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ROSEAU, Dominica – The Dominica government Tuesday said it intends to bring to Parliament, legislation that would allow for the regulated and controlled use of marijuana for medicinal, scientific, religious and recreational purposes.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, delivering the 2019-20 national budget, told legislators that there had been widespread national consultation on the issue with the topic also being debated in the media.
“We recognise the sensitivities of this issue. We are of the view however, that in all the circumstances, particularly having regard to the empirical data and the growing international importance of medical marijuana and the world trend for the decriminalisation of marijuana for medical, religious and recreational use that the government should bring to the Parliament for consideration legislation to decriminalise the possession of marijuana.”
While he gave no specific date as to when such legislation would be tabled, Skerrit said “the government will therefore propose that the possession of not more than 28.35 grammes, that is one ounce of marijuana be decriminalised.
“We go further and making the necessary amendments to have struck out from the records of those convicted for marijuana possession. Any conviction in respect of the possession of 28.35 grammes or less, (because) Madam Speaker, we do not believe that it is fair that an individual should be punished eternally for such low offence”.
Skerrit said he hoped that this measure would impact in a positive way “many of our citizens” adding that “there are many people who have been arrested for a marijuana cigarette…and these things are on their records and it haunts them for several years.
‘We will clear those persons records,” he said, when the legislation is brought to Parliament.
Skerrit said that the government would continue to explore the medicinal benefits of marijuana. (CMC)