About the Marijuana Commission
About the Commission
The Regional Commission on Marijuana was established by the decision of the Twenty-fifth Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government , in March 2014 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Heads “mandated the establishment of a Regional Commission to address the issues identified and any other deemed relevant in order to provide clear guidance to the Conference with regard to decisions to be taken.
The Commission, headed by Prof. Rose-Marie-Bell Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, 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/ culture.
Objectives of the Commission
(a) To conduct a rigorous enquiry into the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use in the Caribbean and to determine whether there should be a change in the current drug classification of marijuana thereby making the drug more accessible for all types of usage (religious, recreational, medical and research);
(b) To recommend, if there is to be a re-classification, the legal and administrative conditions that shall apply;
(c) The Regional Commission comprising expertise from relevant professions and Institutions will be coordinated by the CCS in conjunction with CARPHA. It will collate the findings and prepare a final report to be submitted to Heads.
Scope of Work
To achieve these objectives, the Commission should undertake the following scope of work:
1. Conduct a thorough review of documentation and findings from previous regional and international Marijuana Commissions to outline the benefits and adverse effects of marijuana use, including but not limited to the reports from the following –
(a) United States Institute of Medicine (IOM) enquiry conducted at the request of the White House, Office of National completed in 1999;
(b) National Commission on Ganja, appointed by the Hon. P.J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica, 7 August 2001; Recreational marijuana users;
(c) United Kingdom Home Affairs Select Committee Report of 2012.
2. Examine the Dangerous Drug Acts in all Caribbean territories and identify the current state of legislation as it pertains to possession and distribution of marijuana and outline the legal status of marijuana use across CARICOM both de jure and de facto.
3. Review available data on marijuana use in the Caribbean by type - recreational, socio-cultural, and medicinal.
4. Examine global trends in relation to changes in accessibility and availability of marijuana. In particular the legal and administrative systems that have been developed to accommodate:
(a) possession of small, specified quantities of the drug for personal use;
(b) medical marijuana programs.
5. Engage in an extensive consultation process with members of the community and other key stakeholders at the national level to elicit the population’s view about current usage and re-classification. This consultation process should use surveys, structured and semi-structured interviews, focus groups, village meetings and other methodologies and should embrace a broad cross section of interest groups in society including but not limited to:
(b) Medical and herbal practitioners;
(c) Drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation service providers;
(d) Faith based and Non-governmental organizations;
(e) Medical marijuana users;
(f) Recreational marijuana users;
(g) Representatives from the legal and judicial system;
(h) Psychiatrists/mental health practitioners;
(j) Law enforcement and custodial services;
(k) Youth Groups.
6. Examine incarceration patterns in the Caribbean as a result of Marijuana use.
7. Examine mental health disorders in the Caribbean as a result of Marijuana use.
8. Review the state of research of Medical products from marijuana and define the state of use of approved medicines derived from marijuana.
9. Examine possible economic benefits which might accrue from more liberal marijuana policies in the Caribbean.
10. Examine possible economic benefits against real cost associated with the treatment and management of marijuana addiction/use.
11. Based on the balance of evidence collected and assessed and in the interest of society at large, make recommendations for maintenance of the state of classification of marijuana or for its re-classification and the specific legal and administrative changes that would be required.