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There has been reaction to moves by a regional Prime Minister who has taken the lead in calling on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping for a discussion on the medicinal and other uses of marijuana.

In his letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who is also the Trinidad and Tobago head of government, Vincentian prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said it is high time that CARICOM addresses regionally “this matter in sensible focus not a hysterical manner”.

He added that the marijuana plant has a bundle of proven and potentially beneficial uses and while there is evidence of its use and abuse and the consequential criminalisation of its cultivation, possession and supply have impacted on the health, welfare and security of the people.

Leader of the Lucian Greens Party Andre Decaires, has expressed surprise at what he calls the turnaround stance of Dr Gonsalves who has previously stated his government’s disinterest in exploring any discussion on decriminalizing marijuana use.

Mr Decaries notes that he is concerned that while the debate on decriminalizing marijuana  is beginning to take place, moves to translate the talk into action are slow in coming.

Meanwhile, Dr Gonsalves has made a plea for “a reasoned debate” led by CARICOM political and civic leadership in the context of the legislation of marijuana.

He said the matter should be explored at the next meeting of the Bureau of CARICOM leaders scheduled for Trinidad on September 13.


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