High time CARICOM discuss legalising marijuana – Gonsalves

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has written to the chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping calling for a discussion on the medicinal and other uses of marijuana.

In his letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who is also the Trinidad and Tobago head of government, Gonsalves said it is high time that CARICOM addresses regionally “this matter in a sensible focus not hysterical manner”.

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75 Comments

  1. September 13, 2013

    Many Canadians visit and spend money every year in the Caribbean. Personally, I have spent up to fifteen weeks on one visit divided between two islands. For this reason I am expressing my concerns about the possible legalization of marijuana in the island nations.

    We are struggling with the same issues in Canada. My articles on marijuana have been published in Canadian newspapers. I am not an authority on the subject but I do hold a Diploma in Drugs and Drug Dependance. My work has taken me into the gangland of Brooklyn, N.Y., and to the heart and core of the drug problem in other North American cities.

    It is shocking to hear of persons in positions of authority and trust advocating for the general legalization of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana for medical purposes should of course be considered as a different matter but not necessarily approved.

    The following facts should be taken into consideration.

    (1) Marijuana is addictive. It was once thought that it was only psychologically addictive. But it is now known to be physically addictive.

    (2) Marijuana causes numerous lung and breathing problems.

    (3) Marijuana is harmful to the brain and impairs the memory. It has been shown that students who are heavy marijuana users do not do as well in school and are more apt to drop out.

    (3) Heavy marijuana use over the long term causes various types of cancers.

    (4) Marijuana use is especially dangerous for pregnant women. Heavy use can cause premature births. It results in damaged babiers born with lifelong illnesses.

    (5) Marijuana is a gateway drug. Many people who are addicted to heavier drugs tell us marijuana was the first drug they used. It was what started them using drugs.

    (6) It is a known fact that the more readily available any substance is the more people will use it. Legalization of marijuana would make it more available and promote its use.

    (7) Legalizing the production and sale of marijuana does NOT stop unlicenced people from producing and selling it for the following reasons:

    (a) Once it is legalized governments tax it. This drives up the price. People will buy where they can get it for less.

    (b) Once it is legalized the governments impose a minimum age for bying it. Underaged young people who want to buy the drug will go to unlicenced dealers.

    Both these (a) and (b) factors create a market for unlicenced bootleg dealers!

    Added to this is the fact that unlicenced dealers can avoid the hassel of paying for a licence and the cost of paying taxes on their income if they live where it would be taxed.

    When it comes to the medical use of marijuana there are a few things that should be considered.

    (1) The public should be shown proof that marijuana is more effective than the best already existing drugs in the treatment of whatever diseases it is being proposed for. It is being offered as a painkiller. But people would like evidence that it is more effective than the best drugs now available for killing pain.

    There are people who advocate for the medical use of marijuana who have illegally smoked it for years for recreational purposes. Often those who now use it to kill the pain of a disease are people who smoked it long before they became ill. Others who never had any use for the weed seem to be more apt to get relief from already existing drugs.

    However, I cannot imagine any sensible caring person not being happy about the introduction of a drug that makes life more bearable for those living with a difficult and painful disease. If it can be shown that medical marijuana meets a need by doing what no already existing drug can do – or by doing it better – and that it can be safely used within medical boundaries I would be the first to say GO FOR IT!

    Doctors always have to balance the positive effects against the possible harmful side effects of any drug and ask themselves if it is worth the risk. Then misuse of the drug must be guarded against especially when it is a drug that can be used for recreational purposes.

    The fact that some nations have legalized marijuana and others are considering its legalization need not be taken as a green light for any Caribbean nation.

    Many years ago nations licenced the production and sale of tobacco productives. Now we know smoking cigarettes is the biggest cause of lung cancer. It causes many other types of cancer. It causes heart disease. The scientists now tell us that fifty per cent (50%) of all smokers WILL die from a disease caused by smoking. In Canada, in my own province alone (Ontario) this is well over 10,000 people each year. It is happening now! Across Canada provincial governments are now spending a fortune of tax payers money to limit tobacco advertising, restrict the places people are allowed to smoke, and to help people stop smoking. These are the same governments that licenced the production and sale of cigarette in the first place.

    Those who do not know history are prone to repeat its mistakes!

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

    • Annon
      September 15, 2013

      Donald, did you see the story on Marijuana by Dr. Sanjay Goupta on CNN today Sept. 15th? Since you admit you not an authority on the subject Please Google it to educate yourself on a few things about research done on the benefits of Marijuana done and financed by the Gov’t of Israel, a result of which was the first to discover some of its properties such as THC and its medical uses.

      Most other Gov’t institutions including Canada where you are, only finance studies into the harmful effects of Marijuana, and I’m confident that’s where your anti-marijuana studies are based, and picks up its information and reefer-maddness propagander from.

      • October 19, 2013

        I am addressing the recreational use of marijuana and the people who smoke a joint to get high. At the present time this is the market for the weed.

        The possible medical uses of marijuana are another matter. Those with medical scientific training are qualified to do this kind of research. Before it is made available for medical purposes the people in the labs should be able to prove it is more effective in the treatment of whatever condition it is being proposed for than any already existing drug. Any less than this suggests that they only want to market another drug which will probably be a big seller.

        Because of the harm from using marijuana we have to realize that legalization – even for medical purposes – is going to result in more people abusing it. No amount of control is going to be tight enough stop it from falling into the wrong hands.

        Many of the people who want medicinal marijuana legalized already smoke it for recreational purposes. There are those who say they use it for medicinal purpose. However, they smoked it before they became ill.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

  2. AA
    September 12, 2013

    From an economic standpoint it would make no sense to legalize it. The scarcer a commodity is the higher price a seller can get for it.

    Legalize it, Tom Dick and Harry will grow it in their backyard. Where’s the value? It will become just like a 25 cent cigarette.

    • October 25, 2013

      If legalizing marijuana brings the cost down it will also make it more available :!:

      More available means more people will be using it.

      If you 8) want more people using it you are unmoved by the following facts:

      (1) Marijuana is psychologically and physically addictive.

      (2) It causes some types of cancer.

      (3) It causes other lung and breathing problems.

      (4) It damages the unborn and causes babies to be born with lifelong health problems.

      (5) It causes damage to the brain that impairs the memory and make it difficult to learn. Students who are heavy users more often drop out of school.

      (6) It harms the central nervous system and contributes to neurological disorders.

      (7) It is a “gateway” drug that leads to the use of harder drugs. Many LSD, heroin, and cocaine users say marijuana was the first drug they used. It got them started!

      If these things mean nothing to you it proves what I have always said: People who want the decriminalization/legalization of marijuana only care about two things. (1) Getting high. (2) Making money. If this is you then you :roll: are not a good citizen. You are a reprobate. :twisted: You deserve to be locked up. :cry: Only one problem with this. You don’t deserve to have the public paying your room and board.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

  3. Francisco Telemaque
    September 11, 2013

    “for a discussion on the medicinal and other uses of marijuana”( Ralph Gonzalez).

    The only reason he is talking about medicinal marijuana, is because he want to be able to smoke it in public without the police locking his behind up!

    Maybe he was inebriated by marijuana when advised the Labor Party government of Dominica that St. Vincent, and Dominica had no use for International Airports, by the time he returned to his drug country, with the most marijuana plantations in the Caribbean, he broke ground and began construction on his nations International Airport.

    He left the government of Dominica dumbfounded, as usual after he played in the mind of all the labor party ministers, and advisors, whom they claim all have an academic degree!

    Way to go boy Gonzales, the more marijuana you smoke, is the more wicked, and senseless advise you will manage to give to the Dominica government; which will help them to set our country backward, while you and your people ascend to higher heights.

    Distribute some of your medicinal marijuana to members of government in Dominica, thus you will be in better control of their mind, when they are under the influence of your dope.

    Good Job boy, be sure to invite them to the opening of your International Airport, be sure to send a Piper three seater aircraft to Dominica to transport all our members of government to St. Vincent, on that glorious day, and watch them yearn for following the dumb advise they took from you thus depriving our country a International Airport.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • November 2, 2013

      Francisco:

      I don’t agree with every statement you make in your comments. But sad to say you may be right about this although it is best not to use names or blame specific individuals unless there is proof.

      I am suspicious :-x of anybody advocating for the
      decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in
      any nation including my own.

      They identify with those who want access to marijuana without legal risks. They are using whatever influence they have to decriminalize it.

      To legalize marijuana will not eliminate the illegal and dangerous sale of the weed. Tobacco cigarettes are legal in Canada but there are over 50 operations producing and selling cigarettes illegally on the blackmarket in the Province of Ontario alone and they do a HUGH business. Here is why. (1) Anything the government can tax they will tax. They put a heavy tax on the sale of tobacco products. Unlicensed cigarette makers and sellers don’t charge the tax so they can sell for much less. (2) Underaged smokers buy from them because they don’t enforce the minimum age limit. (3) They are also engaged in big time smuggling :twisted: across the Canadian American border, and possibly from there across the American Mexican border.

      It is shocking 8-O to see people in positions of trust promoting the drug agenda. This is especially true when it is an elected representative of the people responsible for the wellbeing of our youth. When the dirty facts come out it may be seen that some of these people are “on the take”, 8) in other words they have been brided or paid off to use their :twisted: influence to further the interests of a destructive cause.

      I am not a novice blowing off hot air. As a pastor, pastoral counselor, now as an evangelst I have worked (continue to work) in paid positions that put me on the front lines of ministry to drug addicts and sexual deviates in large North American cities. I’ve been at the flag-ship TEEN CHALLENGE CENTER in Brooklyn, New York. It has been heart rending to see the devastating results of drug abuse. My ministry LIVING HOPE MINISTRIES is dedicated to evangelism and Bible teaching. We are also committed to battling the social evils of our day.

      The full gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) (Isaiah 53:5,6) (Romans 1:16) (2 Corinthians 5:17) is the answer to the drug problem. TEEN CHALLENGE, founded by Rev. David Wilkerson, (a Pentecostal minister and author of The Cross and the Switchblade) has an 80% success rate :!: David’s book The Cross and the Switchblade has been made into a movie staring Pat Boone as David Wilkerson.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

      http://www.livinghopeministries.ca

  4. September 11, 2013

    If weed Money is good for Denmark, Holland and some parts of the US, then its good for Dominica
    In Christiania,Denmark on a good day, people make 25milion kroners= 12,5million EC in weed on a normal day about 12million kroners=6million EC. There are 1000s of people employed there and is the 2nd biggest touristattraction in the country, so while Dominica burning and destroy its weed, orther countries making millions :-D

    • Justice and Truth
      September 11, 2013

      Zandoly you do make some silly comments. You are comparing those big countries to little Dominica. You are lacking common sense.
      The tourists know that they can purchase and ingest those drugs without being arrested therefore they will flock to it. Call such countries sin cities. Money can be the root of all evil.
      God will deal with specifically their leaders in time. Consider what their eternal lot will be for leading their nationals and others astray. I would not recommend the legalization of those drugs for anyone.

      • September 14, 2013

        Sin City?, nothing is done in this country without knowing the advantages and the disavantages, Dominica is a 100years behind Denmark, so legarlizing it only makes it less attrative, when its criminalize, people become curious, its natral human behavior and if you dont believe me just Google CHRISTIANIA

    • Francisco Telemaque
      September 12, 2013

      How long has this become an industry making so many millions per day in Denmark, and Holland?

      Where you got your statistics from?

      If the news is too good to be true, it must be a lie; perhaps simply exaggerated!

      When I walked the streets of Denmark, if one was caught with a few ounces of hash, or marijuana, the police would probably let the culprit alone, however, I never experienced a market place where people sell millions of dollars in drugs per day as you claimed.

      If that was the case everybody in Denmark, and Holland would be walking around like zombies ( or as we say in Dominica “jumbies”).

      Therefore I suggest you substantiate your claims, and this thing that you claim drug money is good in some parts of the United States, if you are talking about the illegal sale of drugs, that is everywhere, however if you are insinuating that it is legal to peddle cocaine, or marijuana in any State in the United States I am her to call you a liar, because that is not true.

      I reside in Los Angeles California, okay; and even if in some States, the local government, has tabled laws allowing the sale of Marijuana for medicinal purpose, one need to get a prescription to purchase the same; it is not like any body can simply walk into one of the marijuana shop, and purchase the drug.

      Even at that right now the State of California is closing many of them down, by not issuing a license to the owners to remain open and sell.

      Note this: For your information, whereas, the sale of medicinal marijuana is legal in some States of the Union; Federal Law dictates that the sale of marijuana is illegal in the United States. If you are caught with Marijuana by a Federal Agent in a State which permits the sale of the drudge, you are going to jail, under Federal law.

      Right now I am looking out of my Kitchen window, into my neighbors back yard, and on their deck there are twelve marijuana plants as green as can be. They however have a license from the State to grow them for medicinal use, what happened is that the mother, father, and three grown boys adapted as drugs babies, cannot function without marijuana.

      They are all ill, their brain is so messed up on drugs, in order to survive they must smoke marijuana. So in circumstances as this they are allowed to grow their plants.

      However, if they are caught selling one leaf of the plant, they are going to jail!

      Unless you know how it works don’t try to impress people that people are allowed to make millions in America selling drugs, and as far as I am concerned the arrangement is about the same in Denmark, Holland, and a few other places in Europe.

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemque

      • love
        September 12, 2013

        I’m to lazy to read this long comment! Hint be show and to the point and still get your message across.

      • love
        September 12, 2013

        Sorry “short and to the point”

      • September 14, 2013

        Just Google CHRISTIANIA, in Denmark

      • November 2, 2013

        Sorry, but it galls me when people say it would help the country financially to legalize pot.

        This is lazy lowlife thinkng!

        The people of the Caribbean should be the last people the world to fall for this argument. You are too wise to be deceived by such deception.

        Wake up people and smell the coffee!

        It was this sick $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ thinking that
        is to blame for SLAVERY in the western hemisphere.

        It is the prospect of financial gain that has already legalized PROSTITUTION in some places. Think of the jobs it creates! And why wouldn’t govenments legalize prostitution? Brothel owners pay big taxes to opertate their businesses! And prostitutes can be made to (a) pay for an annual license, and (b) pay income tax!

        Of course it makes money. But I’ve never met a man who was comfortable with the idea of his wife moonlighting, or his daughters entering the biz!

        There are so many other legitimate ways to make money. People need to be more creative. Develop your tourist trade. Open a shoe factory. Make garments. Raise goats. Grow vegetables. Start a trade school. Open a barber shop or a health spa, or creat a whole chain of such businesses.

        I suspect people who want to market cannabas are interested in an easy pastime that will provide their own source of weed as well as make money. I cannot imagine them having the national economy at heart. In North America much of the drug trade is under the control of organized crime. Legalizing it isn`t going to change this. The mob does not care if it is legal or not as long as they can sell. Legalizing marijuana only makes it easier for them to operate. And rest assured of this. They WILL move in for their piece of the market and they are probably not the kind of people you want on your beautiful islad. In Islamic lands the drug industry is used to finance terrorist activities in the west.

        Just say NO to drug $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

    • October 25, 2013

      What you are saying is that money is good for any country regardless of how the money is made.

      This was the sick mentality behind slavery.

      This is the argument that gave license to casino gambling.

      This is the reason prostitution has being legalized in certain places. It is why it is in the process of being legalized in other places.

      Individuals blinded by their own greed and politicians driven by their need for votes and a desire to increase revenues will do anything to fill their coffers.

      Are you sure you want everything that is legal in Denmark and Holland made legal in Dominica? If not don’t start with marijuana because it will be a slippery slope. By making the statements you have made you are leaving yourself open for scorn and ridicule from intelligent knowledgeable Dominicans. I encourage you to do your homework before you put forth that kind of an argument.

      Christiania is a hell hole. The people who go there for a “good time” are hell hounds. Are you sure the majority of Dominicans would want the kind of tourist trade that patronizes Christiania? Remember they would be moving about your nation, mingling with people of all ages, and doing what tourists do. It is not unusual for such people to leave behind more than their money.

      Holland had a political party devoted to (a) making pedophilia legal and acceptable, and (b) abolishing the age of consent. (No surprise for a nation that has legalized prostitution and same sex marriages.) Yes, that party was fully legal and recognized. It didn’t last long before it collapsed. But the fact that it could even be born and draw a breath says something about the moral climate of the nation.

      Intelligent Dominicans are going to say it is best if they follow their own historical wisdom and not take an example from other nations in the matters of morals and values. This especially applies to larger nations that have their sights set on the Caribbean and would like to cast the dark shadow of their influence over your beautiful land.

      In the future the governments of Caribbean nations will have to make a choice whether they want the money these countries can turn their way at the cost of having their lose living and permissiveness adopted in the Caribbean, or if they will develop their resources and reach their potential by their own ingenuity.

      When the time comes you will know the difference a politician and a statesman.

      Certain large nations want more than to cast an influence. Thy see the potential for an even greater tourist industry in the Caribbean and want to move in and grab a piece of the action. Anything they build or develop will be done with no respect for morality or traditional family values.

      They have already shown their lack of respect for the high standards of smaller nations that refused to drop their anti-buggery laws and legalize their abominations. America threatened to finance gay lobby groups. the UK threatened to cut off financial assistance to nations that held back on gay rights.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

  5. Dominica_Lover
    September 11, 2013

    Well, we are follow fashion. pot was made illegal when the other countries made it illegal. Now that the same countries are making it legal we are now jumping on that train. That being said we need to be trend setters not followers. I do beleieve that pot should be legal and every drugs for a matter. Responsible will jut carry on as usual.

  6. Selah
    September 11, 2013

    This PM is a trendsetter; the only one to bring up reparations for West Indians, the only one to present legalizing herbs… Other PM’s should take notice.

    Skerrit is a follower and NOT a leader. This guy is all that and MORE.

    Take notice follower Skerrit….

    • November 2, 2013

      The Bible says “To whom much is given :-D much will be required. 8-O

      Those in government positions of authority will answer to God Almighty – not only for their own lives – but for the influence that they cast over the lives of those under their watch.

      It takes guts and grit to stand against the incoming tide of lust and greed that is engulfing the nations in these days. Those who are not up to the responsibility should keep out of the office because God will require it of them.

      The same is true of religious leaders. Bishops, pastors, and evangelists have a duty to “preach the word” without compromise and enforce God’s standards of rghteousness within their scope of responsibility.

      Those in both government and church life who stand for rightousness will be rewarded by God and should be commended by the people. There will always be the naysayers. :( They can expect opposition from the dark side as lowlifers :twisted: seek to weaken their influence and replace them with leaders of their own kind. :mrgreen:

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

  7. wimed la
    September 11, 2013

    All the so called religious ones should re-read Genisis 1:29 :wink:
    http://www.godgaveuscannabis.com/

  8. September 11, 2013

    WOW!! What a complete 180 degree turnaround in a just a few months. Dr Gonsalves just stated in an interview not long ago that he was totally against the decriminalization of cannabis for any reason whatsoever. It just shows that intelligent minds when presented with medical and scientific facts and data can change their opinion on controversial issues such as this. BRAVO DR Gonsalves! We have been advocating for exactly this for the past 15 years in St Lucia. The Industrial Hemp Initiative was formed in 1997 and we submitted a project proposal to the then Government in 1998 requesting permissions to conduct research trials on hemp in order to develop a stable cultiva that we can introduce into our agricultural diversification program. We also formed the Cannabis Movement of St Lucia in 2011. We have been vigorously advocating for a change in the laws regarding cannabis matters here. We have been educating the public here for the past 15 years so Lucians are very well informed about the issue. Please Google marijuana in St Lucia to learn more. Still a long way to go. Please remember that everyone has a right to breath clean air, so if they can smell it, dont light it! To get respect, give respect!

    • Justice and Truth
      September 11, 2013

      This is what will occur. St. Lucia and its government will also go down slippery slopes. It is obvious that no one thinks God and what will Our Lord Jesus Christ say. They are only thinking of themselves. In time they will all pay the price. Judgment for everyone. For some, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth forever. Keep it up and promote it. This will also be your lot.

    • October 25, 2013

      The Bible says “a double minded man is unstable in ALL his ways.” (James 1:8)

      A politician changes his position when he finds public opinion has changed or that there is a greater profit by taking the other side.

      A statesman will take a position based upon his knowledge of the facts. He is motivated by what he believes is best for the people in the light of that understanding.

      A double minded man is a man without true guiding principles. He will change his mind at a whim for his own gain or to please those who will best serve his interests.

      A politician who is double minded is said to fish tail or do a flip flop. Hopefully he can be contained. It can be a disaster if his influence extends too far.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

  9. playboy
    September 11, 2013

    I bestow upon you the title of SIR RALPH from this point hence.

    • October 25, 2013

      Her Majesty has knighted worse people.

      Nevertheless, Ralph does not qualify.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

  10. Annon
    September 11, 2013

    This Just In: The U.S is today looking into federal legalization of marijuana. Seriously!

    We can do our own thing and legalize or decriminalize it, at least to take the criminal element out of it. Tobacco is legal and none of my family still don’t smoke it. It’s The sensible thing to do.

    • October 25, 2013

      It is a scientific fact that 50% of cigarette smokers WILL die of a disease caused by smoking AND others who have never smoked will die of second hand smoke.

      In Canada, in my own Province of Ontario, over 10,000 die each year from tobacco smoke.

      Yet, the production and sale of cigarettes is legal.

      And you would trust the government’s judgment when it comes to the legalization of marijuana?

      Lord have mercy!

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

    • October 25, 2013

      Don’t be surprised if the USA legalizes marijuana.

      At one time slavery was legal in the USA.

      The growing of tobacco, the production and sale of cigarettes, is legal in the USA.

      Yet it is a scientific fact that 50% of all who smoke tobacco WILL die of a disease caused by tobacco smoke AND some who have never smoked themselves will die of second hand smoker.

      In Canada, in my own Province of Ontario, over 10,000 people die each year from smoking cigarettes.

      Why is this? Obviously not because or leaders care about what is best for the people either physically or spiritually, because they don’t. In some cases it is to please the ignorant or misinformed voters who put them in office, OR to keep pace with their political counterparts in other states or nations. God forbid they should appear backward or behind the times.

      Please don’t take your example from Canada or America.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

  11. stigma
    September 11, 2013

    Dominica cannot even keep up with Trinidad but yet still we quick to jump and agree with him … when they legalize it thete will be more crime and more stress because no one will make big profit … you really think the price of marijuana will rise Hahahaha… no it will drop and how many pounds would we be able to produce ? Fellers will just start selling higher paying drugs … the main reason marijuana farmers were making money was because “IT WAS ILLEGAL” so the risk for growing and obtaining it was high so the price was kept at a rate based on the consequences.

  12. hmmm
    September 11, 2013

    Dominicans need to stop comparing their self to the US …they can afford to do all the things they are doing they are the superior nation so just because a couple states (which are larger than all the Caribbean countries put together) decide to legalize marijuana doesn’t mean that you will make any dent in the market if you legalize it also …. the budget of one american state is more than any Caribbean country so what makes you think you all can compete with them… they just want to remain on top so they doing things for others to follow and most of the others that follow are big nations and yet still they getting more problem from following …

  13. Anonymous
    September 11, 2013

    Everyone thinks its a good idea but you all should look at it how it is … even if they legalize it there will still be a law on how you will be able to sell it … you think they will just allow you to plant in your backyard and open a stall ? No they wont only licensed ppl will be able to sell and grow it same as the big countries you wont be able to just plant and sell.. also like someone said in a post below the value will drop greatly and with all those other bigger countries growing plantations larger than the country of Dominican and the rate at which we produce and export wont be so large to generate a large supply to make a decent % in the market and also when fellers decide the price too low they will always turn to the higher paying drugs.

  14. Wayne
    September 11, 2013
  15. John Jay
    September 11, 2013

    I guess you want to support selling the weed what your country export the most.

  16. thoughtful
    September 10, 2013

    It’s about time people come out from the darkness(lack of knowledge)and view things with concious knowledge.The time have come for the special interest group to release their strangle hold on the truth about ganja.the Positive debate on weed is spreading, so sooner or later they must agree that it was in their intrest to declear war on the healing of the nation.yet again education can defused the stigma place on such product.Yet again it have to be to be explain that there is grave danger if it’s wrongly used.
    take a high you can control;and not a high to try and fly.at least it’s a good idea to put it in a format for discussion.

  17. Holiday island Boy
    September 10, 2013

    Yes legalise it by all means, and let it become the gateway drug to allow our youth the chance to graduate to the harder and more expensive stuff,that really puts the dollars in the dealers pockets. Like dangling a carrot in front of a horse.

  18. Massacre
    September 10, 2013

    My Lord! where has common decency gone? Haven’t we seen how this grass has destroyed our young men? How can this new generation even think that this drug will take them anyway positive?
    Tell this P.M that we don’t want his products.
    Never!

    • November 2, 2013

      Excuse me, but I am still trying to understand the reasoning behind a PM, President, or an Ambassador from one nation telling the Head of another nation how to rule the people under his watch, or even suggesting that certain laws should be dropped or revised.

      It is especially out of order when a representatve from a foreign country bears down on a sovereign self governing nation with suggestions (or worse) that certain laws should be dropped that were put in place for the good and well being of the people.

      The Head of one nation said he will finance gay lobby groups in a nation that has anti-buggery laws.

      Then the Head of another nation said he would withold financial assistance to nations that refuse to move ahead with gay rights.

      Then an ambassador from abroad visiting a nation with anti-buggery laws strongly implied that they should become more gay accepting.

      Now this!

      It is the beautiful independent self governing island nations that are being assaulted by this kind of totally inappropriate political interference.

      At least some of this is contrary to political protocal and may even be illegal. It is an insult to the Caribbean people and an assault against your national sovereign status. They are doing it because they think you don’t know this and they can get away with it.

      As an evangelist I write and preach on moral issues. But when I am speaking in any nation outside Canada I must respect the government of that country and its policies. Never would I speak against a government, or say that they should change their laws one way or another. I simply tell them, “The Bible says….”

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

  19. Pointe Michell
    September 10, 2013

    Why are we even wasting our time to even entertain this crazy ideas?? It will never happen put this in your pipes and smoke it,Marijuana will never b legal in these small islands.
    I am not surprised that it is coming from this Vincy P.M , knowing his back ground in this matter. Tell him we do need his free grass in CARICOM. No way!

  20. Justice and Truth
    September 10, 2013

    Gonsalves, take your marijuana and smoke it in your pipe. Keep your immoral spread of illegal marijuana in your country and to yourself and do not encourage other CARICOM Christian countries to legalize it. Some of you governments are going down slippery slopes. Some have already arrived.
    I am certain that many Vincentians opposed his legalization of marijuana. They know the danger of cultivating, trafficking in it, selling it and also the health danger of ingesting it.
    Goodbye Gonsalves! Happy riddance of your suggestion.
    God inspires for the good of all; not for evil and evil practices which endanger the health of His people!

    • Farmer Boii
      September 11, 2013

      Remember, the Bible is telling us that we will be measured according to the way we are measuring others. Therefore it is better to not judge others easily, but show compassion and understanding.

      As we can read in I Corinthians 28: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” It could well be that there are many Christians who are disagreeing with me, but let us be honest, the world will not become a better place by the ban of the least harmful drug of all. The Bible gives us the real direction and that is to love others as we love ourselves. Don’t easily judge, but care about another. Do not condemn, but help another. The love of God should live in each and every one of us. It is not one drug as marihuana which causes all the sadness and problems in this world. It is the people who don’t care about others and who are only focused on their own desires. Would the world not be a better place when we finally understand what it’s really all about?

  21. dr who
    September 10, 2013

    its so populistic to discuss such thing as marijuana legalization…the region is already known for its rudimentary law enforcement, chaotic governmental administration, rampant drug trafficking, drug related crimes and stone-age infrastructure (poorly financed police, absence of equipment etc)…yes, go ahead legalize drugs and you will get another Somalia-like s###-hole in this hemisphere..good luck

  22. forreal
    September 10, 2013

    are they going to discus that america,is the one funding the war on drugs,because drug smuggling is bootlegging the american economy,and by the way marijuana is labled as a drug,according to that scenario,so how are they going to clear that hurdle,are they going to keep accepting uncle sams money,or are they willing make that sacrifice,my point is america as a whole continent,would have to firstly legalize marijuana,in order for the caribbean to legalize marijuana.

  23. lord help us
    September 10, 2013

    I am a born again believer and I don’t do weed at all although I did it full time before my conversion. I also do not believe in that Medical Marijuana thing since smoking on a whole is very damaging to the human body especially the heart.
    However, it’s been years since I have been suggesting to the authorities that they should consider legalizing marijuana. Dominica is an agricultural country and we do not have to import it; it grows in the soil like any other tree we plant and to me it makes no sense to tell people what they can plant and not plant. Furthermore, I strongly believe that if marijuana were legalized it would go a long way in reducing a number of crimes in the community for the following reasons:
    1.If it were legal to plant marijuana Peter would not have to kill James for stealing his plantation
    because everybody would be able to plant theirs freely.
    2. When everybody has it young people will no longer be eager to try it
    3.When everybody can freely grow it that alone will kill the market because Peter will no longer be able to sell to James
    4. Take cigarette which is legal for example. Although it is not locally grown, to me fewer people smoke cigarette in DA than when I was growing up in the 50’s.
    I believe it’s time to give it a try. With it becoming legal in parts of the US and I am certain other countries will follow soon, it might just be a good thing to replace the banana industry in places like Europe, the US and other parts of the world.

    • Justice and Truth
      September 10, 2013

      I am a Christian Catholic and I never ingested marijuana. Throughout my life I do not even know anyone who smoke marijuana. No one ever approached me about taking it. I suppose that God protected me from this. Thanks be to God.
      The reason why fewer people smoke cigarettes it is because it causes lung cancer and other ailments. This is widely publicized, no exception in other countries. The same should apply for marijuana.
      While on DNO last evening, US, WNED Channel 17, Public Television had a promotion for its fundraising. One of the programs/showed was that of Elvis Presley which was highly entertaining. I said to myself, how sad Elvis is gone. If only he did not ingest all those medication/drugs.
      Whatever the drugs, marijuana is one and it should not be legalized. It is dangerous and should be prohibited. Too many people have died from ingesting drugs which is why it should never be encouraged and legalized.
      If you are a born again Christian and have used marijuana, you should fully know that God is opposed to anything that endangers our life, physically, emotionally and spiritually. You are still in need of God’s blessings and graces. You need to pray to God for discernment and enlightenment.
      A genuine Christian would not promote the legalization of marijuana. Woe to those who do.

      • lord help us
        September 11, 2013

        @ Justice and Truth, Thanks for the rebuke and I sure do not mind it because I am not brain washed by religion. I just have a personal relationship with God. By the way, I have never seen anything in the bible called “Catholic Christian. Is either a person a Christian or not Ok.
        Did you miss the second line of my comment? Please read it again. By the way, because something is illegal does not mean it is bad just as something is not automatically good because it is legal. Marijuana is a herb /tree that God created like all other plants and He said it was good (Gen.1:11-12). Man has misused it to destroy his body by smoking it and that I condemned. You see, sex is something very beautiful when done between a husband and wife (Not Steve and Eve). However, because of the evil in man’s heart we have perverted it. Does that make sex bad and evil? Absolutely not! The same is true with Marijuana. It is only dangerous when smoked. Does that mean we should arm police to go and shoot guys for smoking it? No way! I listed my reasons why I believe Marijuana should be legalized and you probably need to read it over instead of trying to play smart and spiritual.

      • Farmer Boii
        September 11, 2013

        The modern Christendom builds its existence, its doctrines and its motivation on the oldest and most sold book in this world, the Bible. The Bible is to be considered the Word of God, but the interpretation is still done by man and so we immediately find many different interpretations on what the Bible has to say about this subject. There are many Christians who claim that it is acceptable to use marihuana, because it reads in Genesis 1:29 “And God said See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.” Based on this sentence it seems that there is nothing wrong with smoking hashish or marihuana. However, the larger group of Christians is against the use of marihuana and often they refer to I Corinthians 3:16 which states: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” Yes, when referring to this paragraph in the Bible, it indeed would be smart to not use a substance such as marihuana. But honestly one has to ask himself: Is it correct when a beer drinking and tobacco smoking Christian judges a person who smokes a joint? Then the answer is no.

        When we want to base our opinion solely on this paragraph, then we also have to close all the McDonalds and Burger Kings. I am certain that you will be able to think of many other organizations which also would go bankrupt. There are many ways to interpret the Bible and we can always find a phrase which will conveniently fit into our argument for or against the usage of marihuana.

      • Farmer Boii
        September 11, 2013

        So how do we then approach this subject and how do we decide whether or not we should be against marihuana? The only answer is by being honest. Regrettably there are numerous religious people who consider themselves as being wise and who think that they are able to judge. Amongst these people we will find leaders from churches and very different positions within the secular world. They prefer a big Cuban cigar and a good glass of wine when they are discussing the poor lost children who are using marihuana. Let it be crystal clear that the same Bible warns us for people like this.

        In Matthew 23:27 we read the words spoken by Jesus when addressing the leaders of the church in that time. It reads: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also out-wardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” It is obvious, we have to be honest and look at the facts and figures as they are known to us today. Also we have to realize that we cannot build our opinion based upon the fact of whether or not marihuana or hashish are legal, because governments decide not only on what is good for the people, they also look at financial aspects. It is all about profit and our leaders want to stay in control. Let us look at some figures.

        Number of deaths attributable to selected substances in a typical year:

        Tobacco 340,000 – 395,000
        Alcohol (excluding crime/accidents) 125,000+
        Drug Overdose (prescription) 24,000 – 27,000
        Drug Overdose (illegal) 3,800 – 5,200 Marijuana 0
        *Source: U.S. Government Bureau of Mortality Statistics, 1987

        Is it not strange that the least deadly drug is illegal and the others, which are far more dangerous, are accepted? When we want to be honest and have an unbiased opinion, we need to realize that we drink coffee and that we do use sugar, which both are legal drugs, just as alcohol and tobacco are. Looking at the issue from a medical perspective, it is far safer to use marihuana than many foods we consume daily. So do we then have “carte blanche” to use an intoxicating product? No, only when we can justify that use in an honest and open way. Let me explain this a little bit more. It is not the drug we use which causes us to behave in an unacceptable manner. The drug only emphasizes or increases the particular or peculiar behaviour of its user. Indeed the behaviour could be greater in number and force, but it always will be a reflection of the original. In other words, when an aggressive person drinks too much, he or she will become even more aggressive. The opposite is possible as well; when a positive person drinks too much he or she will actually have more fun. Again, it is not the drug, but the person who consumes it. As I did read somewhere: “A man will never escape from his destined physical and moral temperament: hashish will be a mirror of his impression and private thoughts, a magnifying mirror, it is true, but only a mirror.” So, based on the preceding, is there justification possible for the usage of marihuana from a religious point of view? Yes, there is. Imagine a person who has a terrible disease and only has a few days to live. This person goes through tremendous pains and has a hard time dealing with the fact that he is dying. Now he asks for marihuana to get through his last days because it will make it more bearable for him or her. Would you deny this person the usage of marihuana? If so, what would you do if that person was you? Although there are many religions worldwide and although there are many different denominations within Christianity, there are certain basic elements which are equal. The most important one is that all religions usually try to teach their followers the difference between right and wrong, good and bad and the meaning of the words such as passionate, merciful and caring. And when looking at those words, I ask you again, would you deny a person, as described in the previous example, the usage of marihuana? If you do, then realize that maybe you are religious, but that you still don’t understand the real message as is being brought to you by many religions.

      • October 25, 2013

        Justice and Truth: I appreciate your comments.

        I am a born again person (St. John 3:3) as you would expect an evangelist to be. For those who do not understand I will say this. A born again person is one who acknowledges he is a sinner (Romans 3:10,23) and cannot saved himself (Ephesians 2:8,9) but believes that Jesus Christ paid in full for his salvation on the cross (Romans 5:6,8) and he has received Christ as his personal Savior (1 John 5:11,12)(Revelation 3:20)

        There are born again Christians in many, maybe all, of the historic Christian churches even though we have some differences. I believe there are born again Catholics who love the Lord with all their hearts!

        It is unusual to find a born person who would approve the legalization of marijuana for less than medicinal purpose. The drug is harmful. Anything that damages the human body is is a sin. Your arguments are valid. I totally agree with you.

        I would like to see proof that (medicinal) marijuana is more effective than any already available drug or substance for a pain killer OR to treat a particular illness. I am delighted to hear of a cancer victim’s pain being relieved, or a child being helped. I only wonder if an already existing drug or substance would not have worked just as well. Perhaps not! But the researchers and lab people have not done the best job of providing this information.

        (1) Most of those I have personally known who want the legalization of marijuana are people who smoke the weed for recreational purposes.

        (2) I have known people who are now asking for marijuana to use as a pain killer. But I happen to know they smoked the stuff long before they even became ill.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Pentecostal Evangelist.

    • derp
      September 11, 2013

      Medical Marijuana is a real thing and stop sprouting your opinion get with the facts… There has been countless research and studies done and it has been proven to be helpful to those in need of it. For example “Marijuana stops child’s severe seizures” ,an article on the CNN news site with such a case shows how she went from 300 seizures a day, to nearly zero a week.
      http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/07/health/charlotte-child-medical-marijuana

      • Justice and Truth
        September 12, 2013

        I have also heard and read of its health benefits. They only state what they want us to know. Many adverse facts are also hidden from the public. Some of them promote it because they want it legalized. If you think so and as broadcasted on CNN, this does not mean it should be legalized.
        You know, it is as those who deny the existence of God. They will come up with all sorts of ideas, reasons and arguments why they think that God does not exist, to suit their lifestyle. There are pros and cons and more cons against legalizing marijuana.
        I have noted that some countries and also some US States legalize immoralities. When a certain amount of them do or all of them and God gets angry enough (He is already angry), He will rain down fire and brimstones on this earth. Keep this in mind.
        It is God’s world and not ours. We are only here temporarily; merely passing on to eternity. He expects that we will utilize his gifts appropriately and not abuse of them and take advantage of them, otherwise woe to us.

      • Farmer Boii
        September 12, 2013

        Truth and Justice:- The hemp plant (scientific name: cannabis, slang: marijuana) is one of the many useful herbs “yielding seed after its kind” created and blessed by God on the third day of creation, “and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:12) He gave hemp for people to use with our free will.

        God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth.…To you it will be for meat.” … And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:29-31) The Bible predicts some herb’s prohibition. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall … speak lies in hypocrisy … commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-3)

        The Bible speaks of a special plant. “I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.” (Ezekiel 34:29) A healing plant. On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelations 22:1-2) A gift from God.

  24. deesseafricane
    September 10, 2013

    Its about time. governments waste much money and resources kissing the USA butt with drug laws that the USA is no long enforcing. It simply not good for small island and nations to be involved with chasing people over marijuana

  25. Distured
    September 10, 2013

    Finally~!! brains have shown up! better be good!

  26. PetProjects
    September 10, 2013

    Yesss Legalized the herb…….

  27. KISAA
    September 10, 2013

    at last we have an adult in the mix,alchol is legal,deadly and disruptive to the family and society at large, yet its legal,i love my children and only want good for them and i would much rather they smoke weed then drink rum,too me it is as simple as that,tax it,legalize it

    • KISAA
      September 10, 2013

      ps all my kids are adults now but they are still my kids :-P :-P :-P

  28. Jayson
    September 10, 2013

    Great move Gonsalves! Let people understand that weed isn’t just a herb to get you ‘high’.

    I know for a FACT that the oil extracted from the bud has stopped the spread of prostate cancer in my uncle dead in it’s tracks to the point that it’s in full recession!

    Let’s bet the CIA are going to try to hinder this in some way…!

    • eyeswideshut
      September 11, 2013

      I want some of that oil for my father or some good weed to make it

  29. UDOHREADYET
    September 10, 2013

    Allow the people to grow HEMP to make and sell products. Let the government regulate the growth and sale of Marijuana. we will never be poor again! Jah give us everything we need to be free and peaceful.

  30. Megso
    September 10, 2013

    I think Ralphie would better serve the Caricom community if He had the same enthusiasm in dealing with LIAT problems,

  31. Rich
    September 10, 2013

    Definitely high time for a rethink on pot. :)

  32. Me
    September 10, 2013

    Le-Ga-Lize it yeah!! and i will advertise it

  33. Sylvester Cadette
    September 10, 2013

    I agree with Dr. Gonsalves that we must with sobriety discuss “this matter in a sensible focus not hysterical manner”. NOT NECESSARILY TO LEGALIZING AS AN END BUT TO PURSUE THE MEDICINAL PROPERTIES AND ITS POSSIBLE IMPACT ON FUTURE PHAMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY – THAT SHOULD BE THE FIRST PRINCIPAL FOCUS.

    Surely the economics of it all would be an integral part of the mix with Governments looking for via options to economic leveraging in what seems to be a nascent “Increasingly Legal” industry in the Metropols of Europe and increasingly The Americas.

    What is essential though is that the discussion ought also to pursue the impact of sudden legality rushing into a “vacuum” of unemployment and lethargic behaviour( Pas melee attitude)on the socio-psychological wellbeing of the regions populace.

    A sudden legality may not necessarily change the mindset of abuse towards economic opportunity. See what happened in Russia, the Ukraine and other CIS States under “GLASTNOST” (openess) and “PERESTROIKA” (Restructuring). It worsened the socio-psychological wellbeing of their populace.

    While the economic prospect of a new cash crop might seem enticing we must eschew the ills of drug abuse and senseless use less the “LURE OF GREEN MARIJUANA GOLD BECOME STRONGER THAN THE FEAR OF DEATH”.

    Meanwhile I agree we must have wholesome levelheaded debate – it could well be a viable and beneficial pharmaceutical Industry.

  34. Lougaoo Mem
    September 10, 2013

    We’ve come a long way when the herb was then considered the devil’s herb in the 1930s. Thank God! Dr. Gonsalves has seen the light that shines on the writing on the wall. “NO MORE PROHIBITION ON SMOKING THE HERB.”

    Now the message to the police and magistrates in the land, “stop the abuse and harassment of the poor young men and women caught with a joint, or a small amount of marijuana. The fines do not fit the crime. Too many are wasted in prison for what I consider petty…

    Washington and Colorado States of the U.S are at the cutting edge in the use of marijuana for medicinal cases, also generating enough revenue for the States by legalizing the herb. Soon, many will follow. Thanks again Prime Minister Gonzalves for the call for a meaningful discussion on the subject.

  35. how comes!!
    September 10, 2013

    puff puff pass sir!!!

  36. Rastafari
    September 10, 2013

    :-D

  37. Inter
    September 10, 2013

    The USA is currently leading in the medicated marijuana move.2 states have recreational marijuana whilst 20 others have medical Netherlandsd receive vast income from taxing marijuana(approx over 1 billion in tax revenues..Whilst we hear massive cocaine bust and then they are freed ed to go whilst marijuana they are shot at in the mountains,killed at sea,jailed heavily.Time we look into the pros and cons of decriminalizing it. Murderers are freed-ed,coke man free whilst weed-man face big jail.

  38. September 10, 2013

    ganja,it never hurt no body,ganja,it make you feel ire,fight against the weed but is jah jah that create the seed.

  39. me
    September 10, 2013

    yah legalise it and mess up our youths more than they already are

  40. Anonymous
    September 10, 2013

    brother lennox has the plan for that also… come to londonderry on the 29th of this month, september….

  41. wannaknow
    September 10, 2013

    yes cuz ive got asthma

  42. Real
    September 10, 2013

    Weed is the one of the healthiest most important plants on this planet! It’s about time people get out of this brain washed state of mind. STOP KILLING THE PLANT!

  43. looking
    September 10, 2013

    I don’t smoke weed but i agree 100%, its an industry that can transform our economies….

    • Malgraysa
      September 10, 2013

      Eh ben, go and grow it and see how quick the price will drop and St. Vinci specially giving us competion. And America and Holland growing its own superior quality where you going to sell our weed?
      That stuff growing to easy and an open market will be worse than bananas.

    • June 5, 2015

      Should transforming the economy be your priority :?:

      What happens to a nation when ”Prosperity at any Cost” becomes its motto :?:

      Is this what you want Dominica to be known as; a country with great marijuana crops :?: A nation made rich by marijuana :?:

      What changes might be made to the marijuana laws in general if farming cannabis becomes your main industry :?:

      What kind of tourists would this attract to your beautiful island :?: It would be a ”paradise”, but not an Eden :!: Perhaps not a place you would want to raise a family and one where you would want to keep your doors locked.

      Marijuana is a ”gateway” drug. This means it is the first drug most addicts used. Our young people have enough temptations. No responsible parent wants to put this in their path. It is difficult enough these days to raise a family and keep the kids on he straight and narrow.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist. (Diploma in Drug Studies)

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