By Monique Washington
“I will not support the legalization of marijuana” the Leader of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory told The Observer on Thursday during the Consultation of the Economy.
The premier was adamant that he will not support the legalization of marijuana and made reference to it during his Thursday featured address.
“I gather that we have been hearing about the decriminalizing of marijuana and things like that,” the Premier said. “I feel we have to think very seriously about we are doing in those regards. Because the evidence is there that people engaging in smoking marijuana, that this could have significant negative effects on scores of our people.”
Continuing, the Premier said his stance “May not made me popular with those who want to see marijuana’s legalization or decriminalization, but I do not worry about that. Let us think very carefully about this request that is being put forward by some segments of our society.”
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris also noted during a town hall meeting in St. Kitts, when it comes to the legalization of the substance he is “standing firm on maintaining the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
The Rastafarian community in the Federation however has begun efforts to “force” the Government to the bargaining table when it comes to legalizing and decriminalizing the substance. Ras Iroy, chairman of the Rastafari in Unity Organization told The Observer that they “are going to have to do some serious negotiating.”
“We have written to the Attorney General,” Ras Iroy said. “We have had our lawyer write to the AG, highlighting our issues with what is happening in terms of the policies and the laws, stating that it is a violation of our rights. When you make legal moves they are forced to respond. We are forcing them to the bargaining table.”
Ras Iroy pointed out that by decriminalizing marijuana the country economy can grow by taxing the substance
“If the Government can make money on taxation it is ridiculous for us to not be looking at that opinion,” Ras Iroy said.
In the first quarter of 2015, Jamaica was the first Caribbean island to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. This led to the Caribbean Community’s to organize the Regional Marijuana Commission which is in charge of investigating the legalization of the drug throughout the region.
In the United States four states have legalized marijuana as a recreational drug and 25 states have legalized it as a medical drug.