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Saint Lucia Rastafarians should take government to court and embarrass them: Alexander

By Merrick Andrews, St. Lucia News Online staff reporter/editor

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Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (left) and Aaron Alexander, former chairman of the Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari.

Aaron Alexander, the former chairman of the Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari, has said the Saint Lucia Rastafarian community should follow in the footsteps of a colleague in St. Kitts-Nevis and take the government to court in connection with the decriminalisation of marijuana.

“Antigua is going ahead, Jamaica is going ahead, look Barbados recently announced that they going ahead. All the other islands going ahead and we just behind. I don’t know what’s going on with this government, they don’t know what they are about,” he told MBC.

Alexander was commenting on the recent case in St. Kitts-Nevis in which High Court Judge Eddy Ventose ruled that Rastafarians have a right to smoke in the privacy of their homes, as part of their religion, and gave the Timothy Harris administration 90 days to comply with the landmark ruling which affects at least two provisions of the Drugs Act, pertaining to possession and cultivation of the herb.

The St. Kitts-Nevis government was hauled before the courts by a lone Rastafarian, Samande “Ras Iya” Reid, who represented himself. According to news reports, Ventose’s ruling will most likely have implications for persons who are awaiting trial, serving time and were convicted under the two provisions of the Drug Act. The ruling also pertains to anyone who uses marijuana in the privacy of their home.

Commenting further on the court ruling in the twin-island federation, Alexander said Rastarians using marijuana as their sacrament is a “basic fundamental human right”. He said this is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, accusing the Saint Lucia government of violating the rights of the Rastafarian community “for a long time now”.

Alexander pointed out that the Rastafarian community in Saint Lucia has considered taking legal action against the government over the years, but he said now is perhaps the right time to go ahead considering the ruling in St. Kitts-Nevis, which will have implications for future cases in other Caribbean jurisdictions.

“So maybe that is a route that we have to take as Rastafari in Saint Lucia, is to embarrass the government, bring them to court because we know it is our basic right to use the cannabis and we know we will win, so we remain confident in the victory of good over evil and we know our cause is a right cause, our cause is a just cause and our cause is something that we can fight for. And just like in St. Kitts, the mighty government lost, you know to a simple Rasta man. Do you know it shows that even in the 21st century David will still beat Goliath,” Alexander said.

He suggested that past and present governments are taking the local Rastafari community for a joke.

“I mean we’ve gone through commission after commission. Michael Gordon was the chairman of one of the commissions set up by this current administration. I mean we approached Kenny Anthony, he was prime minister. He said that he waiting to see what Jamaica is going to do. Jamaica went ahead and decriminalized, Kenny Anthony caved. Look now Allen Chastanet, now he put a commission in place headed by Michael Gordon. Michael Gordon had to resign because the commission was given absolutely no funding to carry out it works and they did not give the government a report at the end of the day,” he added.

RELATED STORY: Cannabis Movement presents policy paper to government of Saint Lucia

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9 comments

  1. Go and fight them Rass the whole world catch on and most Caribbean countries moving ahead we will be the last as usual. Some of the ignorant comments you read here no wonder St Lucia so backward Rasta's in the Caribbean is as common as coconut trees if that's what they deem has their holy sacrament leave them alone. Some of you all bow and kiss white statues and praise those battymen in robes that feed your ideology that when god comes he will come from the sky and he will look like them and nothing like you.

    (5)(0)
  2. You all want to smoke any and everywhere except at your homes amd most ppl who smoke do not practice reastafarianism as a religion. They right no legalization. Get you all act together.

    (3)(7)
  3. While i agree that Marijuana should be legalized it is not necessarily true declaring a marijuana illegal violates the rights of the Rastafarian. A religious practice can be legislated against at any given time depending on the act to be performed and whether it is harmful to any particular group of people. The government can for example argue that marijuana can be harmful to children; that supersedes the rights of any particular group because one can be harmed by the rights given to another. The government can argue a number of things for all other rights fro example with LGBT they can argue that it is an unhealthy practice and studies have proven it to be such. Enforcement of human rights under the Declaration of Human rights moves in tandem with the development of the state. Rights have to be ratified in order to be directly applicable to local legislation, and still a time period is necessary so that the government is fully prepared and the country is adequately developed to enforce those rights. For example if the cost of enforcing a right in a country is prohibitive it is unlikely that a Court will upset an economy just to enforce a right especially in the case of a distinct group within a community.

    However I support cannabis legalization and government should move urgently to address it.

    (3)(4)
    • You sound somewhat confused. Rights don't cost money to uphold; rights are not enforced they are enjoyed. It costs money to violate the rights of Man. It costs for police to chase, brutalise, arrest, charge, bring to court, prosecute, incarcerate, guard, feed.......

      This is the crux of the problem. Babylon fed you with legalise which you I'll understand you now demonstrating the depth of your confused mind to the world. Playing smart and not being clever.

      Persecution is costly

      Rights are free!!

      (2)(1)
      • Boss the rights you are referring to are spiritual, and they exist in your head however, we live in a legal world. Rights enforcement comes from the perspective of the Courts but here you are trying to use the same Courts to get yours. If i listen to you everybody will be doing their own thing that it is their right. However rights come with responsibility because people need one another to live, and everybody owes the other to be responsible for a peaceful and sustainable society. It is not Jah provide.

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  4. These closete pork eaters need to chill. And stop worshipping some
    dead dictator from Africa. Y'all need some Jesus.

    (6)(13)
  5. Concerned Citizen

    The next religion will use cocaine.

    (4)(7)
    • Why not move to St. Kitts or where Salasie was born or lived? Build shrines and idols. Worship. Worship. Worship. Dance. Dance. Dance. But don't use the white man's bible, because every time you do, you will be declaring yourself to be a complete jackass.

      (4)(9)
  6. 05/17/2019
    I Proclaim on the rooftop that the “King is coming”! I announce to the ends of the earth, that the “King is coming”. And that the days of Noah are here. “Prepare ye the way of the Lord and make straight his paths.” Tell all the world that I am coming back soon. “I am coming for those who have laid their burdens down”. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
    The father says: Did you move too quickly? Did you walk through that door and find a few things working for you? Be ready in season and out of season and know the times and seasons you are in. There are moments I will give you a head up far in advance before I ask you to move. Other times I will give you little to no warning before you are asked to jump into the new. Many mistakes the timing I am giving them and act of haste even when they can see that not everything has been prepared yet. When I prepare you there are natural and spiritual aspects by my hand that will come into the correct position. When you are getting ahead of me, I will send you warnings which may seem like a contradiction and correction but know that I am seeking your attention.
    Many think that if there are giants in the new land, then they in the right place. Did I promise to remove the giants ahead of time? Not every new move will be one of the great challenges and struggles. You can make life so much easier when you rest. I will place the timing in your spirit, no need to look around for signs I will just give you when you are still. You will not be denied. A great shifting is enveloping you, what was out of order and chaotic is calming into a gentle stream flowing through the meadow that you are walking in right now. The horizon demonstrates the sunset but also the sunrise. Position yourself towards the sunrise for this where you will find all the favor, I have set aside for you. People will ask you to focus on the sunset and mourn with them, but I say let the dead bury the dead. You are made for more and now has the waiting come to an end.
    * These are the words of – Yahushua Hamashiach.
    Do you know him, he knows you? Repent; be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, those of you who have not done so, for when the books are closed, no one will be able to enter in. God is sending warnings after warnings. We are in the End Times and he does not want ANYONE to Perish. Time is running out, get saved now while you have time. He is the only way to salvation. Amend your ways and you will be allowed to remain in the land. Let those who have ears to hear and those who have eyes to see. Repent now! Remain strong, bold, courageous and steadfast in your faith.
    Credit to Brother Shomrim Ben Yahshua for my references, may God bless you, my brother.

    (0)(5)

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