Unbowed: Bermuda’s Opposition Leader stands by cannabis claims

BERMUDA’S Opposition Leader Marc Beanabsolutely” stands by his backing of cannabis tea as a medicine, including using it to treat his own daughter’s asthma.

Asked about the risk of administering psychoactive substances to children, Mr Bean told The Royal Gazette that the drug didn’t carry that risk when consumed in tea.

THC is not dissolvable in water,” he said. “Its consumption in terms of smoking the psychoactive component – that’s to be used by a mature mind.”

He added: “Young people should not be consuming marijuana in that fashion – of course not.”

His daughter, Shaehlay Saltus, said she stood by her father's decision. (Photo by Nicola Muirhead)

His daughter, Shaehlay Saltus, said she stood by her father’s decision. (Photo by Nicola Muirhead)

The Progressive Labour Party head, who spoke during Friday’s session of the House of Assembly as MPs debated the findings of the Cannabis Reform Collective, said he made no bones about his own personal experience with the drug.

I was a Rastaman, full fledged – I lit the chalice,” Mr Bean said.

He had no comment on whether he continues to use cannabis, but said of his detractors: “They don’t know. I’m not saying it disrespectfully; they just don’t know. I’m coming from living experience.”

Although he spoke broadly on the issue of cannabis during Friday’s debate, Mr Bean’s comments drew particular flak when it came to his daughter.

Telling MPs that his child had suffered severely from asthma, the Warwick South Central MP continued: “The first opportunity I had my daughter, who’s now going 20 years old, the first opportunity I had her in my care and custody I went and made her a big cup of ganja tea. At two-and-a-half, three years old.”

He claimed she was cured of the illness. Children’s advocate Sheelagh Cooper subsequently expressed “shock“, and Liz Boden of the asthma charity Open Airways responded that there was no known cure for asthma.

Ms Boden said a doctor should be consulted before trying “alternative remedies“, or before giving up prescribed medicine.

Unfazed, Mr Bean responded: “Being a responsible parent isn’t actually taking the advice of another person but finding the knowledge for yourself, especially when it pertains to your child’s health.”

He added: “Some people will be naturally concerned because it’s such a serious statement.

“But we have others within the One Bermuda Alliance who looks at it as an opportunity to deflect from 15 months of dishonesty with the country.

If that’s how me being honest and frank to the people of this country is seen, then so be it. But I take full responsibility for my children’s health — not as a politician but as a parent.” {FULL STORY HERE}

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