Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau South Constituency, Joshua Francis, has called on the government of Dominica to state its policy on the issue of marijuana in Dominica, in light of a position taken by CARICOM.
He said there must be a responsible approach to the matter and discussions must be held.
Francis made that call while addressing a Town Hall meeting of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP), held at the Harlem Plaza on Wednesday night.
According to him, CARICOM has set up a commission to review the use of marijuana among Caribbean countries and Jamaica has decriminalized the use of marijuana in small quantities.
“I am calling on the Prime Minister of Dominica, to tell us what exactly is the government’s policy on the use of marijuana,” he said. “We have to take a responsible approach this is an area that we must discuss. As we speak a number of countries have decriminalized the use of small portions of marijuana, including Jamaica and I am not saying that we should rush and simply decriminalize marijuana, but there must be leadership on the discussion on the use of marijuana and we should not be afraid to discuss it because it is a reality.”
He stated that a marijuana revolution is taking place throughout the world and, “Dominica should not be left behind.”
“We have to find ourselves on a discussion table to discuss, what is the policy that we are going to employ as far as marijuana use is concerned,” Francis noted.
He pointed out that a number of young people who use marijuana on a small scale are taken to court where they get bad police records if convicted.
“The ramifications are they may be denied of a job, they may be denied of a US Visa, they can be affected in several ways, so we have to discuss that,” Francis argued.
Among the things he wants discussions on are the legal ramification of marijuana use, the medical ramifications and how Dominica can benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
“Is it something that we could grow in Giraudel, as an example, or several other areas in Dominica where the soil is conducive?” Francis asked.