Marijuana Plant
Marijuana Plant

EXTRA…EXTRA… EXTRA …..Finance Minister of Small Island State declares no matter what positive economic impact a crop can have for its citizens HE DOES NOT CARE as he has to be concerned with the health and wellbeing of the citizens. There cannot be a more lucid example of hysteria and ignorance; that has plagued the marijuana plant since it was made it illegal by the corporate Gods of Hearst and Rockefeller, DuPont and the creation of the petro-chemical medical industry that has polluted the globe for the last 80 years.

Yet Uruguay, Colorado and Washington State have all legalized cannabis over the last two years. The body and span of the knowledge as to the uses, applications, processes industries that this plant can support is almost exponentially infinite, all without adding an iota to the depletion of the ozone layer or ecology and/or add to global warming; in fact its potential lies in reversing global warming/climate change by being the only real alternative to the fossil fuel/chemical dependent globe that has caused this state of affairs.

The fact that cannabis was the main economic crop and traded material in the world for at least 3000 years is proven by the fact that in just six months since its legalization in Colorado, the State has earned $11m just in taxes. Imagine what the producers have made! These are people who are concerned about cannabis range from medicinal uses for themselves or their children, for recreation and for peace of mind from enforcement officers, for business of which there are … for applications from edibles, to oils, to cafes, textiles, cordage, building materials, ethanol, bio-diesel and of course research into the potential of the cannabis plant in other applications, such as plastics from its cellulose. This is a natural based industry and Dominica is the nature island of the world. Even now it is the most valuable agricultural crop by far in the US and the world. Dominica, we suggest to the Finance Minister would do well to look to the future potential of new products and processes and not to the backward, filthy, polluted concepts of the oppressive west.

If done, I can guarantee a major boost in our nature island image, our economy, our attitude, our agriculture, our tourism, in the first year of legalization the numbers will astound many. Why? Because we will be the first nation with the built-in "Caribbean" image which is globally associated with cannabis, initially and notably Jamaica. Now the whole of the Caribbean, due to the ubiquitous presence of Rastafari in the Caribbean and its cultural presence on the global stage as the unquestioned champion of the cannabis plant during the whole period of its illegality. We see that Jamaica intends to make it legal to have 58g in one's possession; however, that is not legalization only decriminalization. This, we contend, will not have the social and economic impact of full legalization; the plant, we suggest, is to be treated as an agricultural commodity with commercial application Decriminalisation in fact does nothing to the economy.

A Prime Minister of the Nature Island or any parliament may despise rum, they can make rum illegal, for they cannot make cane illegal; because rum is the creation of the human mind – cane is not. We suggest that no Prime Minister, no Parliament has the right to make nature illegal. This is the basic premise against decriminalization as it continues to make nature the subject of law and that it does not encourage the treatment of the matter as agricultural industry. Decriminalization's main aim is to protect the consumer and is usually about small amounts or for medicinal use. Hence the buyer is absolved but the grower is exposed. The importance of cannabis over the last 40-50 in that recent period of prohibition, is for its psychotropic (recreational) effects however that has led to the re-study of the plant to the realization of the volumes of suppressed information on the multiplicity of cannabis uses as an industrial commodity.

This government has as its claim to fame how it is ahead of the rest of the Caribbean with bold and independent moves first before anyone else – it was the unilateral and complete embrace of one China (offering of passports etc.), then it was the first to embrace Hugo Chavez, then the first to join ALBA; now it's most recent demonstration their "unilateral" and bold move to join the CCJ. Yet with the opportunity that CARICOM and the global community has presented they shiver and shake and balk at truly bold decisions with hysterical excuses.

This is an issue in which Dominica could truly lead the world. Dominica is drenched with unique singular environmental credentials; this decision would entrench these credentials internationally leading the global south citizenry into the 21st century.