Caricom states will release their official report on medical weed next week, but some state medical officials are still afraid it will encourage recreational use.
Caribbean Community (Caricom) officials say they will release their comprehensive report on medicinal marijuana next week.
While speculation remains about the report’s findings, many are hopeful it will lead to the legalization of the drug.
Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands is warning, though, there is a fine line between the good and bad effects of marijuana.
“CBD – which is a component of marijuana when used medically – is both safe and probably effective,” Dr. Sands said, “but medical marijuana is just the door for recreational marijuana.”
Over the past several months there have been town hall meetings regarding the legalization of medical marijuana in Caricom states.
During those debates, the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Deputy Director Dr. Marvin Smith urged the governments to bring about more medical marijuana research in the Caribbean.
National Security official Marvin Dames told local news: “This is the way the world is headed. We can’t ignore it.”
Dames conceded: “There are many studies being conducted around the world on the medicinal use of marijuana and how it’s reaping positive results, but we have to look at it from a holistic perspective.
“If you look at countries that have moved toward legalization, it’s not something that has happened overnight. There’s a lot of work and a lot of studies that have to go into this process and as a government. We’re not going to rush into it.”
According to Dr. Sands, legalized weed would carry a hefty tax: “The idea that these items ought to carry a significant tax is certainly reasonable and hypothetically, if we considered liberalizing such a thing, it wouldn’t be unreasonable in my mind to carry a very hefty level of regulation and taxation.
“While the tactic has been used in those jurisdictions that have ultimately ushered in more progressive marijuana legislation, the first step was often medical marijuana but the prize was legalization of recreational use.”
Several Latin American countries have already approved the sale of medical marijuana, including Uruguay and Chile.