The issue of decriminalising marijuana — or “weed” as it is more commonly called locally — has been, and is now more so, a topic of great interest in this blessed land of ours. And with more individuals especially politicians, realizing it’s economic potential at becoming a multi-million or more so billion-dollar industry, we might just see this becoming a reality sooner, rather than later.
It’s not as if the powers that be here in SVG, don’t know that marijuana, even though illegal, helps to keep our small economy afloat, helping to ease some of our financial shortfalls, in these hard times since the fall of bananas, the decline of tourism, and the implemented global economic crisis.
Marijuana is used in the manufacturing of hundreds of products, from fabric, to paper, food, drink, etc., and there is an ever growing demand for the plant, since its been cited for it’s medicinal properties. Whether factories or labs are built here in SVG, or we are exporting to countries with such facilities, there is the potential of it being a multi-million dollar industry. And I am pretty confident, that lawmakers in this blessed land of ours are very much capable of putting the necessary legal framework in place to deal with such issues, and make decriminalizing marijuana, a win-win situation for all.
This is 2014, and long gone should be the days when people (including myself), had to resort to some personal safety threatening manoeuvres to evade the occupants of P130, P3088, P666 and others — yeh, dem boys/police — as if one is armed with an AK47 rifle, or an explosive bomb, like a terrorist, while all in your possession was a bomb of weed or even a piece.
Decriminalization will have limits, which means there will still be penalties for exceeding these limits, so lawyers need not worry — your representation will still be required by those who do just that.
There would be a minimum smoking age, maximum quantity on person and in homes, maximum amount of plants in your home garden, no smoking zones, especially around schools during school hours, and so on.
Implement a tax, similar to that of a liquor license on shops that sell, have tax-paying registered farmers, thus leaving anyone unlicensed or unregistered in breach of the law. There will be better control as to where one can and cannot plant, as registered farmers can be guided by the Forestry Department, in protecting our water supply, and eco-system in general.
Decriminalization, can also help improve our tourism product, especially with the opening of the Argyle International Airport on the horizon, as there is one huge ganja smoking society out there, who wouldn’t love anything better than coming to our shores, to enjoy our sun, beaches, good food, wonderful people, and of course, we good Vincy “High Grade”/weed.
I know there will still be some fierce opposition to this topic, as our blessed land is still littered with old colonial minds. But Mr. Prime Minister, please, for the good of this nation, take us past this juncture in our history making, not only for medical, but in general, decriminalize marijuana.
A blessed plant in a blessed land, would only yield good fortunes.
Ganja, SVG’s “Green Gold”.
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