Marijuana laws too draconian


The Caricom Regional Commission on Marijuana has labelled existing regional marijuana laws as draconian and one which carries with it inappropriate criminal penalties. Indicating its unanimous position for law reformation across the region, Commission Chair Prof Rose-Marie Belle Antoine yesterday said “the penalties were premised on the notion that marijuana or cannabis has no value. “This is now misleading and inaccurate because the medical and scientific evidence is clear that marijuana has substantial value,” Belle Antoine, the dean at the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine campus, said. A recent World Health Organization (WHO) study found that a compound derived from marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) had health benefits and should not be subject to government restrictions. Belle Antoine said although marijuana “is not a panacea for everything, we are recommending a reclassification of it.” Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant intended for medical or recreational use. Having presented the Commission’s Report to the Caricom Heads in Jamaica on Friday, Belle Antoine said other recommendations included, “a public health and rights approach instead of this criminal law approach where people are criminalised.” She said the Commission had also found the social justice issues to be more compelling. Marijuana laws too draconian

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