The Grenada government said on Tuesday that it will stage public consultations as part of the efforts to determine the changes needed to the national laws and international treaties regarding the decriminalisation of marijuana.
“We are going to proceed in a way that takes everybody along with us,” said the incoming Minister of Agriculture, Peter David.
David, who assumes his new post on October1, told reporters that the Keith Mitchell government must consult with the various stakeholders and that he headed a three member Cabinet committee in accordance with the 2018 Regional Marijuana Commission report.
“So the government has already established a committee, they are looking at the models in the region, and the models outside of the region where the issue of cannabis has been dealt with,” said David.
Pointing out that both regional and international jurisdictions have adopted different formats and procedures for proceeding with either the decriminalisation or legislation on cannabis, David said that persons must be aware that the 2018 survey findings revealed that 30 per cent of Grenadians are for full legislation while 31 per cent favoured partial decriminalisation.
The survey was conducted by Barbadian pollster, Peter Wickham, for inclusion into the regional Marijuana Report and it showed that 22 per cent of those surveyed believe that cannabis should remain illegal while 17 per cent were unsure or could not decide whether they want to see it legal or decriminalise it.
“We also have to be careful, because remember the Commission also said that it is not recommending that cannabis be used by anyone under the age of 24,” David added.
The issue of cannabis decriminalisation and or legislation was raised by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which also called on the government to adopt the recommendations in the report.
“After much consideration and analytical review and discussion with many people throughout our society as well as listening to the voices of our people through social, electronic, print media whatever, the National Democratic Congress has concluded that the time has come for Grenada to adopt the relevant recommendations of the CARICOM Regional Commission on Marijuana as outlined in their 2018 document,” NDC leader, Franka Bernardine, told a news conference last weekend.
Grenada’s 1992 Drug Abuse Prevention Act makes new provisions with respect to the control of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and other substances known to be used in the manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; to create new offences with respect to drug trafficking, and for purposes connected therewith.
Under Grenada’s law cannabis is listed as a controlled narcotic drug.