Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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HomeCannabisExplore economic benefits of cannabis, says Grenadian attorney

Explore economic benefits of cannabis, says Grenadian attorney

By Lincoln DePradine

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — Defence attorney, Arley Gill wants a halt to the “persecution’’ of Grenadians who use cannabis sativa – popularly known as marijuana or weed – as a spiritual sacrament.

Gill commented on the background of the latest debate on cannabis, including the establishment of a cabinet committee that plans on holding public consultation on the idea of changing criminal laws relating to marijuana.

“We are going to proceed in a way that takes everybody along with us,” committee member and member of parliament Peter David, told reports at a recent news conference.

Gill, a former culture minister, welcomes the consultation process, but suggests that it also should include a cannabis education component.

“I applaud the government for initiating actions to address the decriminalization of cannabis sativa. I wish to urge the government to give due consideration to the religious beliefs of the Rastafarian religion and to end the persecution of the Rastafarians for their spiritual use of the herb,’’ he said.

It’s not the first time Gill, who is a non-smoker, has waded into the cannabis debate. Two years ago, in a commentary published in The Plain Times, he argued that “cannabis is a natural plant that can be applied beneficially in many ways. It can be used to make fabric, food, drink, ropes, building materials, paper, jewellery, plastic, fuel and many other items’’.

Gill added that “in recent times, there has been widespread acknowledgement of the medicinal purposes of the cannabis plant. As a result, a few states in the US, notably California, have passed progressive legislation allowing the use of marijuana in certain circumstances. The US position is noteworthy because there is no other nation that has invested more resources in the fight against cannabis’’.

During the current round of debate in Grenada, Gill says, “government must also strongly consider and explore the economic benefits of the herb, as other countries have already been reaping the financial benefits of that plant. We can further diversify the agricultural sector by the controlled cultivation of the plant. While one can understand the need for consultation, I wish to urge public education on the subject, as consultation could only be more meaningful with knowledge rather than ignorance’’.

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