Gov’t to seriously consider medical marijuana in 2017

Chiming in on the highly controversial topic of the legalization of marijuana in Dominica, Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has said that a structured approach will be taken to discussing the issue of medical marijuana in 2017.

Speaking on Kairi’s ‘Real Talk’ program, on Wednesday, Skerrit explained that the topic must be discussed in a focused and informed manner, in order to take full advantage of the use of the herb, which many have sworn has saved their lives.

“We have started the conversation. I think we maybe need to put a better structure in place where we can have a more structured, informed dialogue or discussion on medical marijuana, to see how we can take advantage of this. I think in the new year you will see a more focused, more structured approach to the discussion…” he expressed. “I think that if there is a plant in our country which people are swearing by as having saved their lives or assisted them in reducing the pain or managing their ailment, then I think it is important for there to be a very serious discussion about it, and to see how we can go about taking advantage of this development.”

He suggested that Dominica could adopt and tweak measures from other countries who have been successful in the use of medical marijuana.

The Prime Minister stated that while the government is not opposed to the eventual legalization of the herb, several things must be carefully considered before such a decision is brought forward.

“It is not something that we are opposed to, but it has to be in a very structured and focused manner—rather than just legalizing the herb. I don’t think that is the approach that we should take to the discussion…” he stated.

Skerrit said that very serious discussions must take place, before letting “the country decide, at an appropriate time, how we proceed with addressing the issue of marijuana for medicinal purposes.”

The issue of marijuana legalization has been heavily discussed in Dominica. 

In July, Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau Central Constituency, Joseph Isaac stated that it was time for officials to seriously consider the decriminalization of marijuana, and expressed his willingness to “lead the mission” towards this objective.

In 2012, Attorney General, Levi Peter, made it clear that the drug would not soon be legalized, stating that, “Marijuana will continue to be an illegal substance in Dominica in the foreseeable future.”

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, in 2014, revealed plans to review and perhaps alter Dominica’s marijuana laws, with the view to lifting some restrictions. However, he emphasized that the government was not prepared to lift the ban on the use of the herb completely.

Marijuana has been classified as a ‘Class B’ drug in Dominica meaning that it is illegal to possess, cultivate, or sell the substance.

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67 Comments

  1. Delicesinus
    December 26, 2016

    Way papa. Monkey see monkey do. America seems to be Dominica”s idol. Keep following America. A country with no regard to God and is slowly going down the ditch of immorality. PEOPLE THINK FOR YOURSELVES!! stop imitating other countries especially when what they are doing is not beneficial to your country. How will having medical marijuana benefit DA? People are already planting and smoking it. If people want to make tea or smore their weed for an illness I’m pretty sure they are already doing so. Be real.

    • derp
      December 28, 2016

      you are so brainwashed, do you know cannabis was used medicinally all over the world then it was America who banned it and criminalized it and the WHOLE WORLD followed America

      • People who advocate for marijuana do so basically for two reasons. (1) To get high. (Their own pleasure. (2) To make money. These people do not take into consideration the science involved. Many of them get ugly when they are confronted with the harm smoking the weed does.

        Doug Ironside, a public health nurse (injury and substance misuse prevention) said in an interview:

        *Everyday use is a really high risk behavior. Regular ongoing use is particularly harmful to youth.

        *Regular marijuana use impairs brain development in youth since the brain (especially the pre-frontal cortex) continues to grow and mature until one reaches 25 years old. It can impair reasoning, impair judgment, and make school very challenging. Marijuana is also harmful to the lungs, causing many of the same problems tobacco smoke does, including cough, bronchitis, and heightened cancer risk.

        *Marijuana has the potential to become addictive.

        *We know from research that increased access leads to…

  2. B VIDAL
    December 26, 2016

    EVERY DAY IS ALFOOLS DAY I N DOMINICA;

    • Continuation…

      *We know from research that increased access leads to increased use.

      David Hammond, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at Waterloo University said:

      *It is a myth that marijuana smoke is less harmful to inhale than tobacco smoke. Marijuana smoke contains many of the same carcinogens as cigarette smoke.

      The above statements from Doug Ironside and David Hammond were from interviews with them. They were published in an article written by Andrew Philips in the Orillia Packet and Times on May 11, 2017, a city newspaper.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  3. Yesjayson
    December 26, 2016

    All I know is that my uncle had cancer and now he does not, thanks to God’s herb. I have nothing further to say…

    • December 27, 2016

      Did your uncle have cancer? There is such as thing as wrong diagnosis.

      Did he experience a natural remission? (Some do.)

      Was he receiving other treatments? If so how can we know which one actually effected the cure?

      There have been studies that suggest marijuana causes or at least contributes to certain cancers.

      If marijuana cures cancer why are we not hearing about this :?: In what medical journal has this been reported?

      Don\’t misunderstand me. I am happy if your uncle does not now have cancer. But to make a case for the marijuana treatment of cancer we would need all the facts pertaining to this case. Let them be published for the good of mankind.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. (Diploma in Drug Studies) (Pastoral Counseling Certificate)

      • Seven thumbs down.

        Yet unable to show a single statement I made that is incorrect and give proof.

        This is coming from the dark side.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill

  4. Anthony P. Ismael
    December 25, 2016

    End the foolish so called academic talk and legalize weed now! “We in Dominica are like Jack-Ass-Glory.” We always seem to be behind God’s Back on everything. Let’s create Marijuana Tourism and build boutiques all over the island where different blends of weed can be enjoyed like fine wine. Talk about filling up hotel rooms to capacity and spending foreign currency on our shores daily. How do you say “Foreign Direct Investment?”
    One word: “Weed.”

    • December 27, 2016

      The drug problems in general, sexual child abuse, and violence are enough to keep people away from the beautiful nature island. Please don\’t even think of turning it into a marijuana haven. The island belongs to
      its citizens. I doubt if most of them want marijuana tourism. These kind of visitors often leave behind more than their money. You have enough problems.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  5. freegid tree
    December 24, 2016

    I tink dat de Doc Punjara may need soma dat medicine. :lol:

  6. The weed
    December 24, 2016

    “Legalize it!” “And I will advertise it!”

  7. December 24, 2016

    Finally some progress.

  8. Tickle Me
    December 23, 2016

    Oh yes. We live in a fool’s paradise. I guess setting a stage for addiction and increasing the ‘paro’ population is more palatable than eradication of the archaic laws that ban same sex couples from publicly displaying their affection? wherein lies the humanity? Show some love for all your Countrymen and women non?

  9. Doc. Love
    December 23, 2016

    Several laborites believe Skeritt is a visionary leader. With all the pressure concerning the sales of passports, with all the competition from other Caribbean countries as regards the sales of passport to assist their economies, this so called visionary leader has decided to look elsewhere to fund the many free programs he has gotten the Dominicans people accustomed to. It will be very interesting to see the reactions of the many religious leaders who believe he is the deliverer, he is their modern day Robin Hood.

  10. December 23, 2016

    They almost crucify Danny Lougay earlier this year for making that statment, today Skerrit coming and play like is he that come up with the idear, Skerrit always behind :-D :-D

  11. Arte El Labore
    December 23, 2016

    The government of Dominica must not legalise marijuana their are too many young black men in this country with negative attitude falling apart drinking rum all day long and would not go out looking for work and now legislation of marijuana is being talk about, Mr Skerrit i have been a Labour supporters long before you were born if you legalise marijuana you will be out of government next election mark my words.

  12. brandon joseph
    December 23, 2016

    just now is homosexuality they will be discussing.he is following the agenda of those who knighted him in 20014.

  13. kalaloo
    December 23, 2016

    sheep!

  14. Malboro Spliff
    December 23, 2016
  15. %
    December 23, 2016

    HOPE
    Mr Pappy Baptiste,Dominicas biggest RASTAMAN,is not left out of the discussion..Let him take on the stuttering Skerrit,and let Skerrit try to insult him,then you all will see who Pappy is!

  16. The S7 - i will blow up in your face
    December 23, 2016

    In 2012, Attorney General, Levi Peter, made it clear that the drug would not soon be legalized, stating that, “Marijuana will continue to be an illegal substance in Dominica in the foreseeable future.” They have no intention of doing so. At least not under Peter’s watch. You would swear he was guarding the North Wall.

  17. The S7 - i will blow up in your face
    December 23, 2016

    Still just talk. A structured approach to ” discussing the issue”. People dont you ever be fooled. The AG himself has said that it will NOT be decriminalized anywhere in the unforeseeable future. This is just another rouse because elections are on their way again. It was the same thing the last time! This is not something being seriously considered. If it is only now you want to have a “structured” discussion about the matter. i think we as thinking people have the power to find facts on our own and come to our own conclusions about a matter without the charade of these meetings and discussions. The facts are out there about the benefits and the negatives. the benefits far outweigh the negatives. A stance should have already been taken with only discussions about how it will be implemented is a safe and secure manner. Not to try and only now act like you want to know about the issue.

    • The S7 - i will blow up in your face
      December 23, 2016

      *foreseeable not un..

    • concern
      December 26, 2016

      Theh should ket the citizens vote on the matter

  18. The Gov't: One Man
    December 23, 2016

    Mr Lennard Pappy Baptiste is a visionary. He was a buy of agricultural produce to ship to the Virgin Islands, in his day. Customers would hire buses to flock his super market in C B. He had been advocating the opportunities in marijuana farming for years. Had he been taken on, we would have had a structure in place for the masses to benefit from marijuana farming. Now Mr Skerrit , we are last cacarat who will benefit from a legal marijuana production and trade.
    MASSACRE, we should produce for the rich countries and control our local use. What’s wrong with that. Control, and manage!!!!

  19. The Truth Be Told
    December 23, 2016

    They feel medical marijuana saved their life. I would state, it probably helps them to live a few years longer and ease the pain. We should know, even though it stabilizes their pain, in the end it will not work for, sooner or later they will die; the same for any sort of medication.
    Eat and drink well – nutritiously, sleep well, live well, be kind, treat others as you expect them to treat you (The Golden Rule) and worship God. The latter is not the least but foremost, and no one will need medicinal marijuana and even medication.
    Note how many people live a long life without medicinal marijuana and even medication for that matter.
    Medicinal marijuana could be addictive.. In 2017 when the discussion commences, we will have more to say on this matter.

  20. freegid tree
    December 22, 2016

    Scare-it sees his chances are getting slimmer by the minute; So choo-poul. Whatever it takes for him to remain in power; “BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.” Hahaha…Not even free cocaine will help him win this time around.

  21. buggzy
    December 22, 2016

    No do not legalize it.. its better to have it decriminalized… that way the government can control the use of it… Skerit will do anything to win election this time.

    • anonymous2
      December 24, 2016

      If you legalize, the corporations will move in and take over. That is what is happening in the US. And then they tax it. The govt. is the biggest corporation in DA.

  22. Herb Alpert
    December 22, 2016

    The Ball is now in Isaac’s court…Let’s start the discussions…..

    • December 26, 2016

      Years ago our governments licensed the production and sale of tobacco cigarettes.

      Smoking seemed to help some people relax. The tobacco industry was a big employer. Governments gained large sums of money from the sale of licenses of various kinds, income tax, and sales tax. It was cool to smoke. Even doctors and nurses smoked. But that was before the research was done and the results were published.

      Now we know scientifically 50% of all the people who smoke cigarettes WILL die from a disease caused by smoking. Every year there are thousands of tobacco deaths across Canada alone besides those in the U.S.A. There are families bringing large class action suits against cigarette companies for loved ones who have died from smoking.

      Some politicians have moved too fast to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. Not enough is known yet about the weed just as not enough was known about tobacco.

      • December 26, 2016

        Statistics suggest that marijuana smoking contributes to respiratory problems and some cancers.

        Medicinal marijuana? Many of those clamoring for legalized \”medicinal\” marijuana are already smoking marijuana illegally to get high and have been for years. They want to make it easier to get without being arrested, fined, or jailed. Then there are those who want to produce and sell it
        without legal problems.

        Studies have shown that smoking marijuana causes damage to an area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Among students it has resulted in a drop in grades, and a higher
        percentage of school dropouts. This research came from a joint study (no pun intended) between two university medical schools with two top M.D. neurologists publishing warning students to avoid marijuana.

        If the trend continues we may see families who have lost family members or brains to marijuana suing their governments or the companies responsible for the production and sale…

      • King
        December 28, 2016

        smoking is not the only way to use marijuana. You’re being intentionally misleading to readers on here and I do believe that you are aware medicine in all forms are made from the herb. Stop being a hypocrite mr preacher

      • King
        December 28, 2016

        It’s people like you who cause our youth to turn away from organized religions. Start looking at yourself and ask questions. Why are more and more of our youth agnostics. It’s guys like you high and mighty stuck in archaic ways and thoughts pushing them into rebellion from Christ. Smfh reverend

  23. sensible conversation
    December 22, 2016

    talk is cheap let us see the real action mr PM the idea is progressive

  24. papa
    December 22, 2016

    Stop following us da to small for crap get a hold of yourself mr pm

  25. December 22, 2016

    Smokers want the weed legalized. They know it is best to first ask for the legalization of medicinal marijuana. But don\’t be fooled by this. They are already smoking it illegally to get high and have been for years. They smoked it long before it was generally thought to have medicinal value. Even now it is likely there are legal prescription drugs that would be just as effective for whatever they pretend they need it for.

    We use to think marijuana is only psychologically addictive. Now we know it is also physically addictive.

    Marijuana contributes to various illnesses including lung and breathing problems and even some cancers. It has recently been found that smoking the weed damages a part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. There has been evidence of students who had a drop in their grades and a higher percentage of school dropouts among those who smoked marijuana over a significant length of time.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  26. December 22, 2016

    after so many people has been convicted for God’s herb we have come to see the light. so many by products can be process from marijuana.

    • December 27, 2016

      When we speak about the physical and social problems caused by smoking marijuana we are not talking about the good products that can be made from the plant.

      Many things were put on this earth to be used by man but this does not mean they should be smoked, inhaled, chewed, eaten, drank, or injected. But there are rogues who will produce, promote, or sell them for these illicit uses once they learn there is money to be made from doing so with no consideration of the harm that is caused.

      Some politicians will decriminalize or legalize not only any substance but any behavior or lifestyle when there are votes to gain or money to be made by the government. Do they not realize criminals have been indulging in these things for years in defiance of the law? Why would they change the law now to accommodate these same people :?: These are enemies of the state as seen by their past behavior.
      Given the opportunity they would be the first to overthrow your government.

  27. December 22, 2016

    HAAAAAA, When the U.S. Sneezes, the whole world catches the cold. Stay tuned!

  28. Dominican Passports
    December 22, 2016

    Is election drawing near?

  29. December 22, 2016

    I smell they want to legalize few things ; marijuana is the trial next is homosexual

    • December 27, 2016

      There are politicians who will stand for righteousness. There are others who will take whatever side the majority seems to be on to get the votes.

      This is why we should find out before the election where our candidates stand on the social issues and vote for the candidate who shares our values. Here in Canada I tell our people to vote their conscience. If they are Christians they must vote the Bible. Be for what God is for. Be against what God is against.

      Obviously we (Christians) in Canada lost the last federal election. In Ontario we lost the provincial election. We will work harder next time. Important as they are the economy and jobs are not the priorities for Christians. Righteousness must come first. But we are to pray for our leaders whether we agree with then or not :!: We are to pay our taxes, and be law abiding citizens :!:

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  30. zandoli
    December 22, 2016

    Let\’s see how many of Skerrit\’s cronies will set up marijuana shops around the islands. If he is serious about medical marijuana, how does he intend to ensure the product will meet the highest standards for a medical product.

    It is one thing for a person to sell weed to regular smokers, it is quite another for the government to sanction something that is designed to meet the medical needs of patients.

    If Skeritt want so decriminalize weed (which I support), that is one thing. It is quite another to make weed available for medical use without very stringent regulations and monitoring to make sure the highest standards are met.

  31. %
    December 22, 2016

    BIG UP TO::::
    Leonard Pappy Baptiste
    and Joseph Isaac… I hope this discussion will be from a wide cross section of society,and not only the bunch of dummies and duncecats in the DLP.

  32. %
    December 22, 2016

    Thank you Honourable Joseph Isaac and Dominicas biggest advocate for a discussion on the use of Marijuana Leonard Pappy Baptiste…This evil DLP regime is eating its tongue now..BLIND IDIOTS THEY ARE…No wonder Dominica is just a Passport Production Factory….I dont drink,I dont smoke,but so many criminals are plundering Dominica,why punish a poor man for two joints..

  33. December 22, 2016

    Are you people for real?, what is the government ithinking of doing?, legalizing marijuana that is totally outragious. The government will not be able controll the amount of people who might falsify illness to get marijuana to smoke. I hope it is not legalize.

  34. G
    December 22, 2016

    Now you Talking Mr. P.M….Now you talking………

  35. Election Fever
    December 22, 2016

    I smell election…… :-D

  36. Massacre
    December 22, 2016

    This the craziest thing I have ever heard in Dominica.
    How much studies have our Health officials made on this Marijuana drug medical use?
    We have to understand that all the rich countries that are using this drugs have many social programs for their citizens who become addicted to fall back into .
    What support systems we have in Dominica for such things?
    PMH does not even have medications for basic illnesses but we want to explore marijuana use?
    Some people are looking to gain big time on the sale and use of drugs .
    We in Dominica always so quick to copy the wrong things from developed countries.

    • MICHAEL PETERS
      December 22, 2016

      nothing worse will happen…legalize and monitor it

    • Stealth Critique
      December 22, 2016

      How many marijuana addicts do you know? You realise addiction has a specific, medical definition, right?

      • December 26, 2016

        I Expect this differs somewhat from country to country and depends who you ask.

        My own definition for substance addiction would be:

        When people have used a substance until they feel they must have it to function normally or until they cannot function normally without it.

        I asked a male counselee if he was addicted to marijuana. His life had literally fallen apart. He had various issues but marijuana was obviously top of the list. He said \”yes\”. He was addicted to marijuana.

        Also I worked three summers in Brooklyn, N.Y., with drug addicts in the inner city streets, churches, and missions. I listened to the most broken destitute individuals one could ever meet. What they old me – and what I saw -confirms beyond any doubt. (1) Marijuana is
        addictive. (2) Marijuana is a gateway drug. (3) The gospel is of practical value in the war against drugs. I have seen addicts cured, delivered and set free by Christ when they were converted to HIM :!:

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald…

    • The Truth Be Told
      December 23, 2016

      You are correct.

    • Quaqua
      December 23, 2016

      There are some studies (USA, Australia, Germany, Czech, Nederland and others countries) around the world on Marijuana medical use. Very helpful for example for Parkinson, Alzheimer, sclerosis multiplex, and improving quality of life with cancer. Just watch web.
      By the way, some people has good profit from sale of marijuana now, and pay no taxes :-)

      • December 26, 2016

        Were these people also at the same time being treated with other drugs?

        Were there any ill effects from the marijuana treatment? Sometimes these appear later.

        Were there regular prescription drugs that would have done the job just as well?

        Were there cases of patients becoming addicted to marijuana while using it as a treatment?

        Yes, there is money to be made from the sale of both medicinal and recreational marijuana. But this is not what makes it right or wrong. People who would approve it for $$$$$$$ would do so without objective consideration of the other factors. It is the desire for $$$$$$$ that drives their work.

        Without all the facts it is impossible to evaluate the effective of marijuana as a treatment in these cases.

        We are not opposed to medical marijuana research. We believe the sale and used of medical
        marijuana should be regulated. Its use should be supervised by licensed by medical doctors.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

    • The S7 - i will blow up in your face
      December 23, 2016

      It is fact that marijuana is a non addictive drug. However it is not recommended for everyone. Just like other drugs shouldnt be taken by any and everyone.

      • December 23, 2016

        A fact my foot!

        Marijuana was once thought to be only psychologically addictive.

        Now it is known to be also physically addictive.

        Marijuana causes addiction to marijuana. It also results in users experimenting with the \”hard\” drugs and becoming addicted to them.

        Here in Canada we are in the midst of a nation wide epidemic of OD deaths from several new drugs so potent just one pill can kill a person. I call them \”killer drugs\” because even a little of the powder on the skin can be absorbed into the body and cause almost immediate death. It is difficult to identify them because the pills sometimes come in new shapes, sizes, and colors.

        Many of the victims are kids. Most of them began using by smoking marijuana. This was their \”gateway\” into the wild and wacky world of drugs. Now our Ministers of Health, police, first responders, and emergency room workers are at the point of despair.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

      • zandoli
        December 23, 2016

        When you state “facts” such as what you above, please site your sources. Where did you read that marijuana was not addictive?

        I know of someone who could not do without their marijuana high. This man was high all day, every day. He grew it so he did not have to spend a cent to smoke it. Eventually he went off his mind.

    • anonymous2
      December 24, 2016

      They are talking the medical strains of MJ, not the ones that you can get high on. The medical strains are used for pain control and some can reverse certain cancers.

  37. MI
    December 22, 2016

    Legalize it

  38. derp
    December 22, 2016

    ELECTION SEASON IS NEAR don’t drink this false hope filled with lies

    • December 26, 2016

      As a politician sees his popularity running out and election drawing near the more he and his team may play the marijuana card, or begin to make big on any other social issue siding with what the majority the
      voters seem to want.

      A statesman is a person of principles. A Christian statesman will base his (her) decisions upon God\’s moral code and the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. You have a right to know if your candidate IS or is NOT a person of faith, and KNOW where that person stands on the social issues of the day. Why do you have a right? Because make no mistake about this: that is how the person will rule the nation. As a voter in a democracy you are responsible for this.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  39. annoyed
    December 22, 2016

    It was about time……..

    • anonymous2
      December 24, 2016

      or Past Time.

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