Caribbean nations agree to decriminalize marijuana, clear records

Caribbean nations agree to decriminalize marijuana, clear records
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of CARICOM and CARIFORUM, addresses the meeting at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana, 17 March, 2016. (File image)

The nations of the Caribbean have agreed in principle to decriminalize marijuana and clear old charges.

The leaders of 15 Caribbean nations, together known as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), on Sunday released a recommendation to decriminalize marijuana.

“The commission is unanimous in its view that ultimately, legal policy toward marijuana should be informed – not by punitive approaches – but by public health rationales within a human rights, social justice, and developmental perspective,” CARICOM’s report stated.

It added:

“A too-limited approach to law reform, including one that focuses only on medical marijuana, would be counterproductive and inimical to the goals of Caribbean development … a balanced approach that would meet the main social justice, public health rights and citizen security objectives of the region would be a hybrid or mixed option.”

CARICOM, meanwhile, suggested a ban on marijuana usage in public places.

It also encouraged governments to allow small farmers and small businesses to be included in the production and supply of chain with appropriate controls.

The report went on to state that is would be best that young people who consume marijuana be enrolled in programs for treatment rather than prosecuted.

The report and recommendation will be reviewed by the Caribbean governments and it is left to see how it will be adopted into there laws.

CARICOM includes Barbados, Belize, Dominica, The Bahamas, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua, and Barbuda, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

They made their recommendations after meeting in Jamaica between July 4th – 6th for their 39th meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community.

The leader of St. Lucia Labor Party Philip Pierre thinks its time St. Lucia made a decision on marijuana Image via - Caribbean nations agree to decriminalize marijuana, clear records
The leader of St. Lucia Labor Party, Philip Pierre thinks its time St. Lucia made a decision on marijuana (Image via WIC News)

Philip Pierre, head of St. Lucia Labor Party (SLP), the country’s main opposition, believes that time has come for St. Lucia to make a final decision on marijuana.

He said talks about the decriminalization of marijuana were discussed in 2016 but no resolution had been agreed on.

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