St. Lucia organization scoffs at SVG’s Cannabis bill

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Image by © Michael Melford/National Geographic Society/Corbis

Chairman of the Cannabis Movement in St. Lucia, Andre ‘Pancho’ de Caires, has rejected a historic bill decriminalising ganja for medical and scientific purposes in St Vincent and the Grenadines, stating that it is not for St. Lucia.

de Caires said the organization looked at St Vincent’s marijuana bill before it was tabled in parliament.

“We reject that bill wholeheartedly,” de Caires stated, adding that there are a lot of flaws. That bill is not something that would really benefit the farmers of St. Lucia.”

He disclosed that what is needed in St. Lucia is a measure that would create a path to upward mobility for the people who have been brutalised, unfairly jailed and discriminated against because of cannabis.

“We want to give these people a chance, it is actually a project for poverty alleviation,” he told reporters.

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The Cannabis Movement Chairman said once people move from the lower end of the society into the middle class, crime will go down.

“The way we have designed it, we would be able to lower the food import bill and create jobs,” the outspoken marijuana advocate said.

He said St. Lucia will  instead, adopt a holistic approach to agricultural development, using cannabis as the catalyst.

“Many of the other models – Jamaica; they got it wrong; St. Vincent is surely getting it wrong,” de Caires declared.

He said when the bill was being debated in parliament in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it divided the Rastafarian community because of the way the measure was rolled out.

“We do not want to roll out a bill like that,” he said.

de Caires pointed out that the bill in St. Vincent merely focuses on medical cannabis, adding that it does not go the route of full legalisation.