Medical Marijuana Framework Coming for Barbados – P.M. Mia Mottley

Medical Marijuana Framework Coming for Barbados, But Referendum to be Held on Recreational Use of the Drug

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday December 10, 2018 – Before Christmas, Barbados should have a framework for medical cannabis in place. However, freeing up the recreational use of the drug will have to be decided by referendum.

Word of this has come from Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who pointed out that Barbados could no longer afford to miss out on the emerging cannabis industry.

“There is no doubt that we will put a framework in place for medical cannabis within the next week or so. In fact, we have more or less taken a decision, we just need some refining and training with practitioners,” Mottley told the business community gathered at the CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados Client Economic Forum last Friday (December 7. 2018).   

Pointing out that Barbados would not be going about it carelessly, Mottley said careful research would first have to be carried out. She added that Barbados would have to be strategic and develop the country as a global leader in the research along with other global leaders in cannabis, including Jamaica.

“We need to recognize that we must not make the mistakes of history. With respect to the cannabis, why would we seek to export when we can package and extract maximum value by having clinics as well as recuperative villages for people who want to deal with a certain aspect of pain management? So that the whole value added chain is delivered here, and the area in which we do it which is tourism, and that gives you a long-stay tourist,” she said.

“Thirdly, you cannot have your primary market which is Canada, the international business and financial services sector, moving rapidly into new areas of investment and you can’t match as a domicile, the ability to accommodate those new areas of investment because if you don’t what are they going to do? Go elsewhere.”

Following the legalization of cannabis in Canada, Jamaica made it legal to purchase medical marijuana after decriminalizing small quantities of the drug. Antigua and Barbuda has also decriminalized cannabis and is looking at the possibility of making it legal for use for medical reasons.

Mottley insisted that there would be clear strategic guidelines for Barbados on how to devise a policy that puts this country in a competitive position in the cannabis industry.

An opinion poll on the issue of the decriminalization of cannabis released in September, showed that on average, about one in three respondents supported partial legalization of the drug. That Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) poll was carried out over a two-year period up to last July in St Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Barbados, St Lucia, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda.

The poll found that more than 45 per cent of Barbadians were in favour of decriminalization.

Source: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/medical-marijuana-framework-coming-for-barbados-but-referendum-to-be-held-on-recreational-use-of-the-drug#ixzz5ZJwXWVUw

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  • guyaneseonline  On 12/11/2018 at 12:08 pm

    Former Politician Says Rastas Must Get First Dibs in Barbados’ Marijuana Industry
    CARIBBEAN360 – DECEMBER 11, 2018 – From Barbados Today

    BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tuesday December 11, 2018 – With Barbados on the verge of launching a legitimate marijuana industry, a prominent former politician and community activist is calling for the policy to favour Rastafarians and small farmers.

    Following Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s announcement last Friday that a legal framework to legitimize medical cannabis was taking shape and could be in force by Christmas, Hamilton Lashley said the Rastafarian community, as well those that have long touted the medicinal value of cannabis, are in danger of being cut out of a potential financial windfall by wealthy landowners.

    “I support the Prime Minister’s move 100 per cent. However, if certain measures are not put in place, the big beneficiaries are the persons with large acreages and who could plant the quantities for export. There is a view that only a certain sector will benefit, which I believe to be true, because poor Barbadians do not have the necessary land,” said the former Minister of Social Transformation.

    He argued that prospective investors are now “licking their chops” at the financial possibilities that come with a marijuana industry.

    But he noted that before the international community moved towards a cannabis industry, many had fully supported the mass incarceration of users and growers.

    Lashley contended that since it was Rastafarians and “poor black people that suffered the brunt of persecution and prosecution because of their belief in the drug”, it is only fair that their share of a medical marijuana industry is carved out first.

    “Barbados should follow the precedent set by Jamaica on how the industry is allocated. If this does not happen, then the rich in Barbados are going to jump and sing ‘Hallelujah!’ because another gateway has been opened up for them to get richer. It can’t be that as we are seeking to add a new brand to medicinal marijuana to the international sector, that only the rich benefit. It would be unfair for many of these hypocrites to profit while Rastas and poor people were suffering under the law for decades,” said the former Member of Parliament for St Michael South East – a riding frequently targeted by police as a hotbed of illegal drug activity.

    In an article published on their website over the weekend, a Rastafarian rights advocate, the African Heritage Foundation, called for clarity on how the Government intends to ensure equitable distribution, as Barbados prepares to enter into a budding pharmaceutical industry.

    The article stated: “It seems while they cross all their t’s and dot all their i’s with medical practitioners, the business community is being put on standby. It is obvious that someone has to supply this upcoming medical cannabis industry with cannabis. The question is, who are the suppliers going to be? Will a framework be put in place to ensure that the people and communities who have suffered the most under the prohibition of cannabis benefit from this new industry?”

    Prime Minister Mottley has said that before Christmas, Barbados should have a framework for medical cannabis in place while legally freeing up the recreational use of the drug will have to be decided by referendum.

    “There is no doubt that we will put a framework in place for medical cannabis within the next week or so. In fact, we have more or less taken a decision, we just need some refining and training with practitioners,” she told business leaders gathered at the CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados Client Economic Forum.

    Pointing out that Barbados would not be going about introducing medical marijuana carelessly, Mottley said careful research would first have to be carried out. (Barbados Today)

  • Aretha Morce  On 07/02/2019 at 11:29 pm

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