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Group Wants Saint Lucian Government to Decriminalize Marijuana

Section of Marijuana Plantation in Saint Lucia | Photo: Royal Saint Lucia Police Force Section of Marijuana Plantation in Saint Lucia | Photo: Royal Saint Lucia Police Force
The Cannabis Movement in Saint Lucia is urging the government to follow the footsteps of Jamaica and decriminalize marijuana. Members say it would pave the way for a legal marijuana industry.

Andre de Caires, the head of the Cannabis Movement, has been a champion of marijuana tourism and decriminalization. He says Jamaica is heading down the right path by approving a bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis and believes Saint Lucia should do the same.

“I hope that the rest of the islands would take Jamaica’s legislation and modify it to suit their particular needs in each individual territory. So we are faced with two choices. Our politicians could wait on CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) or make the move themselves,” he said. “I am personally involved and I know certain people who have cancer and have fought cancer with the juice of the Cannabis plant, so it is saving lives. It is a medicine.”

Saint Lucia's Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony voiced support for a Caribbean-wide approach to the subject, speaking in favor of a decision by 15 Caribbean leaders to establish the CARICOM commission on decriminalizing Marijuana.

“We believe very strongly that you cannot legalize marijuana for medical use in one country and not do it in others, because there's going to be chaos in the Region. If Jamaica, for example decides to go ahead with allowing the medical uses of marijuana, St. Vincent does the same thing then it's going to have tremendous impact here in Saint Lucia," the Saint Lucian leader said. "How are you going to deal with a Jamaican citizen who travels to Saint Lucia, carries so called marijuana for medicinal purposes, but at the same time, when he arrives to the port of Saint Lucia is denied entry?"

In July 2014, the heads of Government of 15 Caribbean countries decided to appoint a commission to explore the social, economic, health and legal implications of decriminalizing the drug. The Commission is expected to present its findings to the country leaders at their next summit in February 2015.

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