The Attorney for the Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR), has objected to a recent statement by National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, regarding a request to export marijuana.
The Minister’s statement was in response to an ‘exemption’ ICAR sought to send marijuana to Rastafarians in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
ICAR President Aaron Alexander had made the written request to Francis, seeking the exemption for the ganja to be part of a relief shipment.
However, the minister publicly turned down the request.
Francis, who is also responsible for Home Affairs and Justice, told reporters last week that someone cannot ask him to break the law.
Although legal in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for medicinal and religious purposes, marijuana is illegal in Saint Lucia.
David Moyston is representing ICAR in a constitutional case against the Saint Lucia government in relation to the drug act here.
He says the Saint Lucia Minister’s statement at best, was ill-informed.
In this regard, Moyston pointed to the provisions of the Drugs (Prevention Of Misuse) Act.
He noted section 10 subsection one of the act as indicating that the minister may make regulations by statutory instrument to exclude, except for section 5 (1) A, 5 (1) B, 6 (1) A, 6 (1) B or 8 (1), any controlled drugs specified in regulations, and make such other provisions as he or she thinks fit for the purpose of making it lawful.
As a result, the Attorney explained the minister has the right to authorise the export and possession, amongst other things, of any controlled drug.
And Moyston also cited section 9 (1) which he said speaks to the cultivating cannabis.
“So Mr. Minister, it is not a matter that you would authorise the breaking of the law,” he asserted.
“But you would have complied with the very provisions of the act that you referred to in authorising that exportation of cannabis to Saint Vincent,” Moyston said.