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Marijuana decriminalization should be decided through referendum – Chastanet

By SNO Staff

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UWP Leader Allen Chastanet

UWP Leader Allen Chastanet

Political Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Allen Chastanet, has said that while his party feels inclined to decriminalize marijuana, this decision will be left up to Saint Lucians.

Chastanet said people may have misinterpreted what was said by UWP member, Hermangild Francis, who spoke about the issue at a recent UWP rally, noting that it will not be a one man decision.

Rather, if elected to government, the UWP plans to embrace the Constitutional Committee Report and try to inform Saint Lucians of some of the recommendations through a referendum.

“Not as a whole piece. We believe we will be able to get individual pieces out, in order to get the public to participate and become more aware of the options that are available,” he explained.

However, other prominent individuals such as Independent Senator, Dr. Stephen King, has openly suggested that marijuana should be legalized and not decriminalized.

The former Chief Medical Officer believes that if marijuana is legalized a legislative framework can be put in place to regulate its use and revenue could be generated from it.

He suggested that the income generated from the legalization of marijuana could be used in public health education and other programmes that are deemed necessary.

Dr. King said politicians may be reluctant to either legalize or decriminalize marijuana because they do not want to do something that will hurt their popularity.

The legalization of marijuana has been a very contentious issue in the Caribbean, which has caught the attention of many policy makers and organizations over the years.

In Saint Lucia, some individuals and groups agree that now is the right time to legalise marijuana, given the global trend. But others have said if legalized, it could have serious repercussions for society.


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  1. "Makak" everything is costly, imagine spending millions on a bridge to nowhere and you will understand. If any thing is worth money is the exercise of your right to see that your views are reflected in the operations of your country. What the hell would want you to spend money on buildings that no one occupies? You all St. Lucians stupid well!!


  2. Of course Marijuana should be on the table right now. Damn, everything needs to be on the table right now. People who don't think that the plant should be legalized are all those over the age of 40. what this represents is an antiquated fear and discrimination of the plant brought on by colonial powers. These antiquated thinkers need to give in to the modern realities of the world or else they will jeopardize the future of the country. they have not even fully understood the ramifications of legalization as a method of curbing usage among children. As it exists now any child could get a five bag from any "dealer" on the street corner. So what better way of knowing who the retailers are, what are they selling and to whom are they selling. It would just be a referendum for Dummies.


  3. I think those who are pushing for the decriminalisation and or legalization (difference between the two) are missing the bigger economical picture with the issue.

    While I am in total agreement that the plant should be LEGALIZED, my reason for this is purely for agricultural purposes.

    Gone are the glorious hey days of the banana industry.

    Since its demise what agricultural crop has St Lucia replaced bananas with? On the sort of scale where similar revenues are generated!

    I don’t think there’s been any cash crop to replace the banana revenue we once generated.

    Well my fellow St Lucians we are starring the potential replacement in the face.

    But our politicians refuse to even discuss the potential which is absolute madness.

    St Lucia has the perfect climate to produce world quality strands of Cannabis.

    As someone mentioned on a call in programme, St Lucia has no LEADERS only followers.
    Stop sitting on the bloody fence and discuss this issue as matter of priority and a matter of rejuvenating agricultural revenue on the international scale.

    Lets look at alcohol, which am sure Dr King and other medical professionals would agree that alcohol causes much MORE health problems for the island and the Ministry of Health’s purse strings.

    How many deaths were due to alcohol related issues last year compared to Cannabis related issue?

    From Avid social smoker


  4. Truth is , marijuana should not even be on the table right now


  5. Atleast UWP stated a position. SLP what is your position?


  6. Given what Dr. King said, I personally think it wouldn't matter much whether
    it is decriminalized or not, the fact is people would do, the hell they want to do
    and so it has been from day one. If you want to do it, do it, but not for me, I never
    smoked and never will. I do enjoy a little drink only when the occasion calls.
    Eve was told to leave the Apple alone; well guess what???


  7. Good idea! Let the view of the majority prevail on this and other issues like republicanism.


  8. Chastanet u know is a bunch of bull u are talking there. In reading what you have said it is clear thst the uwp is neither here ot thete on the subject.


  9. Quite right Mr. Chastanet. I agree for a referendum. For something as serious as this marijuana issue and which will affect everyone living on the island should not be left up to a cabinet of ministers or 17 MP's or Dr. King.
    Have a referendum and let the people decide


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