Caribbean Nations Agree To Consider Marijuana Legalization

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notsofasteddie
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Caribbean Nations Agree To Consider Marijuana Legalization

Post by notsofasteddie » Sun 8th Jul 2018 05:41 pm

Caribbean Nations Agree To Consider Marijuana Legalization


By Tom Angell 
July 8, 2018


The heads of Caribbean nations have agreed to “review marijuana’s current status with a view to reclassification,” noting “human and religious rights” issues stemming from criminalization as well as “the economic benefits to be derived” from legalization.

The move, which was announced by The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), an organization of nations including Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica and others, comes after a committee formed by the group recommended replacing cannabis criminalization with legal regulation.

“The medical and scientific evidence is clear that marijuana has substantial value,” commission Chair Rose-Marie Belle Antoine said. “Thousands of people are being imprisoned especially the most vulnerable and most marginalised in the region.”

The 19 Caribbean heads of state attending the group’s meeting in Jamaica this week “welcomed” the report, according to the official communique released at the conclusion of the gathering on Saturday, which also notes that “the current classification of marijuana as an illicit drug presented a challenge in the conduct of research to fully understand and ascertain the medicinal benefits to be derived.”

“They are recommending the decriminalisation of marijuana. They are recommending that it be deemed a substance that is controlled and managed as alcohol,” CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said of the commission’s report.

The communique issued by the heads of state reads:

“Heads of Government welcomed the Report of the Regional Commission on Marijuana. They noted its findings, conclusions and recommendations in particular with respect to human and religious rights; the social and developmental impact of use among adolescents; the economic benefits to be derived and issues related to its classification.

“They expressed deep appreciation to the Commission’s Chair, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine and the other members of the Commission for their very comprehensive report. The Commissioners, representing a range of disciplines conducted region-wide consultations to inform the Report.

“Heads of Government recognised that the current classification of marijuana as an illicit drug presented a challenge in the conduct of research to fully understand and ascertain the medicinal benefits to be derived.

“They agreed that action should be taken at the national level by the relevant authorities to review marijuana’s current status with a view to reclassification taking into account all international obligations.

“They also expressed concern about the effect of marijuana use on young persons given the conclusive evidence that existed.

“Heads of Government recognised that Member States would need to review the Report in more detail to determine action at the national level in relation to law reform models as proposed by the Commission.

“Heads of Government expressed appreciation to the Foundation to Promote Open Society (FPOS) which provided resources for the work of the Commission.”

“We also agreed that each member state, in accordance with its own circumstances, would determine its own pathway to pursue the law reforms necessary as proposed by the Regional Marijuana Commission,” Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said at a press conference.

The move by Caribbean nations comes just weeks after Canadian lawmakers voted to legalize marijuana. Mexico’s incoming presidential administration is poised to end cannabis prohibition as well.



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Re: Caribbean Nations Agree To Consider Marijuana Legalization

Post by notsofasteddie » Sun 8th Jul 2018 06:25 pm

Caribbean Nations Are Seriously Thinking About Cannabis Decriminalization

Due to the potential economic benefits of allowing cannabis businesses to thrive, leaders of 15 Caribbean nations will be debating whether or not to decriminalize cannabis.




Rob Hoffman
Jul 8, 2018


Caribbean nations to release a report recommending cannabis decriminalization

Image
Haitian President, Jovenel Moise (C) speaks next to Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Irwin LaRocque (L) and Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell (R) as they lead the opening ceremony of the 29th Intersessional Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL
(Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

This week, a number of Caribbean nations will gather to discuss, among other things, the decriminalization of cannabis.

Leaders of 15 Caribbean nations, together known as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), are meeting in Jamaica between July 4th – 6th for their 39th meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community.

The 15 member nations of CARICOM are Barbados, Belize, Dominica, The Bahamas, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua, and Barbuda, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. This conference aims to help establish and guide the policies of CARICOM member nations.

In a public statement to the media on Monday, Irwin LaRocque, the Caricom Secretary General Ambassador, claimed that the Caribbean nations will be considering a report from the Regional Commission on Marijuana, which was established by CARICOM in 2014.

Image
Caribbean Nations Are Seriously Thinking About Cannabis DecriminalizationSecretary-General of the Caribbean Community Irwin LaRocque (L) shakes hands with the Haitian President Jovenel Moise (R) after a press conference at the end of the 29th Intersessional Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 28, 2018.
Photo by Hector Retamal HECTOR/AFP via Getty Images.

The Regional Commission on Marijuana is a group of experts with backgrounds in law, medicine, criminology, economics, and more. According to LaRocque, the report supports the decriminalization of cannabis, after weighing its social, economic, legal and health benefits.

“They are recommending that it be deemed to be a substance that is controlled and managed as alcohol, they are recommending that we make available the legislation be put in place to allow for research for medical marijuana,” said LaRocque in a statement.

Jamaica, where the conference is taking place, currently has laws that permit some medical cannabis, decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and the cultivation of five plants, and permits licensed farmers to grow cannabis for “medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes.”

According to the news organization Telesur, the Commission on Marijuana held up Jamaica’s cannabis laws as an example of a potential legal framework for other nations.

Right now, most Caribbean nations have laws prohibiting cannabis use. And other than Jamaica and Belize, which has decriminalized the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis, none of the other CARICOM nations have legalized or decriminalized cannabis.



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