Last update: 05-Dec-2013 12:18 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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More discussion needed on marijuana
Once again the issue of the legalisation of marijuana has come up for discussion in the Caribbean; and once again there is sure to be heated and confused discussion over the matter. Decades ago, during the period of the Michael Manley People’s National Party Government in Jamaica, contemplation began of the economic possibilities of what was then said to be a major internal and external trade in ganja, considered a holy herb by the Rastafarian culture.
Discussion was once again provoked when the United States, allied with the World Trade Organisation, all but decimated banana cultivation and export and placed inhibiting strictures on Caribbean offshore financial centres. Then, government ministers of Eastern Caribbean states, severely hampered by the banana blockade and the shrinking of the offshore business, began arguing that the US and Europe were forcing the sub-region into cultivating marijuana.
This time, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves—an unorthodox leader to be sure—has thrown out the thought of marijuana usage for medicinal purposes. No doubt the SVG PM must have in mind attracting foreigners to make the journey to the region and his country to get a whiff of the herb to cure some existing condition. Almost simultaneously, a social group in St Lucia has raised its voice in support of making it possible for marijuana to be legally used.
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