The Cannabis Movement of Saint Lucia has called on Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, to make a public statement about his administration’s intentions regarding cannabis law reform.
In a statement to St Lucia Times ahead of a news conference planned for Wednesday at 10:00 AM in Serenity Park, the organization observed that the annual Carribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government summit is rapidly approaching in July this year, where the CARICOM Cannabis Commission will be presenting its recommendations.
According to the Cannabis Movement statement, Canada will be legalizing cannabis federally in July.
The group observed that Prime Ministers Doctor Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda have made statements to the effect that they will be reforming cannabis laws.
“As stated in an earlier news brief, the Cannabis Movement is said to be getting mixed signals regarding the intentions of this administration and need them to clarify,” the movement declared.
In outlining reasons for its call for clarity from the Allen Chastanet government, the Cannabis Movement asserted that the original members of the local Cannabis Commission, created by National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis and presented to cabinet in January last year, were rejected even though the members of the original commission were all experts in the field.
The organization said no budgetary allocations were put in place for the new commission created in March 2017, with the result that minimal work was done by the commission for the year.
The Cannabis Commission also observed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not adequately facilitate the mandated visit by the CARICOM Cannabis Commission in September of 2017.
“The commission was able to visit nine other territories without a hitch, except Saint Lucia, because of Ministry administrative facilitation,” it noted.
The Cannabis Movement lamented that there has been no interest shown by the Ministry of Agriculture, even though cannabis cultivation is “one of the biggest agricultural trends worldwide.”
It recalled that the reformation of cannabis laws was a campaign promise.
“It is unconscionable that this administration would not follow through with that promise after being elected,” the Cannabis Movement lamented, adding that the organization is eagerly awaiting a public response from the Prime Minister.