St Kitts joins other Caribbean nations to legalize marijuana but for medical purposes

Francis Akhalbey Mar 1, 2019 at 10:26am

March 01, 2019 at 10:26 am | News

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

March 01, 2019 at 10:26 am | News

The Caribbean island of St Kitts is set to decriminalize the possession and growing of marijuana in small amounts as well as legalize its use for medicinal and scientific purposes.

The announcement by the government to move forward with the new reforms, which was based on the unanimous recommendations of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Marijuana Commission was relayed to the National Assembly by Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, according to Caribbean 360.

Under the recommendations, the possession of less than 5 grammes of marijuana and the growing of not less than 5 plants per house should attract a ticketable offence without a criminal conviction. However, the commission recommended the smoking and usage of the substance in public places remain a criminal offence and driving under the influence of marijuana also a chargeable offence.

Additionally, the commission did not recommend the use of marijuana for recreational and religious purposes. Prime Minister Harris also confirmed Cabinet has agreed that under no circumstances should marijuana be sold to persons under the age of 18. Persons under the same age are also not allowed to use or have the substance in their possession.

“The use of cannabis in public places will continue to be a serious offence and we will seek also to prohibit the sale or use of cannabis by persons under the age of 18 years old,” he said.

The commission also outlined a structured guideline for the use of marijuana for medicinal and scientific purposes.

“The use of cannabis and its derivatives for medical and scientific purposes should be permitted under licence and a strict legislated regime,” said Dr Hazel Laws, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Chair of the Commission, as reported by The St Kitts Nevis Observer.

“You would have a regulated system where you would have persons who would be registered as being able to cultivate, reap, manufacture and sell,” she continued. “Then the patients would be able to go to physicians who would have been trained in prescribing the cannabis medicinal products.”

St Kitts joins the likes of Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Malta, Bermuda and South Africa to decriminalize the possession as well as allow the use of medicinal cannabis.

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