This week Bermuda’s Royal Gazette newspaper has written about some of our articles about the island’s policy of prosecuting U.S. passengers who have a few grams of pot in their cabins on cruise ships which arrive at port.
Yesterday the Gazette published "Island’s Tough Line on Cruise Ship Passengers with Drugs is Criticised," which summarized some of our recent articles including More Reefer Madness from Bermuda’s Kangaroo Courts.
Today, the newspaper published "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times." The opinion piece surprisingly agrees with our view that Bermuda’s policy of shaking cruise tourists down for small amounts of pot, typically seized from the passengers’ safes while they are ashore in Bermuda, accomplishes little except to damage the country’s reputation as a tourist destination.
Bermuda, like many island countries, could care less about principles of due process, probable cause, or search warrants regarding cruise ships. The customs officials there arrest cruise tourists to generate revenue. Unfortunately, the border and customs officials do not focus the same energy on arresting rapists or child pornographers on Bermuda-flagged cruise ships.
It’s not just Bermuda that has a confused sense of priorities.
As violent crime spirals out of control in Nassau, tourism police in the Bahamas arrested a 23 year old cruise tourist from South Carolina. The Royal Bahamas Police website says that officers from the Tourism Policing Unit boarded an unidentified cruise ship at the port and arrested the passenger for possession of "dangerous drugs" on June 15th. In the Bahamas, marijuana is characterized as a "dangerous drug," even a single joint.
Like Bermuda, the Bahamas does not care if there is probable cause for an arrest. It’s a shame that these islands don’t utilize these officers to target shipboard child predators or protect the passengers and crew members from robbery, rape and murder ashore.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia / JoeyBagODonuts