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Cruise ship passengers asking for marijuana- Bishop John I. Cline

- said medical marijuana can be a new revenue stream for VI
According to outspoken former Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) Board and lead pastor of the New Life Baptist Church (NLBC) in Duff’s Bottom, Bishop John I. Cline, there needs to be a discussion on the possibility of marijuana being a new revenue stream for the Virgin Islands, as other countries are already capitalising on it. Photo: Facebook/Internet Source
Bishop John I. Cline was a guest of the online radio show Fresh Radio Vybz with host Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’, left, on January 19, 2018. Photo: Facebook
Bishop John I. Cline was a guest of the online radio show Fresh Radio Vybz with host Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’, left, on January 19, 2018. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- “There is a social aspect of the marijuana. When people get off the ship they are asking for marijuana. They want to smoke. Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. As a matter of fact, alcohol is much more dangerous than smoking a joint,” declared outspoken former Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) Board and lead pastor of the New Life Baptist Church (NLBC) in Duff’s Bottom, Bishop John I. Cline.

Bishop Cline was at the time a guest of the online radio show Fresh Radio Vybz with host Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’ on January 19, 2018.

A possible new revenue stream

The men were at the time discussing new revenue streams for the Virgin Islands as it seeks to rebuild following the destructive hurricanes of September 2017.

One of the revenue streams suggested was medical marijuana, which Bishop Cline believes the Virgin Islands needs to have a discussion on.

“It is all over the news, and all over the world and we are behind the eight ball with even having a discussion.”

According to Bishop Cline, banks are even having conferences on how to handle and process the billions of dollars being generated from medical marijuana.

“We need strong, we need bold leadership in order to have these discussions. Of course there are going to be dissenting voices because people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and people who don’t have the knowledge or the understanding you just have to give them as much as you can and lead them and later on they will thank you for taking them there.”

Billion-dollar market

North American marijuana sales grew by an unprecedented 30% in 2016 to $6.7 billion as the legal market expands in the US and Canada, according to a report released earlier this year by Arcview Market Research.

In fact, North American sales are projected to top $20.2 billion by 2021 assuming a compound annual growth rate of 25%.

In another report published ahead of the US November 2016 election, analysts at Cowen and Co. estimated that the cannabis industry is worth about $6 billion in annual sales. Another $25 billion could be added to that from black market sales, and if and when those transition to the legal market, it could be worth $50 billion by 2026, the report found.

Marijuana sales rose 30% in 2016 and Colorado, one of the industry’s earliest US test markets, generated $200 million of tax revenue from $1.3 billion in marijuana sales in 2016.

‘A penny saved is a penny earned’

Bishop Cline has publicly stated his position in the past about marijuana and that it should be legalised, making the point that alcohol, which he believes is more dangerous than marijuana, is legal.

But his main issue has always been the incarcerating of young men for small amounts of marijuana and the burden it is costing Government to prosecute and imprison.

His comments came on the heels of substitute magistrate and attorney Mr Richard G. Rowe stating on a previous edition of Fresh Radio Vybz that marijuana should be decriminilised.

“Your mother used to say a penny saved is a penny earned. Right now we have probably over 15 to 20 young men in prison locked up for small spliffs, so I believe Rowe is right. It is costing us about $20 a day to house those prisoners and feed them. So the first thing you do when you decriminalise it, you take the load off your criminal justice system, you take the load off the prison system, consequently you save money.

“So, that money you are paying incarcerating and feeding healthy and able young men who could be out in the community producing, that is one way you save,” Bishop Cline suggested.

Tourists asking for the weed

Further, he said there is a social aspect of marijuana use and claimed that cruise ship passengers often ask for marijuana when they get off the ship.

“They want to smoke. Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. As a matter of fact, alcohol is much more dangerous than smoking a joint.”

Educate them

Bishop Cline said to fight back against the stigma attached to marijuana is to educate people.

“We have to educate people that what the other countries have made a demon in the past now it is a cash cow for them but we are still controlling that demon, and we have to say, there is the social aspect of it, there is an element that can generate revenue, as long as we have the legislative framework.”

The clergyman said he was in Uruguay about two weeks ago and learned that country has decriminilised marijuana. “…they have legalised it to their citizens and people like that and the world is just way ahead…”

He continued that people need facts about marijuana and how it became illegal in some societies.

“In America it was really about systematic genocide. How do you destroy the lives of young black men and women in a way that you can lock them up, take away their voting rights, their economic power, and put them in prison, and marijuana was one of those things. Ask anyone who knows anything about the criminal justice system in America and they will tell you that the drug was not criminilised because it was so dangerous, it was a way to impact negatively the African-American community especially, and by extension the Hispanic community.

“And we are still doing it today. We are taking what oppressors put on us and using it against our own people. Those kinds of things have to stop.”

57 Responses to “Cruise ship passengers asking for marijuana- Bishop John I. Cline”

  • What a shame!!!!!! (23/01/2018, 11:18) Like (25) Dislike (56) Reply

    To hear those words coming from a pastor is an abomination. You Bishop misery like company. Not everyone wants to see his first born go the trend y**** took. Is this the advice you will give the youths Minister Tittle is trying so hard to mold?
    SHAME IN YOU.

    • wize up (23/01/2018, 12:59) Like (9) Dislike (9) Reply
      had cline been some blue eye white boy your blog would have been different: white folk in this territory use as much or more drugs that the black but some of you don’t want to hear these things: moreover most the black man goes to jail...run talk that you can’t do John nothing much less me(my God some of us can’t speak in our own Fu@$ place)....just say: so don’t grab your mask and your gun!!!!
      • ? (24/01/2018, 13:58) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        What has this got to do with skin color? Get yourself out of the dark ages. We are all the same.
    • Gumption.officail (23/01/2018, 14:16) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
      @whatashame ( your sick and need medical marijuana). He’s the perfect person to talk the truth. It’s alll about education. The taboo will be broken at some point. People are just more open now but been happening from Fred flinstons days.
    • Prophet (23/01/2018, 14:27) Like (18) Dislike (4) Reply
      You are mistaken and following the laws of man. Bishop only supporting what GOD made and saw as good. Wake up and find yourself your mentality is affected by Christopher Columbus
      • Huh? (26/01/2018, 11:52) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        What does smoking marijuana have to do with Christianity? For God so loved the world that he gave us his only begotten son. What will save the souls of mankind? If the people humble themselves, pray,seek God's face and turn from their wicked ways. That's the words that should be coming from a pastor's mouth. Let the world handle worldly things. Advocating for the use of medical marijuana in order to make money is a focus on money which the world created. And the love of money is the root of all evil. Some things the church shouldn't be involved in.
    • Pastor or not (24/01/2018, 03:09) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      These is real facts, I'm not an advocate of marijuana but truth be told its not what the media has the public thinking it is. We need leaders not followers and what he saying is sense. But as usual we will remain archaic and bigoted in our style of thinking and thus the B.V.I will be left in the dust as usual. Stop copy catting America and start using logic to make decision!!!
    • SMH (24/01/2018, 06:23) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      What his son does is not your business. What is it that you do that you don't want anyone to know about? Stop trying to see another man's sin.
  • OMG (23/01/2018, 11:23) Like (28) Dislike (30) Reply
    Oh dear, the Bishop goes unhinged again. Members please come get your "Man of God".
  • NICK (23/01/2018, 11:54) Like (30) Dislike (13) Reply
    nothing wrong with the pastor comments. Open your eyes and look what's happening around the world.by the time you wake up, it will be too late.
    • DISAGREE (23/01/2018, 13:22) Like (21) Dislike (15) Reply
      There's nothing wrong with the statement BUT as a pastor, you cannot be encouraging people to break the law. Smoking weed, is still against the law in the BVI and until the law is changed you have to encourage your readers to uphold the law. I do not think that as a pastor smoking or not smoking is something that he should be getting involved in.
      • HelpUsLord! (23/01/2018, 14:31) Like (14) Dislike (7) Reply
        Jesus encouraged people to break the law. He turned the tables in the temple and tuned the tables on the occupying Romans by being an active subversive. He was a revolutionary, not a nice law-abiding yes man.
        The law is not sacred. And church is often a tool for oppression and keeping people like sheep so the rulers have conservative allies.
        Plus, I never seen anywhere in the Bible that says the natural herb should be banned. Americans made that up in 1920s as a racist way of keeping Mexicans and black people down.
    • ting to talk (23/01/2018, 17:23) Like (31) Dislike (5) Reply
      In my humble opinion, there is quite a lot wrong with what the pastor is saying and I am not necessarily against medical marijuana. It has its place under the right circumstances.

      1. The underlying tone of this article is around the amount of MONEY that can be made from legalizing marijuana. At whose expense. First off the bible states the "Love of MONEY is the root of ALL Evil". Nuff said.

      2. Colorado approved medical marijuana in 2010 and legalized its recreational use four years later in 2014. A 2017 report states that more teens in the state of Colorado have been sent to the ER for overuse of marijuana since its legalization. Again, legalizing it in the BVI at whose expense.

      3. Marijuana is a mind altering drug and unlike alcohol, it is the most abused drug in the adolescence age group. Studies show that its use at an early age interferes with the normal development of the brain while it is still maturing. So her we go again, buying into the slave master plan because they can no longer afford to pay for us to be in prison where it teaches our young men a valuable lesson and give them and opportunity to come out decent citizens, then why not let them continue to use it freely, alter their young brains so they amount to nothing more than inspiring to sit on the street corner and get high.

      4. It may not be the right answer but prison is a deterrent

      5. and finally, as for the tourist. If they were getting it in their own country, they would not be coming here looking for it. Why is it not legal in their neck of the woods.

      Just my opinion and yes, I am of a Christian following.
    • @NICK (27/01/2018, 09:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      We are looking around and seeing what is happening around the world. That is not the problem. Shouldn't Bishop's focus be on all the High School children unmannerly behaviour in the streets and all the strip joints poppng up on every block rather than marijuana, medical or otherwise? Now I try hard not to judge as God will be the ultimate judge of us all. But shouldn't focus be on saving souls rather than confusing our children? His young flock reading this wouldn't care about medical use or otherwise. This is an illegal drug on our books and they will just think my Bishop is for this. He should step back and search his heart and call out to God for guidance.
  • EL oh El (23/01/2018, 12:28) Like (13) Dislike (5) Reply
    Legalize it an I’ll advertise it
    • Israel (23/01/2018, 13:53) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      The most holy place for Christian Marijuana is the most use prescribe medicine in their hospitals for all sort of illnesses..Why? Because they are smarter than the rest of the world. Yes.. The rest of the world are fooled and bought by A trillion dollar industry call "The Pharmaceutical Industry" That knows that once the health benefits of Marijuana get out their drugs will stay in their ware houses.. Israel has the highest success rate of illness curing.. Like anything or any other drugs you abuse it its affect you.. Why single out Marijuana.. Israel got the lowest pharmaceutical imports...The rest of the world is catching on slowly...Yea.. Check that out!!!!.
  • Pastors... (23/01/2018, 12:43) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Should speak the truth.. that is all the man is doing... The truth is an offence but its not a sin!
  • Velour Track Pants (23/01/2018, 12:54) Like (30) Dislike (3) Reply
    Pastor Ram looking ting to talk! Well sah! He’s rite; just don’t get the messenger. You mean to tell me someone (tourist) has actually spoken to him or his affiliates (Christian) about this pertinent social issue?!? I smell a fish. Someone in his camp wants this lucrative revenue stream and to be the fore-runner when it becomes legal in some form. As a proponent of legalization myself; I am alert and skeptical about this particular messenger. What’s his motive besides the obvious - gwop, Mullah, cheddar.....cheese
  • SB (23/01/2018, 13:22) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    OH NOW YOU TALKING ABOUT THE HORSE I'VE BEEN BEATING DEAD FOR THE LAST 7 YEARS!
  • Street reporter (23/01/2018, 13:44) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    If most of us will gather the courage to speak our minds.. We will respect those that does it...The man said nothing wrong.. If we had more brave and courageous men like Pastor our polititians wouldnt play us for fools...
    • My Gosh (27/01/2018, 06:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Are you serious! There is nothing wrong with legalizing drugs that alter mental state? What is wrong with you people. Wait until the ones smoking weed start sniffing cocaine. What does medical marijuana have to do with tourist looking for weed to smoke? My God you all are sick.
      • smokey (29/01/2018, 15:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        I've been Smoking Weed for the last 25 years, I am a professional. I have held down a job. I have gained my masters and have NEVER taken Cocaine! The only way it has altered my mental state is by making me either, hungry, happy of sleepy. i also know that the stigma with Marijuana started in America in the early 20th century. Not the Bible. it was banned to oppress people of colour and was banned because it was taking too much money away from Corporations.
        I think people need to actually find out the facts and have a REAL discussion with people on the other side about this. People need to sit and LISTEN rather than claiming 'Facts', that are not really 'Facts'.

        Dare i say this would be a great discussion to have while passing a joint!!
  • ---------------- (23/01/2018, 13:44) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    well I do not want to give them more money for the NDP to thief wait until after the next elections
  • flUffy (23/01/2018, 13:57) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    @what a shame: why is it yoi have to get personal?the choices Mr.Cline son made to smoke are his.Marijuana to the best of my knowlledge is a plant .it is not something that is chemically made.yes,there might be abuse in how some people use it,but it is a natural thing.and Pastor Tittle is trying his best with OUR CHILDREN,(who we should be molding)so let us bear in mind the choices we make are ours.and the next time you get sick and recieve a presciption please read the CONTENTS of your medication.and you will see that you use more drugs than the average marijuana smoker..
  • sinners (23/01/2018, 14:13) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    We are all sinners here we act as if we are the most holiest. They dont want no Casino. They dont want no Ganja. Yet marriage, especially Christian Marriage is rampant. Our oppressors are mostly christians..But They considering or is willing to have a debate a discussion on same sex Marriage bug when they hear the Word Ganja they get angry. What a backward people..
  • Prophetess (23/01/2018, 15:09) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    your smile tells me that you once sampled it and you enjoyed it
    I don't smoke but I have used it for menstruation problems back then and it sure helped. Nothing is wrong to use it as a tea and medically it has done wonder for many.Legalise it. just a specific quantity. in generally you gonna have buyers and sellers anyhow anywhere in fact all over the world. if one look at it the techniques and countries play a vital role in production and there is where preferencial comes in too. that from st marten might be stronger and better than that in the BVI or vice versa. Just legalise it. Anything over use can kill even too much inflammation bush can kill. with us recovering from the flood and hurricane this can be another form of revenue and perhaps boost the tourism product .
  • Reply (23/01/2018, 15:13) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    The Bishop is ahead of all those who disagrees with him on this. I too support the idea.
    • pat (23/01/2018, 17:15) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
      medicinal is different than recreational. I will not hire a person to operate big equipment or for a job that needs sharp thinking and detail work and has consequences if his mind is clouded. That is the problem in the US. How much is too much when driving a car and endangering others on the road, etc.? there are no breathilizer tests for it yet.
      • nope (23/01/2018, 20:58) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
        @Pat, FYI, the majority of road accidents in the US is caused by drunk drivers not weed smokers.
        • pat (24/01/2018, 13:09) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
          not yet and how do we know. there are no machines to measure being impaired. And yes, there have been cases of accidents caused by some being high.
  • tola (23/01/2018, 15:27) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    Wa wrong with what bishop saying. You all small minded people
  • Lord 0 (23/01/2018, 15:30) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    I'm voting for Bishop.
  • Leadership required (23/01/2018, 16:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Time for the someone in our sad little government to take on a leadership role. States like Colorado, Oregon, Washington and now California are all reaping the benefits of taxes on marijuana sales... Sales that had previously been under the table and untaxed, the criminal element being the only ones to cash in. Times have changed, and with some spine in government, the Virgin Islands could take the lead in the Caribbean, and be the ones cashing in!!!
  • pass the chaliss (23/01/2018, 16:28) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    No too long ago I witnessed 5 guys (tourists) came by a restaurant they had dinner drinks and desert (marijuana) they rolled it and went across from the police station and smoked it. But those police are never on patrol when night comes anyway so unless the building burning they would never know.
  • Hmm (23/01/2018, 16:55) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I guess we should get tourists to ask about our 1.6mil wall, our airport expansion, our ports project, our housing project, our missing 7mil from the airline. I guess we should get tourists to run the country because things only get heard if it bothers them. Virgin Islanders are only alive to please foreigners. We're all for sale.
  • lodger (23/01/2018, 17:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The cruise ships wont allow it on board, or put up with a stall at the pierhead.
  • Psychosis (23/01/2018, 17:50) Like (7) Dislike (7) Reply
    WRONG .. Weed is dangerous .. Read about " weed induced psychosis "
    • wize up (23/01/2018, 18:56) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ psychosis: life in of itself is dangerous even crossing the street is dangerous!!!!!
    • @Psychosis. ignorance (24/01/2018, 08:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Everything in life has good and bought people will market the side that benefits them..Think..Example...Some one can look at you or or I and find some wrong in us and sell that to other people as we been bad people... Use your brain.. Anything.. Anything we use in excess will affect us one way or the other..
    • lmao (29/01/2018, 19:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      WEEED INDUCED LMAO PSYCHOLOLSIS ROFFL some of u so dunce u believe anything
  • NezRez (23/01/2018, 17:54) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I agree with Bishop Cline. It is time we stop following and start leading in the world of Medicinal Marijuana . Let our young men out of prison arrested for nonsense smoking a little weed. If our island can get back on its feet fast, this is the way. I cannot tell you how many times tourists have asked me where to buy some. Open your eyes BVI and let’s srart brings no in some good income for the government. If legalized, I will be one of the first ones setting up my legal laboratory.
    • @NezRez (24/01/2018, 11:57) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      You, my friend, are mixing up two quite different points.

      (1) Legalizing Marijuana for medical reasons and (2) for recreational purposes. They are not one in the same thing.

      I am sure the tourists are not asking for it to cure any medical issue and most persons on here agreeing with its legalization, are not talking about its medical value but rather the free use of it for recreation. That, I have an issue with and the potential negative effect it can have on our children and the moral fabric of our country.

      Get a grip. I am sure there are other creative and safer ways to generate $$$$ for this county.




      • NezRez (27/01/2018, 13:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        So you really think all of those people going into the legal medicinal clinics are buying it for health problems? Then you are misinformed because I know they are allowed to buy a certain amount and on weekends that is when they sell the most. Go to the states and buy some and you will see who need it medically and who need it recreationally. No I am not confusing the two, you are. Take a trip and then come back and comment on what you learned.
  • .com (23/01/2018, 20:43) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    What's good for the goose is good for the gander, the pastor is a human just like you and and i, and has the right to freedom of speech just like anybody else.
  • Rastafarian lives (23/01/2018, 20:58) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Instead of u converting the rates it looks like them convert u
  • Take it (23/01/2018, 21:02) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    N.D.P government need a good dosage of medicinal marijuana to clear up their mind.
    • Religion messing us up (24/01/2018, 08:57) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      Religion got the world messed up.. We put religious rules and practice ahead of our good brain. Our common sense..
  • Shocked (23/01/2018, 21:55) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    this epitomises some of what is wrong with politics and free speech in the BVI.
  • Bull (24/01/2018, 09:25) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    You know look at you. You full well know medicine marijuana and recreation are different. Not to mention to smoke at all is considered defiling Gods creation( the body). This liberal Christianity by these liberal minded feel good preachers have destroyed black societies.

    Who said it was a good thing that alcohol was legalized maybe many lives would have been saved. BUT THERE is some good where its derivative is used for medicine and healing .
  • wow (24/01/2018, 09:47) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    What a disgrace...not from a pastor. Not good at all.
  • Rebelsoul (24/01/2018, 11:26) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    What part of Illegal is not understood here?
  • B Savage (24/01/2018, 12:09) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    If all the non informed old old sage people who commenting here would just not wake up in the morning we would progress forward ten folds.
  • Dan (24/01/2018, 15:11) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    My country St. Vincent and the Grenadines soon will be legalize marijuana
  • wow (25/01/2018, 01:36) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Does this suggest that John Ivan Cline smokes marijuana? I think his comments are rather suggestive of that! Lord, we need You for spiritual guidance
  • occifer john (25/01/2018, 15:32) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    tell the tourists they can get their weed right downtown at the po-lice evidence room, or financial services.
  • Token (25/01/2018, 18:58) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Weed ain legal? Really? It all over Cane. Need the cruise people back cause this stuff piling up.
  • Hmmm (27/01/2018, 20:43) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    This will sound terrible, but I can't wait for all the old thinkers to die out... Just a matter of time.


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