Yes Ralph!

A former Government MP has described as “progressive”, Vincentian Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves’ call for the Caribbean’s exploration and exploitation of marijuana as a cash crop.

While declaring that he did not smoke the weed, former representative for
St Michael South East Hamilton Lashley said, as someone who had come from the Pine, he had been made aware that “Barbados has the best quality marijuana in the world”.

And agreeing with Gonsalves, who delivered a lecture at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus on Monday night, he said it was high time Barbados and its regional neighbours sought to make use of the herb, especially for medicinal purposes.

“It could be a major income generator for Barbados, and I am asking, particularly from the Attorney General’s office, to set up a committee that could effectively look at the issue of legalization and do not keep postponing it when other developed countries have already legalized it and are making an actual profit from the sale of the herb that God put on this earth,” said Lashley.

The former Minister of Social Transformation also said he was prompted to telephone Barbados TODAY to share his views on the controversial subject after hearing the views of the Chief Medical Officer in St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Patrick Martin, who has called for the legalization of marijuana in light of recent worrying gun incidents in the twin-island federation.

“I am in total agreement with him [Dr Martin] because there is a clear correlation and an inextricable link between drugs and guns. That is a known fact,” said the social activist.

“And I am saying that the longer that we fail in the Caribbean – because it is not only in Barbados – to legalize marijuana, one, for medicinal purposes, and, two, as a main weapon in the fight against some of the criminal gangs and the killings in the Caribbean territories . . . we all will continue to suffer at the hands of the onslaught of gun violence in the Caribbean.”

He pointed out that in both Europe and the United States many states had commercialized marijuana and were making millions of dollars, while the Caribbean continued to frown on its use.

“Fortunately for us, Jamaica is possibly seeing the light in terms of legalization but we still continue to act in Barbados like if we are hoodwinked and to behave as if we are acting under the instructions of the colonial masters from Great Britain,” said the former grassroots politician.

However, he said whether the Caribbean liked it or not, marijuana was a “business trade” and he compared its illegality today with that of alcohol in the “ruined” 1920s and 1930s.

“From the time they decriminalized it [alcohol], all of that killing was done; and I agree with the Chief Medical Officer [in St Kitts] that in the short term, medium term, long term, it would be beneficial if they decriminalize, with limitations, the usage of marijuana,” Lashley maintained.

However, he called for official controls, saying, “you should not wholesale decriminalize it, so that a man should walk down Broad Street, or go in a supermarket and tek out a spliff and smoke it.

“It would come under that same Act that all smoking is prohibited in public places,” he explained.

Lashley also said marijuana use by children should be strictly prohibited unless prescribed by a medical doctor, and made it clear that he was not advocating legalization of cocaine, amphetamines, and other harmful drugs.

“I’m talking strictly about the best quality drug in the world, marijuana,” he said.

3 Responses to Yes Ralph!

  1. Bobo January 29, 2016 at 6:29 am

    What scientific prove is marijuana good for the brain-functions–the blacks have enough problems with their mental focus, take a walk around the region and search out marijuana users —will the politicians take the drug, ”of course not” because they know the danger of all drugs .

  2. Alex Alleyne January 29, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Another one jumping on the band wagon. When will it end ? .The idea of potatoes , edoes, yams, and other root crops for food all went through the window.
    Coming soon will be a “health care bill” that will out stripped all other bills in BIM. How many people in Bim have “health insurance” ??????? you tell me Hammy.

  3. Ray Cooper February 11, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Yes Ralph is one of the shrewdest politicians in the Caribbean and he sees the benefits of Legalisation of Marijuana, this is not to say that use of marijuana wouldn’t have some drawbacks but it would be to the greater good both economically and socially.
    Of course , a great deal of monies leave our coffers everty year to buy foreign produced marijuana, monies which would/could be better utilised to improve certain facilities for the betterment of our little island.
    The monies spent to keep our young people imprisoned would be better used to have these persons better equipped to have more productive lives.
    The Marijuana problem is not going to suddenly disappear as it has been around in BIM for a hundred years or more.. The Sunday papers back in the 40’s / 50’s is clear evidence of the problem, back then it was simply Indian Hemp and the British made sure that we were penalised for its cultivation; Get any archived copy of the Sunday paper from this period , for reference.
    Thirty plus years ago, Radio Liberty started broadcasting in Barbados and one of the two presenters at the time was adamant that Marijuana should be legalised, had the voters for Govt paid any attention at the time the problem could have been dealt with
    And would have avoided the trauma now being experienced. Ironically, Ralph Gonsalves and The other Ralph who was the Liberty FM DJ are visionaries. Yes its time to have a serious debate on Legalisation of Marijuana. Its time for the peoples of the Caribbean to take matters in their own hands and stop the old colonial pervasive discriminatory ‘nobrainers’.
    Call it what You will, for medicinal purposes, or whatever else, its time we see and understand why Marijuana (Cannabis Sativa) is still classed as an illegal drug.
    Marijuana is not a drug, it does however contain varying degrees of tetra-cannabinol, which can be and is classified as a drug.


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