United Progressive Party was first out the gates, bringing to the Barbadian public a progressive position on marijuana that first sought to decriminalize the weed and reduce the incarceration and criminalizing of certain segments of our society. After our pronouncements, the other two major political parties jumped onto the bandwagon and included it in their campaign rhetoric to capture the attention of the vulnerable.
However, the UPP as a people-centered liberation movement, was clear from the beginning, that ALL of our people are of great value to a wholesome developing nation. A large portion of our citizens who are caught in the penal system are the average black man and woman. However we know full well that marijuana use is widespread across ALL segments of our society, but only select groups of Barbadians from certain communities, seem to face the courts at alarming rates.
Certainly, we advocate the healthy use of plants and for marijuana, in particular, personal use that allowed you to explore its medical benefits in small quantities. For centuries plants have been used to make teas, add to food and apply topically to affected areas for healing. The marijuana plant has many benefits if applied in those similar ways. To us, the majority of descendants of African people, the use of herbs to heal isn’t foreign. It’s deep within our culture and history. However when lawmakers are clueless to culture and history and the advancement of society, by truly putting people first, then we are faced with the many embarrassments like what we are currently experiencing in this marijuana issue. The threats from the Minister of Health, is like a story out of the “book of ironies.”
It would appear that the descendants of Imhotep and the founders of natural medicine now have to rely on Europe and Europeans to give the all clear on what is medical marijuana. Clueless lawmakers will continue to criminalize their citizens while they seek to spend foreign exchange, a scarce commodity with those who are not lacking basic infrastructure and social needs in their countries. So to import marijuana in its many forms to offer on the market at exorbitant rates is the Preferred method of this administration to engage the healing power of the plant.
The continuous slap in the face of the citizens of our country by lawmakers is a truly painful experience. As one who doesn’t smoke, but could appreciate herbal teas, as it is my profession, and ancestral legacy, I sit and watch with grief and shame at the way our people are being once again over-run by strange bedfellows abroad in collusion with politicians to stifle the last breath of life force from our people.
Decriminalizing the plant was the correct first step in the marijuana issue. That will automatically decriminalize the people, and allow the medicine to be accessible to people for private use, with proper educational programs. The current trick being played on the people with the processed overpriced products, will not be much different from taking any pharmaceutical pill, with a long list of poisonous effects, glossed over, because it was produced in a lab with people wearing white coats and toying with fancy equipment.
Everton Heru Holigan … Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP)
The African Heritage Foundation a grass roots charitable organization invites you to take its Cannabis Survey. Thanks Much.