Former health minister against decriminalising marijuana

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Former health minister against decriminalising marijuana
Sarah Flood-Beaubrun
Sarah Flood-Beaubrun is a qualified lawyer.

A former health minister has spoken out against decriminalising marijuana warning the measure could have many negative health and social consequences for St. Lucia.

“Traditionally we have a very poor record of monitoring legislation once enacted. We can assume that if marijuana were legalised, even if there were safeguards written into the legislation, there would be little or no monitoring. In practice it would become… a free for all,” Sarah Flood-Beaubrun said.

Flood-Beaubrun, who served as health minister in the 1997-2001 St. Lucia Labour Party Government of Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony acknowledged that while marijuana may have medicinal properties, it was important to weigh the benefits with the likely harm it can cause.

The attorney said it is a fact that there are many negative health and social consequences resulting from the use of marijuana.

“During my tenure as minister of health I was repeatedly advised by the consultant psychiatrist that the majority of young persons at the Golden Hope Hospital were there because of marijuana use.  There should be documentation at the Ministry of Health regarding this,” Flood-Beaubrun noted.

She also argued that the effects of increased marijuana use will affect the national economy directly as well as put an increasing strain on public health services which are already overstretched and not adequately providing mental health care.

“There will very likely be increased use of marijuana due to experimentation.  This will come at a social as well as financial cost.  Can St. Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean afford this?” she asked.

Flood-Beaubrun said that crime could also escalate as a result of the decriminalisation of marijuana, noting that many people commit crimes whilst “high” on drugs including alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana.

She said it was important that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) appointed commission established to examine the possibility of decriminalising marijuana be comprised of competent, unbiased persons  who would look at the issue objectively, taking into account all available scientific and social data regarding marijuana use and possible effects.

“It should not be a commission established to deliver a result which is already predetermined  and  the full report of the commission should be made public before any decisions are made,” she said, noting that St. Lucia was placing much emphasis on decriminalising marijuana when there were much more pressing matters to be dealt with.

“How about seriously addressing the myriad of social problems which we currently face, example providing additional staff and resources to the Department of Health and Human Services to deal with the high demands for health and social services which over stretch current resources as opposed to increasing their workload.

“Why use scarce resources to fund a Marijuana Commission at this time of financial hardship? “she asked.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Guys, think of it.Our society is already in chaos. yess, i agree that unemployment, especially amongst the youth has a great role to play; its not the only cause of disunity. will decriminalization of marijuana prevent rapes? will it prevent stealing? what we fail to realize is that there are psychos out there waiting to prey on the vulnerable.
    And i believe the problem is not unemployment because many jobs are advertised in the papers.... the problem is they always ask for experience. Where the hell are school leavers for example suppose to get that experience from? instead of investing in marijuana the government should focus on creating avenues to give young people experience!!!!

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  2. OMG!! Now i'm realizing that we have more marijuana users in St. Lucia than i thought. The majority of you here are for the decriminalization of the drug. Your idiotic comments do in fact reflect the misuse of the drug by you. I wish the non drug users would come forward and speak up in an educational and intellectual way, like Sarah did, about the problems associated with the misuse of the drug.

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  3. Propagana war on the herb. These people are so misinformed at they spread they opinion and make it seem like the truth..

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  4. while all these idiots will nag about the negative effects of marijuana...why dont they nag about what tobacco and alcohol is doing to our families our homes and most of all the youth???i see they keep saying that the weed will add more to our existing woes...in that case why don't they implement laws and stuffs to decrease our existing woes??? why not criminalize alcohol since it has been the number one cause of fatal accidents on our roads??? why not criminalize tobacco since it has contributed more lung cancer deaths in our society than any other deaths??? why not criminalize the act of bobolist in our economy where politicians cum n teef the cash pan from the poor?????? please all u senseless idiots with a functioning brain...allow the herb to heal the nation...weed aint making u mad...when u mix it with tobcacco or coke u surely gonna get a rest till ur next high

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  5. I think as Minister for Gender Relations she may have held views that were imbalanced and in turn caused some serious child abuse but, on this issue, her views are on the spot! At present the proponents of decriminalization of marijuana have still not address Sarah's apparent concern for the social problems to emerge from decriminalization! They are also too silent on how it has negatively impacted on the present social and economic situation in the society.

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  6. Ms Sarah I believe you are very misinformed. Decriminalization of the substance would actually increase the economic status of the country and majority of st lucians already smoke it or have access already. That would be a good move to put st lucia on the map and better our tourism industry. Im guessing everyone read the article listing st lucia #10 on the worst cruise destination worldwide

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  7. Agree with Sarah!! Don't be hypocrites... you all know the effect of marijuana so why advocate for decriminalizing it? think of the future of our country. Do you all want a nation who serves no purpose towards economic development, a population who is always high on marijuana and cannot contribute towards economic development. Come on... we have enough problems in our small country and we should not take part in irresponsible activities like these. I wish that idiot would shut his mouth and stop talking shate about Jesus'father put it on earth. Jesus' father put a lot of things on earth such as a gun, so why don't he use the gun and put a bullet through his brain. We have to be responsible and stop thinking and acting irrationally just for convenience sake. Further, i wonder if he would allow his young kids to smoke marijuana. These countries who have decriminalize marijuana have the resources to handle the effects of the drug on their citizens, so think about the effects of decriminalization of marijuana before we follow these more developed countries.

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    • Jesus father put a gun on earth?? Marijuanna is a plan,grows with sunlight, oxygen and water...which gun does that?? are u for real?? Marijuana is a natural plan, educating your children about its effects is the way forward just as alcoholism that claims many lives everyday...stop with the hogwash and calm down. seems u need some marijuana for your level of stupidity...lol

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      • Are you serious?? No BS... is that what marijuana is used for... to calm you down. You must be talking from experience? We have enough problems in our schools, please don't allow your little kids to smoke marijuana. MY ANALOGY WAS SIMPLE; God created all things and we have to be responsible users. The more developed countries who are advocating for decriminalization of the drug wants to use it for medicinal purposes and not for the social uses that our citizens want to use it for.

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  8. I Have Been Using Weed For More Than 35 Years And I AM Not Mad But You Make Me A Criminal With That Law.

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  9. What do you expect from such a backward conservative person, she is a bible-humping, in your face, do as I say and not what I do, type. And her breed is slowly dying because these folks have failed to change and evolve with time. The dinosaurs must be laughing at them.

    I do not smoke ganja so it's not a personal interest, but I have seen what alcohol and cigarettes can do to people...and they're both acceptable by society, because they're legal.

    Decriminalizing it could be a cure to the dreadful disease called poverty...but then again, Sarah is not poor and only thinks of herself and her worn-out ideology.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/how-one-colorado-county-is-using-its-marijuana-profits-1.2614133

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    • Like you I don't smoke. Never have, never will. Point is ganja is so easily obtained here it makes sense to stop trying to police it.

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  10. The damage people do to their bodies with alcohol is far far worse than with natural marijuana. At least decriminalize it for medicinal purposes. It is an herb. Cannabis oil has been proven to cure cancer, greatly reduce brain seizures among many other things. Get with the program!!!

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  11. NO TO DECRIMINALISING OF MARIJUANA,WE`VE GOT ENOUGH JUMBIES WALKING THE STREETS ALREADY,DRUGS HAS DAMAGE THE YOUTH IN ST LUCIA ALREADY,THE YOUNGSTERS IN ST LUCIA NOW EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A RASTA THEY DONT WANT TO WORK ,AND THEY DAILY EMPLOYMENT NOW IS THE BLOCKS ,BUT THEY WOULD WANT TO ROBBED AND KILL THE PERSON THATS LEAVING HOME EVERY DAY TO WORK FOR THEIR FAMILIES ,SARAH I`M BACKING YOU 190%.

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  12. i agree whole heartedly here with Sarah.... why is it that my experience with persons who consume marijuana is just awful... im waiting on a line with my young daughter and here this stranger cuts infront of me and starts saying he was there before me , he a bad man he ere playing ,, he smells like he just showered in weed ,, and getting on like an ass infront of a child im not saying there arent pros to marijuana use but also cons . many young people here in st . lucia seem to not be able to make informed decisions especially our young men.look at the ratio of boys to girls in a classroom. if beyond a doubt i thought that it would be used for so called medicinal purposes than alright but with the state of st. Lucia the crime and the yound men i see on the block addicted to weed God forbid !!

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    • You just wrote like one of those boys who was absent too often from the classroom.

      I've been using cannabis (mostly inhaling) for over fifty years now and thankfully, thus far, continue to enjoy good physical and mental health, thank you!

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  13. Shut up Sarah. YOu politicians are more than happy to sell alcohol with just just as many negative social consequences as marijuana.

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  14. Well said...Sarah !!!! Its all about making money...at the cost of the lives of the youth.

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  15. very well said those who want legalisation are only interested in personal gains but not the overall effect it may have on the general population. marijuana is a drug and is as dangerous as any other narcotic drug, as for monitoring which cannot be done adequately while its is illegal can it be done when legalised i think not. it should remain at its current status an illegal drug.

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  16. Additional staff with what money? Sarah should remain silent on matters concerning which she is woefully mis-informed and generally unforgivably unaware! It has been rightfully said elsewhere, that in this information age, ignorance is a choice!

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    • Did the creator of all things err when including cannabis in our planet-wide biodiversity?
      Who is man/woman to forbid another human being's use of a natural plant whose origin predates our arrival on earth?
      Worse, this absurd law has its origin in the bowels of racist, colonialist intentions and purposes!

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      • Yes the creator did all things but you have to decide what is best for your health. If legalizing the drug is for medicinal purposes then the Government can go ahead and do that and export it only to companies authorised to use it and to manufacture it into a drug for medicinal purposes. Having said that I think that the government should be the only one to grow and export it. I know that the pot heads will disagree with me as their only intention is to smoke it and go about life as if this is the logical and usual thing to do.

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  17. I Sarah Hush,I remember one time when you represented our constituency & came by during your campaign you were all friendly.One day I decided to say hi when you were in your Big SUV coming out of the Bonne terre gap & you ignored me like a stray Dog.I waved like the poor sucker I was thinking you were genuine,but you cut your eyes for the lone citizen....Leave Poor People alone & their marijuana,it's our hustle,Who are you to talk when you already have.Let a poorer individuals own stuff too.

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  18. Decriminalising marijuana is the best thing that St Lucia could do, you would become the top holiday destination island. I have been to your island quite a few times and from what I have seen there is not a problem for anyone to get their hands on marijuana no matter what their age so I don't think that decriminalising it is going to make it more available to young people.

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