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Legalising marijuana may pose many challenges- Dr Timothy S. Harris

- said Jamaica is already regretting its decision
Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr The Hon Timothy S. Harris addressing St Kitts and Nevis nationals residing in the Virgin Islands on October 22, 2016. Photo: Dorian Hodge
Talk show personality Doug Wheatley recently called for the decriminalisation of marijuana in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Talk show personality Doug Wheatley recently called for the decriminalisation of marijuana in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Prime Minister of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr The Hon Timothy S. Harris has joined the conversation by many sectors of society, to make marijuana legal, particularly following Jamaica’s lead in 2015 to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of the herb, saying it is not as easy as a walk in the park, as many perceive.

The regional leader used the opportunity during a diaspora town hall meeting at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School’s auditorium on Saturday October 22, 2016, to shed some light on the hot topic that has been dominating many conversations particularly in the region of late.

According to him, following a meeting with his Jamaican counterparts, there are some challenges that they are being faced with following that step to make it “alright” to have marijuana in small amounts.

 “And I would say they regretting it,” he noted.

“…I was in a meeting with the Prime Minister [Andrew M. Holness] and he said the banks in Jamaica are not taking monies into their banks from persons whose trade is marijuana. Because they are saying that the international banks consider it to be a drug and to get involved in receiving money from drug activities, they could lose their license, they could be fined millions of dollars. So it is not as easy as some people believe,” Hon Harris said.

He pointed out that those who are clamouring for the legalisation of marijuana, “you must ask them what they will they do better? Because although the marijuana is illegal sometimes you cannot pass, they dare you, you pass and is smoke you inhale you know it's unhealthy for your body, imagine if it were legal they would be in the church with it. So you have to ask yourselves what is it that they would do differently.”

Debate the issue

The St Kitts and Nevis political leader remarked that there are many negatives to the use of the herb, and those who know better must speak out.

“We as people who know better have to be part of the debate to say what is on our mind because it is easy to say legalise it,” he stated.

Harris also mentioned that he is really concerned about how some of these people who smoke the marijuana deal with it, adding that in the past, users of the herb were discreet but gone are those days.

He said one has to wonder what kind of world it will be if the marijuana is legalised and painted a picture of parents trying to grow their children up the right way and these children attending school to be seeing other children smoking and using marijuana.

“So it is a big, big issue to be discussed,” he noted. “Some people say we are old fashioned and my view on being old fashioned is it is still relevant today, and if we follow some of those old fashioned values our society will be stronger and better for it.”

Locally, there have been calls for the decriminalisation of marijuana also, with the latest call being made by talk show personality Doug Wheatley to stop putting users of marijuana behind bars since he said marijuana is not a drug.

15 Responses to “Legalising marijuana may pose many challenges- Dr Timothy S. Harris”

  • B Real (24/10/2016, 08:42) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
    Sooo it's not posing challenges for the USA but it will pose challenges to the Caribbean? A next JESUIT get this guy a wake up coffee or something smh.
    • Well Well (24/10/2016, 09:09) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
      So you are saying , that everything the US do , We should do too? What about the right to bare ARMS. I guest that this would fall right up your alley.
      • Jore cervantes (24/10/2016, 12:09) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
        It is not just the USA, JA or even the Netherlands - there are many more modern societies that have decriminalized cannabis and certain other drugs. How can the banks in JA determine the source of incomes? If it is legal in the home country where the banks have to apply for licenses - how can they then dictate that a particular source of income is nefarious and in contravention of home state laws? While the Caribbean and other temperate third world countries falter behind this - the USA and other countries are filling their state coffers with tax spoils from this revenue stream! The political class in the Caribbean are Western Educated buffoons and are failing the generations due to lack of economic sustainability for the long-term! Imagine there is a cruise set to sail from MIA - JA with music artists and all the herbs you can desire - sell off! I am not a drinker of alcohol; but do partake in the herb - to each him/her own; but really the bigger countries have legalized it and the evidence is there to suggest if it was such a detriment why are more and more nations decriminalizing the plant! The former PM of JA even has a vested interest in the pharma side of the production - see only the UBER rich (locals) and their 'investment expert grade' associates will have this HUGELY profitable industry all to their selves!
      • B Real (24/10/2016, 12:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        Idiot bwoy OF COURSE any consenting adult should have the right to bare arms? What kind of stupid question is that?
  • Observer (24/10/2016, 09:18) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Honestly I think this whole marijuana issue has a lot of pros and cons to it. It has to be discussed in debt in every government in the Caribbean because for a government to just up and legalize it without discussing it in dept could be detrimental to society. I just think that as much good as it is for certain health issues, it can be abused to point where it can become a health hazard to someone. Too much of something is never good. That's just my opinion
  • wow (24/10/2016, 09:30) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    ALL officials that are in power NOW, WILL get old and DIE with this old way of thinking. They are ALL from a generation that was BRAINWASHED into believing marijuana is the Devil's crop, when INFACT it does WAY MORE GOOD than bad. I am not so much for "smoking" it, but there are many many many different ways to use it for medicinal purposes. NO, I do not believe you have to be ill to use it either. It can be used for preventative health care as well! I truly believe that it will be legalized throughout the world one day, it is just a matter of time.
    • rewrsdffds (24/10/2016, 17:41) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree, you don't have to smoke it but, after work, I go home and smoke a nice fat joint and drink a glass of wine.I also put it in my brownie mix and chocolate chip cookies batter. Hell, I even figure out how to make make marijuana sorbet.
  • VIlander (24/10/2016, 10:16) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Opinion without substance
  • ccc (24/10/2016, 10:38) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Free the weed
  • All a Game. (24/10/2016, 12:51) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's why we elect you. To address challenges and find solutions.. Anything politicians want to do they find a reason to do. When they don't want to do they find a reason not to. It comes down to what they want to do. What they want. To hell with the people. They want the G and L people though.
  • Facts. (24/10/2016, 13:06) Like (8) Dislike (12) Reply
    Wasn't he the one proposes Same Sex Legalization.. Even though polling show 85% of kittitian against it. And 55% of kittitian is Marijuana Legalization but he don't want to touch that.
    • domino effect (25/10/2016, 06:25) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      My People. This issue on Marijuana is not so complex. The PM is speaking from a place of fear and emotion. Gay and Lesbians used to be far far in the closet, now they are out in all their glory. The plant is medicinal the whole world knows that. While America is busy researching and making millions we are here pretending that the herb is a bad thing that should be shunned without even having a positive dialogue. The PM disappoint me with his negative position he should be note open and neutral. Blessings on the Herb.
  • Eagle Eye (24/10/2016, 16:01) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    If weed is a drug then what is cigarettes and rum? To much stupid so call leaders that is blind
  • Check this. (25/10/2016, 06:45) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    They claim Israel is a Wize Nation God's people they say. But in Israel they use Marijuana as a Hospital medicine. There must be something they know that we don't.
  • Look at Canada (26/10/2016, 11:22) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Canada intends to legalize it in the spring of 2017. They seem to have worked out the banking issues and even ways to test that the driver of a car is not impaired.
    We may want to look at how they did it.
    Apparently the money brought in from taxes will be considerable.
    If the people want to have it, just like a beer or other drink then why not tax it too!

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