A major ganja forum will be held here on Monday,July 25, 2016, the Cannabis Movement has announced.
Thee event has been organized by the Iyalona Council for the Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR), the Industrial Hemp Initiative , Doctor Stephen King, Doctor Gilbertha St Rose, Doctor Marcus Day – the Director of the Caribbean Drug and Alcohol Research Institute (CDARI), the University of the West Indies and the Cannabis Movement.
Spokesman for the Cannabis Movement, Andre “Pancho’ Decaires described the event as a stakeholders working session.
“We actually have some recommendations that we developed from our first stakeholder meeting held in November 2013,” Decaires disclosed.
He said it was an invitation only event to which the Saint Lucia Conference of Churches, the Police Commissioner, the National Youth Council and representatives of the tourism sector are included.
Decaires told the Times the intention was to have participants in groups to discuss their particular area as it relates to growing the economy and the recommendations from the first stakeholders meeting.
The recommendations include a moratorium on jailing persons for cannabis crimes, an amnesty for persons who are serving time for cannabis offences and implementing a no smoking law.
Decaires explained that laws have been passed in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados to prevent smoking tobacco in certain places.
He declared that it would be pertinent to put ganja on the list, although he asserted that tobacco smoking is much more dangerous than cannabis smoking.
Decaires told the Times that a declaration of smoking zones would ease the pressure on the Cannabis Movement, which has been advocating for marijuana to be decriminalized, in terms of where the herb can be smoked.
He said coming out of the stakeholder conference on Monday the Cannabis Movement will prepare a policy paper.
The Cannabis Movement spokesman said the document will be presented to the local Cannabis Commission when it is formed.
He stated that what Caricom requires from each Caribbean country is the formation of a Cannabis Commission to determine the mood regarding the reformation of cannabis laws.
Decaires pointed out that Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine is the Chairperson of the Caricom Marijuana Commission which had its first session in Saint Vincent.
He explained that the Caricom Marijuana Commission is conducting observer missions to each of the territories.
“She (Professor Antoine) has asked us if we can host the second one, so when they come here we would have already had out local stakeholder session and we would be able to give her a very complex and well-researched policy paper, having already consulted the stakeholders,” Decaires revealed.