ST. KITTS-NEVIS GOVERNMENT ADVANCES DISCUSSIONS ON THE MATTER OF LEGISLATIVE REFORMS ON MARIJUANA

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, February 18, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – With the presentation of the final report by the St. Kitts & Nevis (National) Marijuana Commission to the Federal Cabinet, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said he is pleased that through a “structured approach to decision making,” his Team Unity Government was able to advance the discussions pertaining to the use of marijuana in the Federation.

“We needed a Commission to distill the thoughts of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis on what will always be a controversial matter and we needed to ensure that the discussions were helpful and broad based and we thought that an independent commission could go about hearing from a wide cross-section of persons and personalities and entities within the country and attempt to put together at the end of the day some form of a consensual framework that could guide the Federal Government in its determination,” Prime Minister Harris said while speaking during a special Cabinet meeting held in Nevis on Monday, February 18.

Monday’s Cabinet meeting was attended by members of the National Marijuana Commission, led by its Chairperson and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws.

Prime Minister Harris stated that the initial report by the Commission was made available for consideration by the Cabinet in January of this year. However, it was felt that the Cabinet Ministers could benefit from further engagement and interaction with members of the Commission.

“Today’s special meeting of the Federal Cabinet on the island of Nevis allows for this historic document to be deliberated upon by the Cabinet, taking into consideration input and feedback from the Commissioners,” Dr. Harris added.

Within the CARICOM region, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Jamaica have enacted some form of marijuana legislation, and according to Prime Minister Harris, his Government “will have that body of laws to help guide us when we reach and get to that particular stage and development.”

In October 2017, the St. Kitts and Nevis National Marijuana Commission was formed and mandated to explore the complex issues surrounding the use of marijuana/cannabis sativa.

Aside from Dr. Laws as its chair, the other members of the National Marijuana Commission are Ms. Joan Browne; Mr. Charles Wilkin QC; Mr. Andre Mitchell; Dr. Garfield Alexander; Mrs. Michele de la Coudray-Blake; Dr. Julie Graves; Dr. Robert Mankoff; Ms. Kenisha Flemming; Samande “Ras Iya” Reid; Reverend P. Allister Rawlins; Mr. Curtis Francis and Ms. Karimu Byron-Caines.

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