Telling it as it is

by Gerry Hopkin, JD

Regarding the NOW Grenada article, “Grenadians Encouraged to Lobby Government for the Legalisation of Cannabis,” by Curlan Campbell:

My objective response to the reported sentiments and suggestions of the above article is as follows: Grenada can expeditiously decriminalise the growing and use of cannabis, with or without the say of lobbyists and citizens, based on the well-known history and capacity of the current administration that’s in office now, and has been there for 20 of the last 25 years.

The New National Party of Grenada, under the maximum leadership of Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, has all of the 15 seats in Grenada’s Parliament, the state’s legislative body. Further, the PM is the Minister of National Security, and he hires, fires and directs (de facto) the Commissioner of Police, who is in charge of the officers of the Royal Grenada Police Force (who are the ones following the directives given by their superiors, along with the dictates of their discretion, in enforcing the enacted laws of Grenada).

So why does, as cannabis legalisation activist, Syisha Williams, has suggested, the PM of Grenada need to now wait on the help or lobbying of the citizenry in order to take the initiative of decriminalising marijuana, although he, the PM, regularly gets his MPs in the NNP-controlled Parliament to legislate on equally serious matters, without first consulting with the people of Grenada and without having to wait on pressure from lobbyists or concerned interest groups?

Any notion and related discussions that suggest that the PM is ready to decriminalise marijuana, but needs the help and support of the public and of lobbyists, is all a big joke and PR gimmick of some sort. PM Mitchell is one of the most effective politicians that we have ever seen in the Caribbean, and if he really wants to or wanted to decriminalise marijuana and to tap into the benefits of viable value-addition (processing and packaging of this wonderful gift of nature), which can bring healing and wealth to Grenada and to Grenadians, if we properly manage and control (with sensible checks and balances) this natural resource — he can easily do so.

May we not get left behind in the region and in the world, while we squander our potential to sensibly grow and export marijuana from Grenada, in a manner similar to how we have allowed the current administration to mismanage and squander our oil and gas reserves.

Based on the fine and unique quality of Grenada’s volcanic soil, I am of the view that just as we have the finest-flavoured cocoa and nutmegs in the world, that we may also be able to grow and export the finest high grade of marijuana, which would give us great derivatives (CBD, etc.).

Hey folks, I am just here thinking aloud and telling it as I see it. I am not a cannabis or cigarette smoker. However, if I ever fall sick with glaucoma or cancer or HIV-AIDS, or any other [disease] cannabis has been known to successfully treat, I will be finding a way to source it.

So please do your part to bring about the changes we need. Speak out, protest, demonstrate, and plan to vote for leaders who have a track record of being genuinely visionary, while passionately representing and transparently standing up for your interests and for the legitimate concerns of all of the citizens and residents of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

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