by Linda Straker
- NDC has endorsed 2018 Caricom report on cannabis
- Advocates cannabis decriminalised for recreational and medicinal use
- Issue is one of public health and social dialogue
The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it has endorsed the 2018 Caricom Report on Cannabis and wants the ruling New National Party (NNP) Government to adopt the relevant recommendations that will decriminalise cannabis for recreational and medicinal use.
“After must consideration and analytical review and discussion with many people throughout our society as well as listening to the voices of our people through social, electronic, print media whatever, the National Democratic Congress has concluded that the time has come for Grenada to adopt the relevant recommendations of the Caricom regional commission on marijuana as outline in their 2018 document,” Franka Bernardine said in a news conference on Friday.
Bernardine who was elected as the Party’s leader in November 2019 said the NDC endorses the recommendations of the report and calls on government to take the necessary action to amend and enact legislation as necessary. “The time for action is now,” she said.
“At the same time, we call on everyone to respect the existing laws. We are quite clear about advocating against substance abuse and misuse. However, we recognise there are two aspects of the marijuana issue – the medicinal marijuana and the recreational marijuana,” said Bernardine who admitted to never using the drug, but will love to use a marijuana-based medication for her glaucoma.
“The NDC calls on the government to proceed with the processes recommended in the report to decriminalise the use of the drug, both for medicinal purposes and in smaller quantities for personal and religious circumstances as the society sees fit,” she said, sharing examples of medical problems that marijuana has scientifically proven to aid in medical recovery.
“Marijuana roots are used in the treatment of asthma. People who are ill must be able to access these products. We cannot have pharmaceutical companies and big industries come in, market our products, products that we are still behind. There are tremendous implications in all of this for us,” she said.
“We should not allow fair conservative attitudes and uncertainty to hold back innovative initiatives that could help people,” she said, pointing to Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, along with Antigua and Barbuda, who have all began the legislative process to decriminalise cannabis.
Kennedy Roberts, who serves as the party’s Deputy Chairman, said that the decriminalisation of cannabis should be treated as an important policy issue. “We should be looking at the issue as one of public health and social dialogue,” he said.
Bernardine says that the party will be having a public forum in the coming days where the matter will be the topic of discussion.
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