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Caribbean states say its time to legalize cannabis

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On September 17th a meeting of Caribbean states was held including Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and political leaders from Haiti, Barbados and others.  The group called for an end to the prohibition of cannabis.  This is one of numerous calls for the Caribbean nations to rethink their cannabis laws.  Cannabis is traditionally used as a medicine by many caribbean people, and is of course enjoyed recreationally by a large number of people of all ages. 

Dr Gonsalves said “High people in high places with arthritis boil ganja and drink it. They boil the root for asthma. An old lady I have known for many years who belonged to the Legion of Mary, as holy as the Pope—she used to drink it. It's not reinventing the wheel,” he added,  “Twenty states in the US have legalised it medically with no interference from the federal government.”

It is the last point which really irritates many of the Caribbean political elite.  Whilst the USA has 20 states with legal cannabis the caribbean nations are still continuing to maintain a futile 'hard line' on anyone caught with cannabis, even medical users.  The prohibition of cannabis costs $millions which simply can no longer be afforded, and the criminal records routinely handed out to their young citizens reduce employment and education prospects.  Meanwhile an increasing number of USA youngsters now have legal protection from their own police, a policy that many in the caribbean want to see implemented for themselves.

Dr Gonsalves concluded “We should be talking honestly and openly, but we are not. It’s as though our minds are closed and some affliction has descended upon us preventing us from talking about it. Somebody needs to bell the cat, let the truth out. With my years I can be emphatic about it.”

The full story is here https://guardian.co.tt/lifestyle/2013-09-22/marijuana-our-minds

 
September 23rd 2013
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