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Gov’t to hold public discussions on decriminalising marijuana

marijuana

CMC – The St Lucia government says it is planning a series of town hall meetings to discuss the decriminalisation of marijuana.

National Security Minister Hermangild Francis said it is important for the discussion to take place, and to explore the properties and use of hemp.

The discussions will be held in the 17 constituencies on the island and Francis, a former acting police commissioner, said he had met with various stakeholders including medical practitioners  Dr Marcus Day, Dr Stephen King, and Paul Francis from the Iyanola Advancement of Rastafarian and Nyabinghi Tabernacle.

“We had a very open and frank discussion on the way forward. We have agreed to meet again on November 30. The November meeting will designate a committee responsible for hosting town hall meetings in all 17 constituencies on the island, where all the necessary information will be disseminated,” Francis added.

He said that he also intends to meet with his fellow Cabinet colleagues, Lenard Montoute, the Minister for Social Justice and Equity and Health Minister Mary Issac.

He said discussions with the Attorney General centred on reviewing legislation with the intent to assess how to amend the Drug Act.

In June, the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat announced the start of the formal regional conversation around marijuana.

In July 2014, the CARICOM leaders had mandated the CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque to establish the Marijuana Commission which would, inter alia, “examine the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding the various aspects of Marijuana use in the Caribbean and its implications, and make recommendations to the Conference”.

In fulfilling its mandate, the Commission hosted the first of a national consultation in St Vincent and the Grenadines on the issue.

CARICOM said that discussions will also be held with  special interests groups such as researchers, medical practitioners, including of alternative medicine; advocates for medicinal and others uses of marijuana,  and representatives from the National Drug Council, as well as faith-based organizations and non-governmental organisations.

The Commission is headed by Professor Rose-Marie-Bell Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).marijuana

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21 comments

  1. Personally I do not use cannabis but I love the smell. My aunt smokes it because she suffers with severe rheumatoid arthritis, whenever she smokes the herbs; it eases her pain for at least four hours. I must admit she gets a bit merry; nevertheless, it is something I appreciate because it is nothing compared to her suffering-when it is not taken. She was placed on medication, which costed her about five hundred dollars monthly.

    Why cannabis is not used in St. Lucia as a pharmaceutical drug to help all the other rheumatoid arthritis sufferers?
    Let's get marijuana decriminalise St. Lucia and let our economy boom. We have the sun, fertile soil and the experienced farmers. We also have the best quality. Don't waste it. Jamaica's sensi plant is now extinct. Only high grade left. Hurry! Hurry!!

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  2. Personally I do not use cannabis but I love the smell. My aunt smokes it because she suffers with severe rheumatoid arthritis, whenever she smokes the herbs; it eases her pain for at least four hours. I must admit she gets a bit merry; nevertheless, it is something I appreciate because it is nothing compared to her suffering-when it is not taken. She was placed on medication, which costed her about five dollars monthly.

    Why cannabis is not used in St. Lucia as a pharmaceutical drug to help all the other rheumatoid arthritis sufferers?
    Let's get marijuana decriminalise St. Lucia and let our economy boom. We have the sun, fertile soil and the experienced farmers. We also have the best quality. Don't waste it. Jamaica's sensi plant is now extinct. Only high grade left. Hurry! Hurry!!

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  3. Come on Lucians lets show that we still have some people with a degree of intelligence.

    Think of the bigger picture here and not stress on the minor Cons.

    Some say the cause of the youth loosing their minds is down to Cannabis I don't believe that is entirely true.

    First to admit I am not a medical professional but we know that Cannabis users tend to mix other ingredients which could then alter the impact.

    Whilst typing this comment one prominent St Lucian who worked in the Ministry of Finance (now retired - not mentioning names) springs to mind.

    This individual is a mathematical genius yet was discriminated against because of his faith prior to another St Lucian realising his talents were being wasted.

    Question is why hasn't that individual lost his talents over the years! Maybe because he never abused Cannabis, maybe he never mixed it!

    There have been loads of studies done in the past with regards to healing attributes of the plant, there were more Pros than Cons from these studies.

    I wonder what some of the above critics would say with regards to Hemp, which has no intoxicated ingredients. I wonder if they know why Hemp is outlawed like Cannabis is, it certainly isn't because of it's components.

    We should stop differing about this whether it be Hemp or Cannabis, we're starring at a economical game changer for St Lucia.

    Yet you have some people making uneducated comments.

    For those who are dead against Cannabis being decriminalised can I hear your concerns as to why Hemp should not be decriminalised and cultivated for mass exported!

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  4. There are pros and cons. Both sides must be studied thoroughly.

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  5. Decriminalization is the way to go. Marijuana is a useful herb most of those who criticize it don't know about it it can be cultivated to produce soap rope oil textile medicine that can cure glaucoma asthma and the list goes on and on. Come on people not because it is illegal means it's bad. Slavery was illegal where a black Man could be owned by a white man does that mean it was good. It is time we free ourselves mentally read a book go online do some research open up your minds please, please.

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  6. It can become a disaster if not controlled and or regulated, and that regulation must be enforced. Enforcement of our existing laws is burdensome to law enforcement and any addition will only increase the burden. It would be so much easer to agree to legalize without hesitation, if we were a compliant society.

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  7. U mean after so many lucians fellas mad up and get messed up by marijuana psychologically the best idea the government could come up with is to legalise it! we will never learn. the white people legalise tobacco, did that mean it was good? now endless dying of lung cancer from the drug after making it look normal. now who will pay for the psychological treatment that people will require after getting endless marijuana to full their belly. we like to follow the white man too much. soon those choices will lead us to the cliff. trust me when they come to realise that like tobacco and rum, marijuana will be effing many lives, they will open clinic, rehabilitation center, and all fancy treatment for those they effed up for a few dollars while many of the lucians following them will be under the block somewhere out of their minds with marijuana.

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    • Sorry "Ayay" your comments have absolutely no merit.

      Not unless you're a Doctor who specialises in psychologically.

      I HIGHLY (no pun intended) doubt it.

      How many Lucians you've professionally diagnosed?

      Stop repeating BS you ear other people chatting.

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    • Where is your proof that they went mad because of marijuana? Are your sure it was not something mixed in the marijuana?

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  8. police records must be included in the dicussion

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    • that is job creation. Cannabis is a billion dollar industry. Do your research and google how many jobs the cannabis industry has created in places like Colorado for example.

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  9. while my government is busy trying to free up the herb I beg of you to start talking your plans for job creation. Some of us love to get a little high but its not as important as having a job.

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    • But wouldn't that industry create many jobs?

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    • Lost Country, I think you need to broaden your intelligence on the matter.

      Do you honestly think decriminalisation is just purely for casual smoking!!!!

      Think of the BIGGER picture re a major export crop for St Lucia which will create jobs!

      Its A MULTI BILLION DOLLAR industry, the crop is ideally suited for our geographical region.

      When Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands start reporting the millions of dollars they generate.

      We'll be sitting in Lucia scratching our behinds saying why didn't we do the same!

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      • People like you will NEVER LEARN. They made billions from tobacco too and see who is paying the price like someone said earlier. Get rid of that follow fashion mentality because with that attitude of money at all cost, you can never stand and be counted. Making money from it does not make it right.

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  10. we have debts to institutions and countries alike, but places who have legalized and taxed marijuana are raking in loads of money. Why cant we follow this trend so alleviate the debt of our nation.

    Uruguay has legalized it and crime has gone down, be not fooled Marijuana is not bad. Is the trafficker and dealers who will hurt you for a dollar. IF we legalize it we remove that power from them. Colorado has paid off all their debt and now have money to offer free university to their residents.

    I am in no means a Utopian, we need clear guidelines, rules, restrictions and understanding but the closed minded approach should be shelved and dialogue open and fruitful should be sort after.

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  11. Yet you endure alot more unwanted pollution that comes from vehicles, planes, factories and many more sources that are more harmful.

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  12. I agree that smoking should be done in a controlled environment so as not to cause any inconvenience to non-smokers. Specially dedicated areas in bars and bars which allow smoking can be permanent fixtures. The question of youth smoking has more to do with our own values and rules which we inculcate in children. Alcohol is regulated yet we have allowed youth alcohol consumption to proliferate. It is the same way we allow and are tolerant to youth participation in all sorts abhorrent activities including the possession and use of firearms. We have joy juice growing all over the place, legal, so how comes youth don't consume it? That's because adults have never socialized them into its use. So adults are the catalyst in youth destruction and not the implements or substances. The implements and substances have no brains or compelling power, its adults who have brains and persuasive power.

    I wish to see a separate ministry for children created to protect children form abuse, harmful or prohibited substances and practices such as tattooing and piercings. There is a big difference between youth and children. Youth can be employed, therefore can undertake some responsibility as it pertains to their welfare, meanwhile children should be a protected specie.

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  13. Let them smoke in in their homes,tobacco including, I think non smokers should not have to enduŕe unwanted smoke at the expense of thrillseekers.

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    • this is very ignorant of you, one would think that in this day and age with all this information available that folks would do some research....there are many non smoking uses for the plant my concerned citizen, it can be made into fibers, paper etc an could be used as medicine and all sorts of other products....and there are those who want to use it recreationally, but whats wrong with that? there are already laws which covers smoking in public places and the issue of minors smoking, so please untangle those panties

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  14. about time

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