The Cannabis Movement here has welcomed support by Sir Richard Branson during a speech in Barbados for the use of small amounts of marijuana to be legalised.
Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group, which includes Virgin Atlantic.
Barbados Today quoted Branson as saying that the global fight against cannabis has been an abject failure for the last 60 years.
The billionaire businessman urged Barbadian authorities to treat the issue as a health rather than a criminal matter.
He asserted that there had been no increase in the use of cannabis in countries where the drug has been legalised.
Cannabis Movement spokesman, Andre ‘Pancho’ Decaires in welcoming Branson’s statement, told the Times that for many years the Virgin Group founder has been an advocate for legalising marijuana.
“He is a user and he is not embarrassed or ashamed to say that,” Decaires observed.
He expressed the view that Sir Richard would like to see the whole Caribbean change regulations regarding cannabis.
The Cannabis Movement has been in the forefront of moves to decriminalise marijuana in Saint Lucia.
Speaking about progress in that regard, Decaires was of the view that Saint Lucia is ahead of Jamaica on the issue.
He recalled that just last month, the Jamaica government had been criticised by a leading proponent of marijuana policy reform.
According to founder and outgoing head of the United States-based Drug Policy Alliance and former Harvard and Princeton academic, Dr Ethan Nadelmann, the development of the ganja industry in Jamaica continues to stall.
Nadelmann was of the view that Jamaica is missing out on significant economic opportunities while other nations proceed expeditiously.
He called on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to take the reins in developing the country’s legal ganja industry or risk embarrassment.
The Cannabis Movement spokesman said that since Jamaica has ‘stalled’ on the marijuana issue, this gives Saint Lucia an opportunity to take the lead in the region.