SVG government moves to reform marijuana laws

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minster, Ralph Gonsalves.
CARICOM Secretariat

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines government has presented three pieces of legislation in a move to establish a medicinal marijuana industry in the country.

The legislation, The Medicinal Cannabis Industry Bill, was tabled in Parliament by Agriculture and Forestry Minister, Saboto Caesar, along with the Cannabis Cultivation (Amnesty) Bill and The Permitted use of Cannabis for Religious Purpose Bill.

This comes a few months after the Ralph Gonsalves administration had indicated a desire to have the relevant laws passed by March.

There are reports that Canadian investors, who are building a resort on the island, have indicated their desire to offer medical marijuana treatment when the facility becomes operational.

Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves had outlined the government’s position on the marijuana issue when during his budget presentation he told legislators “unregulated consumption of recreational marijuana poses a number of risks and challenges that we do not currently have the data on which to make informed decisions, or the capacity to manage effectively.”

Last month Prime Minister Gonsalves criticized the opposition’s approach to reforming of the marijuana laws, saying he does not subscribe to the view that marijuana is the best thing that happened to this universe and all one had to do is some and become wise.

He also told the media he was awaiting a document he had requested from the ministers of health and education for a program on the abuse and misuse of marijuana and alcohol.

The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has already said that the government must ensure that any medical marijuana industry established in St. Vincent and the Grenadines must benefit the citizens.

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