Disabled community wants medical marijuana use legal

by George Alleyne

 Medical marijuana use has found very strong advocates in Barbados’ disabled community.

 They made it clear recently they wanted to use the now illegal drug, while asking, “[Are we] supposed to live out the rest of [our] days in pain?”

There were contending views on the multiple benefits of marijuana as a medicine, but the audience at a recent town hall meeting heard a plea for this plant from some unfamiliar voices.

Rose-Ann Foster-Vaughn and Bonita Phillips wheeled to the microphone to tell a CARICOM Commission on Marijuana of the quiet suffering of members of their community and of their belief that the medicinal aspects of the plant can bring them relief.

The Commission, led by University of the West Indies Professor Rose Marie Belle-Antoine, has a region-wide mandate to get opinions of citizens on how marijuana should be regarded in the eyes of the law, and in what form. It takes submissions by email, and live presentations.

The Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre was the venue for presentations from Barbadians on August 27.

Administration Project Officer of the Barbados Council for the Disabled, Foster-Vaughn related that though born with cerebral palsy she managed a relatively normal life of playing as a child and walking to church,” until 2008 I was diagnosed with Lupus. Now imagine that, Lupus on top of a disability”.

The affliction nine years ago brought on rheumatoid arthritis with its accompanying pain all day and night.

“I live on painkillers. I used to be on steroids, but after the steroids got me too fat I weaned myself off them and now I live strictly on painkillers,” she told the panel.

“So, you tell me at 49-years-old, am I supposed to live out the rest of my days in pain, I think not,” said Foster-Vaughn who indicated that she also suffers from poor circulation.

The well-known champion of causes for persons with various challenges, said “the same way I advocate for disabled, and the rights of the disabled, I have the right of advocating for medical marijuana”.

Her stance was echoed by Bonita Phillips who said, “I am now a strong advocate for medical marijuana . . . because I have multiple-sclerosis and have learnt that the medication I am taking, or has been offered to me, is causing more damage.”

Phillips stressed that her position does not stem from any romantic feeling for the plant which she describes as ‘God’s gift’.

“I have never smoked marijuana and would never want to smoke it. I don’t like the smell of it.”

She explained that marijuana was an alien item for much of her life, having been raised by Seventh Day Adventists parents in the ’60s.

“At that time, you couldn’t have an ashtray in the house, furthermore cigarettes. So, I didn’t know anything about marijuana, cigarettes, or smoking.

But in explaining her conversion to the medicinal qualities of the plant she said, “What I’ve been brainwashed in not realising is that pharmaceutical companies are getting us drugs and abdicating all responsibility for the damage that it is doing to our bodies.”

Speaking of what she has witnessed in Barbados’ disabled community she said, “A lot of us have died because we’re taking pharmaceutical drugs.”

Phillips showed some discomfort during her presentation, and explained, “I have not been very well. I should be taking medical marijuana . . . taking medication is not helping me and now I just came out of my sick bed to be here today to advocate very strongly for medical marijuana.

“I am going through for the first time a very bad patch where sometimes I could hardly manage my speech.”

Arguing that medical marijuana holds the solution to her distress and the suffering of many others, she said “yet we have such fear in using God’s gift to us which man has made illegal”.

The advocate admitted that she was a victim of the fear.

“The fear that because I am in a comfortable home somebody is going to say that I am a drug user. But . . . I am waiting to survive my illness with God’s gift.”

“We do need to get together and stop this nonsense where we are frightened to use God’s gift.”


53 Responses to Disabled community wants medical marijuana use legal

  1. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor October 11, 2017 at 10:35 am

    They are advocating for the use of medical marijuana but I did not read about medical trials and documentary proof to their belief that it will ease their pain…. Or even proof to the fact that the pharmaceutical drugs are harming them! Ppl plz, when u go to these forums take documentation to back up your arguments…. Makes your case stronger…..

    • Jacob Donawa
      Jacob Donawa October 11, 2017 at 10:59 am

      It’s a huge multi billion dollar industry with thousands of proved studies that are accepted throughout the scientific communities throughout the world. We actually don’t need any Bajan “studies to prove what is generally accepted as facts. but here is a article with a interesting documentary on the benefits of medical cannabis. http://time.com/3931863/medical-marijuana-benefits/

    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor October 11, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Jacob Donawa I don’t need info on medicinal marijuana .. I am all read up… It actually helps lots of conditions…. But so does keeping your colon clean, flushing and tonifying your liver and your kidneys…. Keeping your blood clean as well…. A lot of ppl have conditions because their organs are in horrible condition…. I am all for medicinal marijuana but pleading for it will not bring about changes… Putting forward evidence to support your claims will though…

    • Leslie Hinds
      Leslie Hinds October 11, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Sharon Taylor

      There is no evidence to support why cannabis should be illegal. It is a plant that grows everywhere.

      The only reason why it is illegal because racist white men are as*holes.

      Read up on why it was banned in the first place.

      One would think that in the place where people fight the most (in Africa) over resources that cannabis would be high on the list.

      Well it isn’t. It is an abundant plant that no one is touching.

      Why is this if it is so sought after and considered dangerous?

      Get on the weed train. There is no reason it should be illegal in the first place.

      The only thing keeping it illegal is racism.

      Even in the USA the feds are trying to keep cannabis illegal.

    • Ras Small
      Ras Small October 11, 2017 at 11:59 am

      the research information has been done, and at next meeting wid de big heads on marijuana, cannabis, ganja i will walk wid most pertinent info because it is too much ta walk wid.

    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor October 11, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      There u go Ras Small…. U read to understand, not to reply… Documentation will back up the request for medical marijuana, make it harder to say no….

    • Richard Edwards
      Richard Edwards October 11, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      but the way Marijuana is not a drug it is a natural plant with roots…a Drug is that which is created but man in a lab.

    • Iggrunt Bajan
      Iggrunt Bajan October 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Sharon Taylor and you can make your own medicine at home as easy as cooking rice

    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor October 11, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Lovely point u made there Richard Edwards only pharmaceuticals are allowed to be sold as body altering chemicals, that is why marijuana is illegal… It’s not a drug… There fore it cannot be sold to ppl to alter the chemistry of the body…. But pharmaceuticals can be sold, doesn’t matter their side effects, at what ever price! While marijuana is kept on the outskirts…. Because by definition, it now has to be made legal by each and every teritory that wants to use it… Look at the drug called cisplatin that was synthesized from the periwinkle plant! It’s legal to give patients cisplatin cause it’s a patented drug! But, they demonize periwinkle as poisonous… Why, because it is very seldom that billions can be made from a plant…. Plants can’t be patented!

    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor October 11, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Lookka that one Iggrunt Bajan doh….. Trying to get me lock up….. A good thing I can’t source no buds or I wudda try to mek that oil…. Very interesting indeed…. Thank you Iggrunt Bajan, much appreciated…..

    • Lionel Gittens
      Lionel Gittens October 11, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Many White people smoke marijuana also. Racist?????

    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete October 11, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      Leslie Hinds it’s legal in Canada get prescription take to one of the many places who sell it and you are good to go. I know people in their late sixties that do this and it’s working
      People from all walks of life are in business selling medicinal mariuana legally. Hospitals have dispensaries where patients can get it from way back in early 2000’s if too ill to go get themselves a person will deliver to sick persons home so it’s not so new

  2. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn October 11, 2017 at 10:38 am

    DO the right thing on Election day if you all want medical marijuana. Don’t wait on this government. You all will die first. The BLP is the only government who is going to give you all legal marijuana.

    • Wayne P Hoyte
      Wayne P Hoyte October 11, 2017 at 11:39 am

      will medical marijuana but on the drug list for free or for purchase?

    • Huasani Manard
      Huasani Manard October 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

      How d hell u know wa d blp gin do??? U could see the future?

    • Enam Idrissa
      Enam Idrissa October 11, 2017 at 11:49 am

      They said so? Lol. When?

    • Lokie Todd
      Lokie Todd October 11, 2017 at 11:51 am

      once the church remain to have overall say in Bim in regards to politics Cannabis will never be legal.

    • Alex Jordan
      Alex Jordan October 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Huasani Manard I guess they’re more likely…we’re so LATE on this train anyway. Snooze….ps an old woman told me that she was able to get medical marijuana in Barbados already. I didn’t ask any more questions.

    • Ezra Hinds
      Ezra Hinds October 11, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      Where the did BLP talk about Medical Marijuana?

  3. Kaiser Sose
    Kaiser Sose October 11, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Ibahree it should be it would be another cash cow the government can use to eliviate somebody the budgetary concerns. They should also make it legal to process up to one ounce of weed to be bought from a government ran dispensaries this create jobs .

  4. Leslie Hinds
    Leslie Hinds October 11, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Hopefully they can go a step further and to have cannabis fully legalized.

    It is only illegal due to racism.

  5. Melissa Aspirations Christophis
    Melissa Aspirations Christophis October 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Save the economy and cancer patients me sufferers etc legalise cannabis for Barbados and make legal profit and marijuana oil for the sick!

    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete October 11, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      You can make tea with it make cream like for arthritis etc it is all good

  6. Melissa Aspirations Christophis
    Melissa Aspirations Christophis October 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Ms sufferers epileptics s so many things it heals!

  7. Pat McChlery
    Pat McChlery October 11, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Interesting reading!! as I too have MS and lots of pain.

    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete October 11, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      A very good friend in Canada has MS and uses it in eatable form it’s helping her she also uses smoking it too. Point is it’s prescribed by her doctor legally. Barbados is behind the times

  8. Katrina P Lewis
    Katrina P Lewis October 11, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    How many are actually disabled

  9. Karen F-Glasgow
    Karen F-Glasgow October 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I’m for it too

  10. Rodney Callender October 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Angus Benn don’t talk sh\=e. The BLP was in power for umpteen years and the weed still illegal. Next time think before ya mek yaself look foolish man. Act normal. Wuh mek u feel the BLP gine legalize the herb this time around? SMFH.

  11. Christopher Barnett
    Christopher Barnett October 11, 2017 at 2:51 pm


  12. Earl Lashley
    Earl Lashley October 11, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    I am sure Bob Marley, a chronic smoker and promoter of its use, after being diagnosed with cancer, would have been recommended to try medical marijuana, and yet it did not cure him and he died. Perhaps it works, but not by itself.

    • Eleanor Maxine Harewood
      Eleanor Maxine Harewood October 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Earl just try de ting

    • Prince Trémaine
      Prince Trémaine October 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      And how’s chemo working out? Truth be told that due to its prohibition it’s quite difficult to study the effects of the plant.

    • Earl Lashley
      Earl Lashley October 11, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      I was trying de ting fuh years now and for the effects of a pinched nerve.DOES NOT WORK! It works creatively.

    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete October 11, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Prince Trémaine here not in other countries remember to say here

    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete October 11, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      Prince Trémaine some use both chemo and mariuana legally and does not have to be smoked either

    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete October 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      Marley smoked it for years probably had cancer too also you do not need to smoke it. It’s good made into a topical form for arthritis good in tablet form too for glocoma don’t have to smoke it

    • Earl Lashley
      Earl Lashley October 11, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Definitely not smoked.

    • Romeo Montague
      Romeo Montague October 11, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      U need CBD that’s why it’s not working ..go research it

    • Earl Lashley
      Earl Lashley October 11, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      What is CBD?

    • Tuff Tony
      Tuff Tony October 11, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      A strain with high THC/CBD works best for pain relief.

    • Ras Small
      Ras Small October 11, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Earl Lashley

    • Ras Small
      Ras Small October 11, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Tuff Tony not in all cases, depends on person and the dis-ease.

    • Ras Small
      Ras Small October 11, 2017 at 8:58 pm
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete October 11, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      The pint is it should be legal for medical use if not everything

  13. Lionel Gittens
    Lionel Gittens October 11, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Bob Marley died of cancer. You sure??? His mom and many people think different. Consious lyrics.

  14. Bernard Mccollin
    Bernard Mccollin October 11, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Sharon Taylor !!! I can’t stand your UGLY ASS , you are a disgusted stupid woman a always critical of even things that make sense, even though u dot have a damn clue, u need to stop being a stupid fool, u have no clue what those women are talking about, my wife suffers so badly from M/S & myself from from Rhumathoid Arthritis both my knees are replaced , stop using steroids because of weight painkillers all f**king day , medical marijuana works, so u need to get off your UGLY ass & shut up

  15. Jerome Gibbons
    Jerome Gibbons October 11, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    70% of bajan going turn disabled if this happens

  16. Nella Bella
    Nella Bella October 11, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Alex Jordan

  17. Valerie Catlyn
    Valerie Catlyn October 11, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Drug…has a physiological effects when used…natural or synthetic…No?

  18. colleta October 12, 2017 at 4:02 am

    The plant should be legalized, let the government get some needed taxes from it. The pharmaceutical drugs only prolong sickness and the doctors keep you hook on them and fooling people that these drugs helping to get you better.


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