A man smokes marijuana in St. Vincent. (IWN file photo)

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

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”.

K. Boucher

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

4 replies on “Industry tourism and marijuana”

  1. Way to go ‘Bouche! But check this out. Why not just legalize the “herb”, and tell those that object that “we realize they full ah shit, and we don’t want to get involved; it’s just a plant.”
    This might sound crude but it’s the truth. On the other hand, I think we ought to tackle alcohol consumption and hard drugs in SVG, and its effect on our psyche. When it come to marijuana vs. alcohol vs. coke vs. cigarette vs. crime… and all the things that turn people stupid and useless, “marijuana seems the safest to me”. Well that’s what the conclusive evidence says.

  2. Well said brother. I think all have to see it the way you do and then change will come, and its coming. This is going to boost our economy greatly

  3. “I know there will still be some fierce opposition to this topic, as our blessed land is still littered with old colonial minds.” Look I have enough smoke blown in my face as it is. I want to not have to endure more passive smoking, it’s bad enough as it is. If you want to smoke that is fine for you and your family, just don’t smoke next to me. I prefer to inhale God’s fresh air – guess that makes me colonial minded.

  4. Very well said, I live in England and i have visit Holland on many occasions and i have seen how they operate in Amsterdam with the decriminalization of the herb, it is not everywhere in the country you can smoke weed freely but in the city of Amsterdam you can and i can say the crime level there is lower that the current crime level in SVG, People don’t get high and fight, like they do when they get drunk..

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