Antigua and Barbuda is taking another step towards legalizing the regulated production and supply of marijuana for religious and medical purposes, when final consultations on the Cannabis Bill 2018 are held.
The government will be issuing invitations to several groups, while members of the public who want to get involved can approach the Clerk of the Parliament, Ramona Small, and make a request.
Prime Minister, Gaston Browne has appointed a five-member parliamentary Select Committee who will engage stakeholders, including Rastafarians and medical professionals, among others identified as approved healthcare professionals, on matters that concerns them regarding the journey towards the legalization and management of the industry.
The move is in keeping with the government’s promise to develop medical and other marijuana related industries for both local and international consumption.
The law will establish Antigua and Barbuda Medicinal Cannabis Authority whose functions will be to authorize medicinal and alternative health practitioners to recommend medicinal cannabis, and scientific research protocols for medicinal purposes.
A 40-year-old Jamaican national was denied bail and remanded in custody until Feb. 27 next year after he was jointly charged with a Bahamian national following the seizure of more than US$2 million worth of marijuana last month.
Jason Noble and Tafferon Frazier, 41, appeared before Acting Chief Magistrate, Subusola Swain on charges of possession of a dangerous drug with the intent to supply and conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with intent to supply.
The court heard that the men had abandoned a drug-laden boat after they were cornered by law enforcement near Bone Fish Pond.
The prosecution said the men swam to land and the police discovered 60 crocus bags containing 1,814 pounds of marijuana, when they searched the vessel.
They have both denied the charges and were told that they can apply to a judge for bail.
Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell said action is needed to reverse the impact of climate change on small island developing states (SIDS) like those in the Caribbean.
He said it cannot be business as usual, “we need to act now so that future generations will applaud us for the action we take now to protect our planet.”
Mitchell told delegates attending the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Fractured Dialogue to reflect on progress and capture lessons learned towards strengthening and streamlining as well as exploring investment opportunities that fit into the fund’s mandate.
He told the delegates from all the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries that there was need for decisive, immediate action to reverse some of the impacts of climate change.
Mitchell reminded them of the natural disasters that devastated many of the northern Caribbean countries during the 2017 hurricane season.
The prime minister said Grenada would continue to be a champion for matters affecting small island states, adding that “Grenada will continue to be a champion of sustainable development for small island states because in a space of a few hours everything can change with one incident.”
During his address Mitchell said it was necessary for donor countries to revise their lending policies that focus on gross domestic product (GDP).
Four members of the Guyana Fire Services (GFS) were charged with theft of items from the Fly Jamaica aircraft that crash-landed at Cheddi Jagan International Airport last month.
Police charged Collis Williams, 37, with stealing two mobile phones valued as US$750, belonging to Basil Ferguson, captain of the Canada-bounds flight that was forced to land on Nov. 9, 2018.
Williams pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court and was granted Guy$100,000 bail by Chief Magistrate Ann Mc Lennan. He will return to court next week.
The other three GFS members Aubrey Frank, Jamie Kingston and Royden Kennedy were accused of having under their control articles reasonably suspected to have been stolen.
They pleaded not guilty and were released on Guy$80,000 bail each.
Police said the three men were held with items valued at Guy$60,000, including an Acer tablet.
Six people were injured when the aircraft with 118 passengers and eight crew members made an emergency landing.
Jamaica is one of three countries participating in a US$35.7 million project designed to strengthen resilience of urban areas through Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA).
The project entitled, “Building climate resilience of urban system through EBA in Latin America and the Caribbean” also includes Mexico and El Salvador.
Funding in part for the project had been provided by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF); the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) San Salvador; and the Municipal Water and Sanitation Commission of Xalapa in Mexico.
Una May Gordon of the Economic Growth and Job Creation Ministry said the project would target the community of Greenwich Town in Kingston, as well as other areas.
The countries selected under the project were chosen due to several socio-economic issues common to them.
These issues include the rapid and unplanned expansion of housing into areas that are vulnerable to natural disasters or unsuitable for settlement and the inadequate access to public service such as waste management, sanitation and refuse collection.
Trinidad and Tobago has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with El Salvador to establish a framework to facilitate the timely exchange of information and intelligence that is reasonably considered relevant to the investigation of a money laundering or financing terrorism case.
It was signed at the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) XLVIII Plenary held in Bridgetown, Barbados recently.
Under the MoU, each FIU can offer, spontaneously or upon request of the other FIU, any information and intelligence at its disposal that may be relevant to each an investigation to the extent permitted by the laws of each country and in accordance with its policies and procedures.
Information shared can only be used for intelligence purposes. Information sharing among CFATF members is critical in combating money laundering, associated predicate offences and financing terrorism which being transnational in nature can have an actual or potential impact across our national borders.
— Compiled by Azad Ali