A former legislator who formed her own political party one year ago after being expelled from the political movement she was attached to, has embarked on a series of discussions aimed at getting the views of topical issues, the first being the decriminalisation of marijuana.
Glynnis Roberts who represented the constituency of St George South in the Parliament from 2003 to 2013 as a candidate for the National Democratic Congress said that the series of discussions being undertaken by her National United Front organisation, is aimed at getting the views of nationals about issues that have the potential to change lives, and at the same time face the realities of what is happening in the world and the actions necessary to adjust or mitigate.
“We are not going with a mindset calling for the legalisation or to keep it criminalised; we really want to hear the arguments; we want people to get a better understanding so that when a decision is made one way or the other people are well informed,” she said.
The panel for the discussion which will be held in the rural community of Tivoli on Sunday 1 December includes lawyer Anselm Clouden, Head of the Drug Squad at the Royal Grenada Police Force, James Rodriquez; Dave Alexander of the Drug Avoidance Secretariat; and well known trade unionist Bert Patterson who will be speaking in his private capacity. A representative is also expected from the Conference of Churches.
Clouden who is a well known criminal lawyer has over the years called for the decriminalisation of marijuana for medicinal use. In recent time Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves has called for a regional discussion on the decriminalisation of marijuana.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, most countries have enacted laws against the cultivation, possession or transfer of cannabis. These laws have impacted adversely on the cannabis plant’s cultivation for non-recreational purposes, but there are many regions where, under certain circumstances, handling of cannabis is legal or licensed.
Cannabis used medically has several well-documented beneficial effects. Among these are: the amelioration of nausea and vomiting, stimulation of hunger in chemotheraphy and AIDS patients, lowered intraocular eye pressure, as well as general analgesic effects (pain reliever).
Roberts said that among the topics for future discussion are legalisation of casino gambling and the use of sports as a tool for development and economic growth.