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Give Weed a Chance

Monday, October 5, 2015
Nazma Muller

My name is Nazma Muller and I advocate the legalisation of marijuana.

I am genuinely from the East-West Corridor: Bournes Road, St James, Cocorite, Barataria, San Juan, Cleaver Heights, Trincity. My teenaged years were in Building 12 in Maloney. Bouncing up AK47s coming down the steps. Police AK47s, not gangster AK47s. Police looking for people. Those early years of being itinerant, of not being fixed in one place, I don’t have a sense of “home.”

I come from a typical Trini family: very dysfunctional. It was an absolute nightmare but, now I look back, I see my mother was doing her best. Her father was from Hong Kong and he went back. Her mother was a Garifuna, a black Carib. Muller is German but, in Trinidad, it’s an Indian name. My grandfather was a street-sweeper from Fort de France who moved to St James. He was in front the band at Carnival and the first to buy ham at Christmas. One of them Muslims. But his brother was an imam who danced the moon at Hoosay.

I have a seven-year-old son, Elijah Fidel. His dad is the typical visit-when-not-running-down-women, a black thing that goes back to slavery. That’s the guy I chose but I really didn’t do enough background checks. I was 34, hormones raging, biological clock ticking and he was a tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed black Rastaman. You have these genetic wonders in the Penal Rock Road. And with a six-pack! I had no choice! If you saw my son, you’d say, “Okay, go back and screw that guy again.”

My father, in his lifetime, was a Muslim, a Christian and a Hindu. I think ganja is as close as you get to God.

(The late newspaper writer) Keith Smith used to smoke ganja to help with the pain of cancer. 

I don’t think he would mind me mentioning that. For the cause.

I’m working with the C420 NGO suing the state (over the non-creation of marijuana possession regulations). I think Trinidadians will get behind marijuana, because, in Trinidad, once you can afford a lawyer, you can do anything. This is what (Chief Jusice) Ivor (Archie) cannot say upfront: the bigger your lawyer, the more likely you are to get what you want! If the law has always been that people are permitted to sell and use marijuana, this could actually expunge all those cases of men being locked up for two joints.

I’ve been advocating legalisation for ten years. What’s wrong with getting high? Ganja is like sex for young people: it’s there and they will use it. Their usage depends on how we talk, explain, guide and inform their decisions in a positive way. We would have to start legalising at age 21 and work back to 18.

We’re all sick, fat, depressed, hypertensive, diabetic. And marijuana can address each of those conditions depending on the strain. Marijuana is better than Prozac! A herbal remedy that enriches ganja planters instead of giving huge sums to GlaxoSmithKline.

(With) legalisation and regulation people know what they’re getting. There’s marijuana that is 50 per cent THC that I and all probably couldn’t handle, and I’ve been smoking every day for 15 years. I’m chronic! But I think I look good for 42.

We could have a Caribbean ganja cruise ship industry. You start in Cuba with a mojito-flavoured marijuana. Come through Jamaica with ackee-and-saltfish. We have to come up with our TT flavour quickly, if it’s cocoa, if it’s passion fruit, we need to get over ourselves fast.

You can’t find a quiet public space in Trinidad. Everywhere you go, music is blasting. Is it to numb us? And marijuana brings that home to me more than ever. That’s why I’ve become a recluse. Marijuana makes you think more about the deeper questions, like what kind of society we want.

A Trini is very open, very warm. But we’re loud, we’re obnoxious, we’re nasty. We shade-ist, we shallow, we superficial. A good-looking red woman with a big bamcee could run this country for the next hundred years and nobody would even notice. But we [do] have a lesson to teach the world that, at heart, all o’ we really know we are one.

Trinidad & Tobago means 400 types of birds to me. You by the side of the road and a Blue Jean passes! We are so beautiful. Best cocoa, hottest pepper, hottest women – and we just keep firetrucking it up, putting concrete on it and blasting music louder!

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