Regional Commission to address the issues regarding marijuana use mandated by CARICOM Heads

CARICOM Secretariat

Press Release

TURKEYEN, Greater Georgetown, Guyana (CARICOM) — Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have mandated that a Regional Commission be set up to address issues identified in relation to marijuana use.

This announcement was made by Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government, Dr. the Hon Ralph Gonsalves during a press conference that concluded the 25th Intersessional Meeting Tuesday in St Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday.

Dr. Gonsalves disclosed that the Heads of Government engaged in intense discussions on the issue. The debate, he said, covered its medical use and the decriminalising of small quantities for recreational use. He explained that the economic benefits that might be derived from marijuana cultivation was also explored.

The Community Chairman expressed that there were also concerns raised during deliberations about the repercussions that would come from legalizing or even decriminalizing marijuana. Particular apprehensions were raised regarding potential public and mental health aspects of its use.

Heads of Government also recognised the need for careful in-depth research of the various implications of the measures contemplated during the deliberations.

The mandated commission is expected to address the issues identified along with any others deemed relevant in providing clear guidance for the tough decisions that will need to be made in relation to this matter. The Commission is expected to report to the Regular Meeting of the Conference in July 2014.

“In relation to this issue we have obviously taken more than baby steps. We want the issue to be addressed in a serious, mature manner” Dr. Gonsalves said.

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