KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC — The St Vincent and the Grenadines Parliament has amended legislation that would make smoking two ounces (56 grammes) or less of marijuana a ticketable offence, if the offender admits to the crime.

Under the new law, a person who is in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana cannot be arrested, cannot be jailed, and would not get a criminal record as a result.

The law also makes it legal for persons to use the drug in their home or at places of Rastafarian worship. However, it also makes an offence, the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana carrying a maximum penalty of EC$500.

But Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said this penalty doesn’t have to be imposed because the law states that there is a way in which the liability can be discharged, adding that this is an important point because the international convention says possession of marijuana is an offence

He said in order for a person who is accused of being in possession of two ounces or less of marijuana to appear in court, they have to be summoned.

Gonsalves told legislators on Thursday that if a police officer meets someone with two ounces of cannabis or less, and the person admits to possession, the officer would have to give that person a card containing health and education information about the use of marijuana.