NRP’s Panel Discussion: Legalization Is The Way To Go
By: T. Chapman
St. Kitts and Nevis, SKNP (Thursday 3rd, November 2016) – The Nevis Reformation Party successfully held their first panel discussion on Marijuana at the Red Cross Building in Charlestown last night, (Wednesday 2nd November). The informative session provided an avenue for citizens to air their views.
The forum was brought live on Freedom Fm and streamed live on Facebook. The first time event was moderated by Educator – Dr. Andrea Bussue, and the panelists featured were: Educator and Agriculturist-Dr. Kelvin Daly, Farmer and marijuana activist- Mr. Yahsonn Tafari, Public policy consultant- Miss. Sanyu Philips, Medical Practitioner -Dr. Glenville Liburd, Attorney of Lawyer-Mr. Alan Powell and Radio Announcer, DJ personality – Mr. Maurice ‘E.K’ Flanders.
The forum explored the different strains of Marijuana, (Hemp-low THC and high in CBD) the difference between Legalization vs. Decriminalization, a historical overview of marijuana and economic spin offs.
[*Decriminalization or decriminalisation is the lessening of criminal penalties in relation to certain acts, perhaps retroactively, though perhaps regulated permits or fines might still apply. This should be contrasted with legalization, which removes all or most legal detriments from a previously illegal act.]
According to Dr. Daly all legal barriers should be removed for maximum gains. This in itself could lead to the development of new and vibrant industries. Daly’s simple math suggest that Marijuana could contribute $ 0.85 – 1.2 million dollars to the economy of Nevis. Spin-offs from this would include, jobs, extra capital, scholarships, over 400 computers for schools and community centers.
Marijuana in its different forms, be it the tea or the oil, (Cannabis Oil) has tremendous health benefits. Depending on the person, marijuana as mentioned could be an appetite stimulant and is thought to be an anti-cancer agent.
The persons in attendance praised the Nevis Reformation Party for taking such bold steps. Members of the Rastafarian Community were ever present and requested that meetings should be held with them on the way forward.
In response to a question, Dr. Liburd emphasized that the documentation of the use of marijuana should begin and a research study done. Further, he emphasized that a steering committee should be formed inorder to advance the discussions.
Founder of the Pink Lily foundation, Lea Parris Cambridge who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer captivated the audience attention when she gave her testimonial. Having changed her diet completely she is adamant that natural is the way to go.
While there are factions within our society who are persuaded otherwise, E. K believes that perceptions can be changed through education.
Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party, Mr. Joseph Parry in responding to a question from a concerned citizen reiterated that we cannot afford to live in fear in our own country nor shall we be beggars in our country. He reminded the audience that St. Kitts and Nevis is still one Federation therefore moving forward with the issue takes the form of persuading the general populace on St. Kitts. Mr. Parry indicated that he has been listening to the politicians in St. Kitts namely, Dr. Drew and that while he is aware of the present Prime Minister’s stance, politicians do cave in once public support is high.
Parry also thanked Lea Parris Cambridge for her testimony which he stated he can relate to since his first wife was diagnosed with cancer. Further, he commended the panel on a job well done and thanked persons for attending the discussion.