St. Lucia not prepared to legalise marijuana – official

St. Lucia not prepared to legalise marijuana – official

Director of the Substance Abuse Secretariat, Cyprian Yarde, said careful consideration must be given to the decriminalisation of marijuana in St. Lucia.

Yarde told St Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview today (June 23) that while the secretariat is not prepared to support or oppose the legalisation of the drug, given its mandate to provide government with advice on research on substance abuse, from all the studies and data, St. Lucia and the Caribbean at large, is not yet prepared with respect to its policies relating to the use of marijuana.

“We need to consider all of the effects and to also be able to put in place some form of measure for protection to afford individuals who wish to go that way, some kind of support mechanisms, either to prevent or reduce the potential use or abuse of the substance,” he told SNO.

Yarde believes that economics plays a key role in availability and the use patterns of the drug.

“As to how long will that use pattern continue is yet to be realised. It is something quite difficult to ascertain. And also the proposed health impact we sometimes cannot adequately predict what is going to happen. It is something that warrants great concern,” he added.

While there is no formal statistical data to state the prevalence of the use of marijuana among the adult population in St. Lucia, Yarde told SNO that a study done in 2007 with adolescents, revealed that one in ten youth abuse marijuana.

“This is pretty much on par with what we are seeing with some other countries. The impact on youth, being an illegal substance, gives food for thought.”

In that survey, St. Lucia had recorded a higher prevalence than the other Caribbean countries.

As an illegal substance, the official noted that there would be some amount of deterrent with respect to its use. However, Yarde believes that if marijuana is legalised or decriminalised it means that the probability for individuals who otherwise would not have used the illegal substance, would have the liberty to go on a trial basis and therefore in the initial stages of that reaction, there will be a spike in its use.

“This is not something that will be new or novel in St Lucia. In every state or country where a drug specifically marijuana has been legalised or decriminalised this is exactly the same patterns that we have been seeing for example in Colorado and the Netherlands. The trend will not be any different here,” he asserted.

A similar research, being conducted by the secretariat, will be available by September this year. This will be used for further discussion on the matter.

Meanwhile, Director of the Caribbean Drug and Alcohol Research Institute, Dr. Marcus Day had told the media that the present administration in Saint Lucia needs to consider legalising the use of marijuana. Dr. Day believes that people, particularly young men, should not be punished for smoking small quantities of marijuana.

He has called for an update from the recently established Caricom Commission to investigate the pros and cons of the decriminalisation of the drug in the region.

Uruguay recently legalised marijuana use. That country joined Europe as well as the U.S States of Washington and Colorado.


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  1. Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke. One major research study reported that a single cannabis joint could cause as much damage to the lungs as up to five regular cigarettes smoked one after another. Long-time joint smokers often suffer from bronchitis, an inflammation of the respiratory tract( Foundation For Drug Free World nd). Legalization of marijuana affect our youthful rendering thus decreasing health and productivity. Think of health lots of money and health is worse . Common put on your thinking caps . is that way you love Lucia


  2. The real problem is control of it's use. In the countries where it is legal there are limitations for it's use. Some of those limitations include where and who are allowed to smoke it. With the lack of discipline displayed by the general population, it will be an additional burden on the police force.


  3. Hey Guys look on the bright side with St.Lucia's economy in limbo. May be the government can use this Marijuana money if they tax it right to help this ailing economy. California did as is making about $13.7 Billion a year. Just to be clear I know this is not California but some money could be made here. And just may be the civil servants could enjoy the fruits of their labour.


  4. with the way country running we have more mentally deranged people from financial frustration, lucians open your eyes, stop being fool or repeating shit you'll don't understand. Marijuana will be decriminalized even if the pope go on top Mount Everest and say no. whilst the rest of the caribbean idiots there examining impact on society, Jamaica figure things already f--ked in their country, the Jamaicans busy carrying out the feasibility side of things. when the first set of figures came out the Jamaican gov't broke out from all of those dummy organization in the Caribbean, whom are their busy focusing on grant money they will get from opening discussion on Marijuana. This is the biggest set of bullshit i have ever heard....thats why we always be recognized as small minded people to the rest of the world not because of the little rocks in the Caribbean sea we inhabit but because of out small minds and inability to cooperate with each other. CRABS IN A BUCKET...........


  5. It doesn't matter what they do or say. Because "We got it right here. We smoking Marijuana and we just don't care !!"


  6. If that leagalize more mad men and women in the country... grades at secondary and college will drop...


    • how do u know the facts to what you just said there so many doctors, scientist, lawyers and other people with hi payin jobs and are doin well that smoking weed


    • Get educated on the topic before you post please. There is no evidence to support your claim.


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