July 4, 2008
Stapleton: Marijuana was a necessary evil

“Marijuana was a necessary evil, but it has outlived its usefulness in the economic development of North Leeward”. This is the view of Bertram Stapleton.

Stapleton, a lawyer, expressed this view at the New Testament Church of God in Chateaubelair on Tuesday while delivering the feature address at the 2008 graduation ceremony of the Petit Bordel Secondary School’s (PBSS).{{more}}

Stapleton made the parallel between slavery and the ganja trade claiming that slavery was wrong but necessary at the time. He told the graduates that in the current situation nothing but education would move them forward.

“When I graduated from this same school in 1990, a days work to clean weed was $100. I worked on trucks droghing flour and rice, beating blocks and did any menial work to survive. The money never attracted me, today it’s $50 a day”, Stapleton said.

Stapleton told the packed church that because he couldn’t find employment in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) he moved to Antigua and became a police officer. “Out of all my peers I was the only one who didn’t own a car because I was focussed on becoming a lawyer. You see, you have to make sacrifices to achieve your goals. Blinging is not everything, but now I can bling if I want to”, the young lawyer said.

Stapleton, who said he never wore shoes to primary school, also chided teachers who are not committed to their students’ well being, “If you don’t care, get out”, he said to loud applause from the rapt audience.

Also addressing the gathering was area representative Dr Jerrol Thompson and Education Officer Gloria Jack.

Miss SVG Teen 2008 winner Teranza Franklyn was named the Student of the Year. Retiring Teacher Ivor Laborde was awarded for 40 years of service to the teaching profession.

The Petit Bordel Secondary School, whose acting principal is Ethron Creese, was opened in 1976. The school has 29 academic and five non academic staff members. At the beginning of the last school year the PBSS was merged with the Petit Bordel Multi-Purpose Centre. (AC)