Gonsalves: Time to look at drug laws
ST VINCENT and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has warned that the region’s drug laws have been “destroying young people unnecessarily” and the region should look at whether those laws should be amended.
Addressing the Vincentian Students Association at the Cave Hill campus on Thursday night, ahead of that island’s 34th anniversary of independence on Sunday, Gonsalves said the time had come for the region to look squarely at the issues of medical marijuana use and amending the laws in relation to marijuana.
“I don’t know what happens in several of the other countries but in St Vincent and the Grenadines very few persons get prosecuted anymore for a spliff,” he said to loud applause.
He said if the matter did make it to court, magistrates were very lenient with offenders.
“I know among many persons this is an extremely unpopular view for a prime minister to hold but as I have said, third terms are liberating. If I can’t speak to these things which I feel genuinely, I would not be true to myself or true to honest leadership on some questions,” said Gonsalves who was re-elected for a third consecutive term in December 2010.
“We have to broach subjects where we have been destroying young people unnecessarily as to whether we ought not to have medical marijuana or to amend the laws in relation to marijuana,” the Vincentian leader said to sustained applause.
“I have no tolerance for drugs for children or persons under the age of 18; you must still have certain controls and limitations. But it is plain to everybody who has any good sense that the current policy is not succeeding,” Gonsalves said to more cheers.