take a look at it.”



“So what if the church actually get to that threshold, they make the case that no matter what has happened, the government like any other citizen, has to comply with the law and the law says that if ten percent of the registered voters have signed on to say they want a national referendum on it, shouldn’t the government comply?”


Francis Fonseca

“Well that will have to be a decision of the cabinet. So we will look at it at that time. You know there is case law that says and declared dictor in that case law says that the referendum cannot come after a first reading. So you can take a look at the various case in which that matter was discussed. So you can argue both sides of the law and of obviously the church is free to challenge in court any decision that we ultimately make. But it will be a cabinet decision and I don’t want to get ahead of that.”

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