(SNO) – The Cannabis Movement of Saint Lucia is calling on Prime Minister Allen Chastanet to make a public statement on his administration’s position regarding cannabis law reform.
Spokesman for the organisation, Andre ‘Pancho’ de Caires, has noted that countries such as Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda have kept their promises on cannabis reform, with St. Vincent and the Grenadines the next country planning to follow suit.
He said: “In light of the fact that the annual CARICOM heads summit is rapidly approaching in July of this year, where the CARICOM Cannabis Commission will be presenting their recommendations, as well as the fact that Canada itself will also be legalising federally in July… plus the statements made by both Prime Minister Gaston Browne and by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of their intent to reform cannabis laws, we at the Cannabis Movement, and the whole Rastafarian community are asking the honorable Prime Minister Mr. Allen Chastanet to make public a public statement regarding this administration’s intentions regarding the cannabis law reform.”
De Caires said he’s concerned that the current administration is sending mixed signals on the issue when they had made reformation of cannabis laws an election campaign promise.
He explained: “The reasons are, one, the original members of the local cannabis commission created by Mr. Hermangild Francis and presented to the Cabinet in January 2017 were rejected by members of his own Cabinet even though the members of the original commission were all experts in the field.
“Two, no budgetary allocations were put in place for the new commission created in March of 2017 to do the work that they were meant to do. As a result, minimal work was done by the commission for the whole year.
“Three, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not adequately facilitate the mandated visit by the CARICOM Cannabis Commission in September of 2017. The Commission was able to visit nine other territories without a hitch except St. Lucia because of ministry administrative facilitation.
“Four, there has been no interest shown by the Ministry of Agriculture even though cannabis cultivation is one of the biggest agricultural trend worldwide and worth billions of dollars.
“The reformation of Cannabis laws was a campaign promise made to the people and it is unconscionable that this administration would not follow through with that promise after being elected…”