Efforts to decriminalize and regulate marijuana use move forward

Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
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Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris will introduce legislative amendments Tuesday to advance the efforts of the administration to decriminalize and regulate marijuana use for medicinal, religious and recreational purposes in St. Kitts and Nevis Tuesday.

The landmark legislative amendments to the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 came after unanimous agreements for the decriminalization of marijuana in the Federation from the Cabinet-established National Marijuana Commission.

The commission, led by Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Hazel Laws, was established to ascertain the views of citizens and residents on cannabis use. It also recommended a phased approach to the establishment of a marijuana industry.

The Cabinet adopted the commission’s report when it met in Charlestown, Nevis, on Feb. 18.

The High Court subsequently 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 amendments are the administration’s response.

Prime Minister Harris promised to give special support and priority to locals interested in pursuing marijuana cultivation and trade within the confines of the law.

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