Proposed legislation to decriminalize marijuana before Cabinet in Grenada

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Minister for Foreign Affairs, Peter David at the 22nd Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations. Photo courtesy of Grenadanow.com

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – A member of Grenada’s Marijuana Decriminalization Committee has confirmed that proposed legislation looking towards the approach to be taken by the country concerning decriminalizing the use of marijuana is presently before the Cabinet of Ministers for discussion and the next step will be public consultation.

“The proposed legislation which will result in changes to our drug legislation is presented before the Cabinet,” said Agriculture Minister Peter David, who is a member of the three-member committee tasked with coming up with the best way Grenada can enforce aspects of the CARICOM’s Marijuana commission report.

The other members are Health Minister Nickolas Steele and Attorney General Dia Forrester.

In December 2020, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, in a public meeting, said Grenada would develop its own model for cultivating, distribution, supplying, and use of marijuana as it moves forward to enforce an aspect of CARICOM’s Marijuana Commission report.

The hope is that marijuana use for recreational purposes will be decriminalized and or legalized.

“Just like alcohol, like a cigarette, marijuana days for decriminalizing, for legalizing is coming too, that is a fact, the question is how it is done, what extend we go in dealing with the law as it relates to that drug use is something that will come forward,” Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said during the town hall meeting.

Pointing out that other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states such as Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Antigua and Barbuda have already approved legislation to decriminalize the use of Marijuana, Dr. Mitchell, who is also the Minister for National Security, said that “Grenada will be doing its own.”

A recent research study entitled, ‘Marijuana Use Among Young Men in Grenada during the COVID-19 Pandemic’ revealed that 71 of the 96 respondents smoked marijuana before March 25, 2020.

According to data from the Grenada Drug Epidemiology Network (GREEN), marijuana continues to be the main controlled drug consumed in Grenada. 

A fact sheet from GRENDEN in March 2021 said that in a survey conducted among 71 student-athletes in March 2020, twenty-four (24) reported that they had used marijuana; this presents 34% of the athletes who participated in the survey. The average age of first use of marijuana use among the athletes was 14 years.

Marijuana, according to GRENDEC, is the main drug used by clients who sought treatment at the Rathdune Psychiatric Unit in 2020 for drug use; 94 of the 133 clients sought treatment due to problems associated with the use of marijuana, and 35 of the young men who reported that they had smoked marijuana, were in the age group 17 to 21 years.

It’s understood that once the law is changed for marijuana use, consideration will be given to protect persons who should not be exposed to second-hand smoke with laws for banning smoking in public.

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