Prime Minister Harris to Move Landmark Legislative Amendments to the Drugs Act On Tuesday, July 30

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 29, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris will on Tuesday, July 30, move the passing of landmark legislative amendments to the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 thereby paving the way for the regulated and controlled use of marijuana/cannabis for medicinal and scientific, religious and recreational purposes in St. Kitts and Nevis.

The far-reaching legislative amendments come after the Cabinet established a National Marijuana Commission to ascertain the views of citizens and residents on cannabis use. The broad based commission was led by Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Hazel Laws, and found unanimous agreements for the decriminalization of marijuana in the Federation.

The commission also recommended a phased approach to the establishment of a marijuana industry. Cabinet adopted the commission’s report when it met in Charlestown, Nevis, on February 18.

Since then, the High Court has ruled that some prohibitions on cannabis use outlined in the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) Act, Cap 9.08, were too broad and inconsistent with the Constitution.

The Team Unity Government has responded with amendments to the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Prime Minister Harris has promised to give special support and priority to locals interested in pursuing marijuana cultivation and trade within the confines of the law. The prime minister also warned that the country’s lands will not be ceded to foreign elements of nefarious character and disgraceful conduct.

The legislative amendments that will be introduced at Tuesday’s sitting of the National Assembly will advance the efforts of the Dr. Harris-led administration to decriminalize and regulate marijuana use for medicinal, religious and recreational purposes.

This is a major legislative achievement of the Team Unity administration, which has done in less than five years what could not be done in 20 years.

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