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TTC Special: Caribbean: “medical marijuana” advances

TTC Special: Caribbean: "medical marijuana" advances

Photo: visivasnc/123RF

By Frank Martin

TTC Service. – Although controversial marijuana remains illegal in most of the Caribbean, including Jamaica, decriminalization bills arose in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago and even earlier in St. Kitts and Nevis based on medical and religious ground.

Cannabis has made its way through some countries in the Americas, including the United States, from some medical benefits it provide to those who consume it. But scientists warn that there are much more specialized studies that point to the herb as a danger to human health.

However, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which brings together 15 nations and agencies in the region, agreed on the need for a “generalized reform” regarding the legality of marijuana.

A recent report by the regional agency says that “there is considerable evidence to suggest that the prohibition of marijuana was due to cynical reasons to nullify competition with the alcohol industry.”

CARICOM described as “draconian” the regional legal regime that exists today in this regard.

That is why the commission of the entity in charge of the issue urged the Caribbean nations to declassify cannabis as a “dangerous drug.”

CARICOM has called for the “complete and immediate elimination of all prohibitive legal provisions, thus making cannabis a legal substance.”

These beliefs nonetheless considered as part of the cultural heart of the Anglophone Caribbean.

Regional authorities have reported that the effects of the herb can be “harmful” if a rigid criminalization occurs.

The calls of marijuana

The U.S. Virgin Islands have taken advantage of the situation to become a withdrawal of use of that drug exclusively for American tourists

These islands are already a tropical paradise in the Caribbean, known for its luxurious resorts, beautiful natural landscapes, turquoise waters.

Governor Albert Bryan Jr. called the authorities to an exceptional session on Wednesday, December 18, to consider an amendment regarding the legalization of cannabis in the US Virgin Islands.

The bill would expand the existing medical marijuana program on the islands, which became law earlier this year as one of Bryan’s first acts as governor.

“Now, it seeks to go even further with this new bill, which is accompanied by an act that plans to eliminate any previous conviction for possession of less than one pound of cannabis. USVI senators voted to meet again for a greater consideration, and Bryan expressed confidence that the bill will be approved ” local press announced.

The USVI legalization bill does not actually refer to it as “recreational marijuana” but as “non-prescribed marijuana,” which is a trick to allow additional income from tourism. Under the new bill, marijuana would not be sold freely, but only to people over 21 who hold a license.

This license would cost $ 10 each for one day, and would be easily purchased without a heavy load of paperwork. The goal is clear: American tourists from states where marijuana remains illegal.