By: Tito Chapman
The Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris announced in parliament moments ago that the Federal Cabinet has received the final report of the National Cannabis Commission and has accepted their unanimous recommendations.
The main points in the National Commission Report is as follows:
– The Drugs Act should be amended to develop a medical cannabis industry and allow use for medicinal purposes
– Anyone caught with 15 grams or less or 5 plants or less should NOT have a criminal charge only a ticketable offence
– Anyone already convicted of having 15 grams or less or 5 plants or less should have their convictions expunged
– Use of Cannabis in Public spaces should be strictly prohibited and subject to harsh criminal sanctions
– Health sector awareness. This includes counseling and treatment to ensure care of anyone adversely affected
– Use or sale to anyone under 18 years should be strictly prohibited and have criminal penalties
– The undertaking of a Massive Public education campaign including in the school curriculum
– Introduce laws to prohibit driving under the influence of cannabis
– Hemp products and by products of Cannabis should adhere to international labelling standards.
The above once implemented will be the first phase in dealing with Decriminalization of Cannabis. Once the laws are amended, St. Kitts and Nevis will join Jamaica, Antigua and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as Caribbean Countries that have addressed and implemented decriminalization measures.
According to Prime Minister Harris, the use of Cannabis for Religious and Recreational use will have to be considered further as the National Commission did not agree to the use for such purposes.
Prime Minister Harris on behalf of his Cabinet thanked Dr. Hazel Laws and the entire National Commission for their work.
The final report by the National Marijuana Commission was done after 15 months of widespread consultations in St Kitts and Nevis.