Members of the public will have a chance to have their say on the issue of marijuana on Wednesday, September 27, during a town hall meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), Two Mile Hill, St. Michael, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
This forms part of a Regional Consultation on Marijuana hosted by the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Bus transportation will be provided from the LESC to the Fairchild Street and Princess Alice Bus Terminals following the event.
Alternatively, persons can also have their say by submitting their comments to the NCSA through the Manager, National Council on Substance Abuse, “The Armaira Building”, Corner of 1st Avenue Belleville and Pine Road, St. Michael, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions should be clearly labelled CARICOM Regional Consultation on Marijuana – Barbados.
Further details on the Consultation may also be found on the NCSA’s website at www.ncsa.org.bb.
In July 2014, the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government mandated the Secretary-General of CARICOM to establish a Marijuana Commission to examine the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding the various aspects of Marijuana use in the Caribbean and its implications, and make recommendations.
This resulted in the formation of the Regional Commission on Marijuana to “conduct a rigorous enquiry into the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use in the Caribbean”.
It was also charged with determining “whether there should be a change in the current drug classification of marijuana, thereby making the drug more accessible for all types of usage (religious, recreational, medical and research) and to recommend, if there is to be a reclassification, the legal and administration conditions which would apply”.
The CARICOM Secretariat is in the process of undertaking a series of National Consultations through the Regional Marijuana Commission to elicit the views of stakeholders and the general population on issues pertaining to marijuana usage in the region.
The NCSA has been selected to coordinate the Barbados leg of the Regional Consultation through focus group discussions with key population groups, a town hall meeting and key expert interviews.
The outcome of this consultation process will inform the preparation of a comprehensive report of the findings and recommendations to be presented to the CARICOM Heads of Government for their deliberation and decision.