BASSETERRE – The St Kitts and Nevis government Monday said it would table legislation in the Parliament on Tuesday allowing for the regulated and controlled use of marijuana for medicinal, scientific, religious and recreational purposes in the twin island Federation.
A government statement said that Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris will table the amendments to the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
“The far-reaching legislative amendments come after the Cabinet established a National Marijuana Commission to ascertain the views of citizens and residents on cannabis use,” the statement said, noting that the consultations, which were chaired by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hazel Laws, had “found unanimous agreements for the decriminalization of marijuana in the Federation”.
It said that the Commission had also recommended a phased approach to the establishment of a marijuana industry and that the Cabinet adopted the Commission’s report on February 18.
But it noted that since then the High Court has ruled that some prohibitions on cannabis use outlined in the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) Act, Cap 9.08, were too broad and inconsistent with the Constitution.
The statement said that the government has responded with amendments to the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
It quoted Harris as promising that his administration would give “special support and priority to locals interested in pursuing marijuana cultivation and trade within the confines of the law”. (CMC)