Marijuana legalization unlikely anytime soon

PM Harris says country will stick by the laws

By Staff Writer
The law of the land is clear, before any decision to legalize marijuana is made, there must be consultations with relevant stakeholders in civil society to decide, Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris said during the government’s town hall meeting. The prime minister’s remarks were in response to increasing pressure from the Rastafarian community to legalize marijuana.

Dr. Harris pointed out that a number of governments in the region, noticeably Jamaica, have found that the situation has become difficult; noting that the Federal government in St. Kitts and Nevis have to take those situations into account–recognizing that the Federation is not in a world by itself.

“We live in an international community and whatever we do other countries can take actions, in relation to that,” the Prime Minister said.

At present, Jamaicans growing marijuana to sell have found the going difficult, according to Dr. Harris. He said they facethe challenge of getting finances from the bank or depositing their earnings due to current legislationagainst money laundering.

“The banks are making it clear that they don’t want to touch money that is from that particular sourcedue to potential action to be taken because correspondent banks are aware of this,” Dr. Harris explained. He noted it is a matter that the government has to clearly think through and should not get caught in what is going on in the region.

Against that backdrop, Dr. Harris reaffirmed that the country will uphold the laws that are currently now on the books, encouraging the people of the Federation abide by all laws in place.

“We encourage our people who want to work to find work within the law,” the Prime Minister said. “They have to take into account the security situation in the country and a host of other issues.”

Over the last several months, members of the Rastafarian community have been holding protests and marches calling for the ‘herb’ to be legalized, after indicating that it does not cause any health-related issues to persons who use it.

People suffering from various medical conditions have used the marijuana plant to lessen their pain.

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