MARIJUANA CONVERSATION CONTINUES IN CARICOM – National Consultation being held in Antigua and Barbuda


The formal regional conversation on marijuana in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continues today Monday 22 May 2017 with a national consultation in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Regional Marijuana Commission is today hosting three Focus Group discussions and a Town Hall meeting.  The discussions are engaging the Youth; Faith-based Organisations and Non-governmental Organisations; and Special Interest Groups.  The Town hall Meeting from 6:00 p.m, is open to the public and will be broadcast live in Antigua/Barbuda on Radio and TV and streamed live on the ABS and CARICOM Face Book pages.

The Commission, headed by Prof. Rose-Marie-Bell Antoine of Trinidad and Tobago , is composed of practitioners with  expert knowledge in a  variety of disciplines  including medicine and allied health, health research, law enforcement, ethics, education, anthropology, sociology and culture.

The consultation in Antigua and Barbuda is one in a series of region-wide engagements being undertaken by the Commission.

See more on:  Regional Marijuana Commission

Acting Chief Medical Officer to chair SKN National Commission on Marijuana

(Ag.) Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws alongside Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris at Wednesday's Press Conference.(Photo via SKNIS)
(Ag.) Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws alongside Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris at Wednesday’s Press Conference.(Photo via SKNIS)

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 5, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, announced the establishment of a National Commission on Marijuana/Cannabis sativa, to be headed by acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Hazel Laws.

Prime Minister Harris, speaking at his monthly press conference, said the establishment of the National Commission is a follow through of a commitment made by the Team Unity Administration to facilitate national engagement on the issues surrounding the production and use of marijuana in St Kitts and Nevis.

According to the prime minister, the other members of the Commission will be named publicly after discussions have been held with them. Membership is expected to be drawn from education, health, law enforcement, the banking association, religious bodies, the Rastafarian community and youth, among other stakeholders.


Government ready for open dialogue on marijuana decriminalisation – PM Harris

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 17, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, says his government is ready for open dialogue with the relevant stakeholders on the issue of the decriminalisation of marijuana.

Prime Minister Harris, responding to a question while appearing as a guest on WINN FM 98.9’s Voices programme earlier this week, said the decriminalisation of marijuana is a matter for national consultation.

 “We have a submission going to the Cabinet hopefully next week where we are attempting to set up that broad based committee that would look at all of the issues involved in the use of marijuana and all other matters in relation to it, and that will have representation from the Rastafarian community, from health, from law enforcement, the schools etc., and such other relevant parties of course will have input as the commission, if you will, goes about doing its work and hearing from the people,” Dr. Harris stressed.


Jamaican scientists close to creating affordable hepatitis C drug from ganja

marijuanaResearch scientists, led by Dr Henry Lowe, say they have discovered properties in Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major bioactive compounds in the cannabis (ganja) plant, that have the potential to provide affordable treatment as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals for hepatitis C.

“We report here for the first time n vitro studies to demonstrate the antiviral activity of CBD against HCV,” Dr Lowe and his research team —Jamaican Wayne McLaughlin and Cameroonian Dr Ngeh Toyang — state in their published study, adding that Cannabidiol was shown to have activity against HCV in vitro but not against hepatitis B virus (HBV).

On Friday, Lowe, who is known worldwide for his anti-cancer and ganja research, as well as the production of a range of nutraceuticals using Jamaican plants, said that the discovery is a major development.

“This is a new discovery which has fantastic potential for the future, especially for people in developing countries, because there is a drug which was developed for hepatitis C treatment, but it’s over US$85,000 per treatment and very few people in the developing world can afford this,” he said. “So it is very important that we find less expensive means of treatment, and that is why this discovery and its potential to manage this disease is so important.” (Jamaica Observer)

Jamaica gets Cannabis Licensing Authority

Jamaica Observer – The Jamaica Cabinet has given approval for a 16-member Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), which the Government has promised will be set up to regulate the hemp and medicinal ganja industry in Jamaica.

Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding, who made the disclosure in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Monday, said members are to be formally notified, and that the industry, investment and commerce; and science, technology and mining ministries were making arrangements for their accommodation.

“At this point, we want them to start the ball rolling [and] once they are notified a meeting should be held,” Golding said.

The authority is one of the provisions of the recently enacted Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015 ‘Ganja Bill’, which decriminalises marijuana for medicinal, religious, and private/personal use. The CLA will have powers to make regulations for the procedures and criteria for applying for licences and permits as well as other authorisations for cultivation, processing, distribution, sale and other handling of ganja for medicinal, scientific and therapeutic purposes. (more…)