(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-The Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) held its fourth and final press conference on the issue of decriminalizing marijuana on Nevis on Monday, August 28, 2017 at the Credit Union Conference room located on Chapel Street in Charlestown.
Chairperson of the ceremony, Senator Carlisle Powell gave the opening remarks. Powell said that he was pleased with the steps that the NRP has made in regards to the decriminalization of marijuana on Nevis. He said that a number of other countries have moved in that direction and Nevis cannot continue to lag behind the rest of the world.
Party leader, Hon Joseph Parry gave some remarks. He indicated that it was not right for boys and girls to be sent to prison because of marijuana. Parry noted that it is bad for the youth, as well as their parents and the country on a whole. Parry stated that he anticipates the question of how the NRP will get it done but the answer lies in the power of the people, and if they give them a chance it will be done. Parry pointed out, that the Constitution affords Nevis the right to do certain things and if it comes down to any confusion they will use the Constitution. He further stated, that the decriminalization of the plant can be of huge benefits to the country from an economic standpoint.
Honorable Parry noted that there is something in economics which is called ‘Comparative advantage’ that countries live by. He said that we in the smaller islands are always at a disadvantage but we must always seek to advance ourselves when opportunities present themselves. He said that the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) always tries to stifle growth and progress but the NRP is much different. Parry indicated, that the NRP is a forward thinking party and always does what is necessary to advance the island of Nevis and its people. In closing, he indicated that the draft for the decriminalization of marijuana will be in the party’s manifesto that is currently been put together.
Dr. Kelvin Daley also gave some remarks. Daley indicated that the consumption and use of marijuana was never a problem until 1961 when the United Nations deemed it as a drug. However, he pointed out that substances such as tobacco and alcohol are legal to use when both have proven to be hazards. Daley said it does not matter the illegalities of something once it is in demand people will get it one way or the other. He noted that a few days ago, he saw an elderly woman who told him that she heard him on the radio talking about cannabis and how was it possible for her to get some. He said that the lady told him if she was younger she would have marry him.
Dr. Daley said that besides that particular woman, other persons have asked him where can they get cannabis and he would usually talk to someone who knows someone who knows someone and get it for them. He indicated that just a few months ago, a young lady was suffering from some pains in her neck and after visiting the doctor, the doctor had prescribed some pills for her. However, Daley noted that one pill cost $80.00 and was too expensive for the lady to upkeep. He said that after the lady had told him what had happened, he contacted a friend and the lady was sort out with some marijuana tea. Daley noted that the pain that the lady once suffered from is now history.
Mr. Hensley Daniel also spoke at the conference. Daniel noted that the Nevis Reformation Party has a track record of getting things done once they had been promised. He pointed out, that they said that they would have allowed young girls who got pregnant in school to return after they would have given birth and it was done.
He indicated, that they felt that it was discrimination to disallow children from going to school with their head uncovered because they had dreadlocks and they put a stoppage to it when they won in 2006. He said that it will be the same with the decriminalization of marijuana. Daniel noted that it was foolishness to give someone a criminal record just because of a joint.
Daniel further stated, that a story was related to him from a young man who was caught with marijuana and was brought before the Court. He said that the young man was fined $3,000 by the Court which he paid. Sometime after, his mother who was living in America took sick and he was unable to visit her because he was denied a visa for having a criminal record. Daniel noted that such things are unfair, and a halt must be put to them immediately. He stated that they will proceed and get it done it does not matter what anyone else thinks.