Caribbean governments criticized over marijuana legalization issue

Regional governments have been called out for not moving sooner to decriminalise the use of the popular contraband, marijuana.

Political analyst Peter Wickham said the governments of Caribbean countries will not legislate that personal use of the drug becomes legal, unless they would stand to gain politically.

“Ultimately, in politics you would want to win an election and certainly your ability to win an election makes you a lot useful in terms of driving issues. If you believe policy will reward you electorally, then you will pursue and if you believe policy will make you unpopular, then you would not want to pursue it,” Wickham said.


Barbados AG wants to understand the implications before legalizing

THERE WILL BE no legalisation of marijuana without the country understanding the implications of doing so.


This was the declaration of Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, who was speaking at the anniversary awards and recognition ceremony of the National Council on Substance Abuse, held at the Accra Beach Hotel on Saturday night.

He said such a move had implications for the country and for young people, in particular, “when they use these substances”.


UWI Principal Calls on Barbados Government to Push Laws Allowing Medical Marijuana Research

The Principal of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau has called on the Freundel Stuart administration to introduce the necessary legislation to allow the institution to conduct research into marijuana.

Professor Barriteau was responding to recent comments from Government Senator Jepter Ince, who suggested that the UWI needed to capitalize on the financial gains to be derived from research on marijuana usage for medical purposes. He was speaking last week during debate on the Caribbean Accreditation Authority Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (Incorporation) Bill 2016.


Use of medical marijuana reignites debate in Barbados

Debate has reignited over the highly emotive issue of Barbados’ stance on marijuana use, including for medical purposes.

It comes as an attorney-at-law awaits word from the Minister of Health on an application for his sick wife to use the drug based on a prescription obtained from a doctor in Canada.

At a panel discussion staged by the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, that lawyer, Douglas Trotman said the laws of Barbados permit marijuana to be used on a permit granted by the minister.

“From 1993 research could have been carried out in Barbados,” he said.


The top pot-loving countries

Marijuana legalization has been a political issue in the United States for some time, and while it remains illegal in most states, others have softened their stance in recent years. Colorado and Washington both passed initiatives by popular vote to decriminalize and legalize cannabis in 2012. In 2014, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., followed suit. Many states including Massachusetts, California, Missouri, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada and Ohio have flirted with legalization for a few election cycles, with buzz growing.

The United States isn't the only country where people use marijuana legally or illicitly. In fact, it isn’t even the country with the highest reported marijuana use.


Barbados: Legalising medical marijuana up for debate

THE ISSUE OF MEDICAL marijuana goes beyond the legal landscape and has a larger social impact.

This is the view of attorney at law Maria Phillips, who was weighing in on a recent request by lawyer Douglas Trotman to the Ministry of Health to have a one-year prescription for marijuana, which was written by a doctor in Canada, filled in Barbados.

The drug is for his wife Kathy-Anne Trotman for palliative care after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer last year.

The use of marijuana is illegal in Barbados, and Phillips cautioned that there were social implications in implementing legislation that would seek to change this.


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Young ganja users clogging up system

DIRECTOR OF THE Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit Cheryl Willoughby is concerned about the number of young people being incarcerated for marijuana offences and she says it is clogging up the justice system. 

Willoughby said with statistics indicating it costs $85.03 a day to house one prisoner at Dodds Prisons, drug offenders are adding to burden on the public purse.  The information was imparted to students from schools across Barbados this morning, during a youth forum marking the beginning of National Youth Week 2015, at the Radisson Aquatica Resort. From 2009 to 2014 more than 1100 people were admitted to Dodds on drug offences. 



Dominica PM wants more debate on marijuana issue

ROSEAU, Dominica, (CMC) – Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says he is not completely sold on the idea of decriminalising small amounts of marijuana as regional countries debate the issue.

Speaking on the state-owned DBS radio, Skerrit asked what would be done with the “excess’ if the authorities agree to enact legislation allowing for the use of small quantities of the illegal drug.

“What do you do with the excess, and you don’t want to be encouraging the trafficking of this drug to other countries and what would be your relationship with the rest of the world?”


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