The African Heritage Foundation (AHF) has been involved with the cannabis developments in Barbados, in as much like others it has been offered on occasion the opportunity to make public representation for the plant.
Within the latter half of 2019 the government of Barbados has introduced to parliament two pieces of legislation that speak to the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and sacramental uses by the Rastafari community.
The latter bill, “Sacramental Cannabis Bill” is centered on the human rights of Rastafari and all religious/spiritual entities as guaranteed by the Barbados constitution and United Nations Human Rights Conventions this country is a signatory to.
It is felt by many Barbadians that both pieces of legislation are problematic and disregards both the people of Barbados and the Rastafari Community at large. Added to this, it would appear that offerings from small organizations and individuals as it pertains to the better inclusion of Barbadians into the Medicinal Cannabis Industry Bill and Sacramental Cannabis Bill have fallen on deaf ears.
Thus it is the opinion of those who have been marginalized within the relocation of cannabis in the society by the government, that civil public action/protest must be organized. This protest will advance the voice of the people and facilitate laying the groundwork for meaningful people’s participation in cannabis developments in Barbados.
As such this morning a question was posted by myself on Facebook that asked “Do you think a Cannabis Rally is needed to protest the Sacramental Cannabis Bill, the treatment of Rastafari and the poor people of Barbados who for over 50 years have been vilified for using this plant?” I went on to say that if 50 people said yes it was need, and 7 indicated a willingness to assist with the production of such a rally, I with the assistance of the AHF would commence facilitating the planning for such. Thus far 20 people have agreed such action is needed and 3 people have indicated willingness to assist with its production and management.
A “National Cannabis Rally” will collectively give a louder voice to the concerns of Barbadians as it pertains to their better facilitation in the cannabis developmental advancements of Barbados. As proposed, this rally will facilitate presentations from individuals and organizations on cannabis in the community. It will also facilitate performances from artist as it pertains to cannabis legalization. The rally will also provide the opportunity for persons to sell cannabis merchandise and offer their related services to those in attendance.
Related services would pertain to holistic health services and the access to and sale of indigenous healing herbs. Including in the day’s activities will be the playing of games such as Warri, Dominoes, Chess and more within the context of recreation.
It is intended that the activity be closed with a Nyabinghi Ises (Rastafari spiritual observance). This offers those in attendance the opportunity to witness first hand Nyabinghi drumming and chanting within Rastafari spiritual observances.
In anticipation of more positive responses for a National Cannabis Rally, I took the initiative to start drafting a proposal for this activity.
This activity is intended to give a collective public voice to Barbadians as it relates to;
- Their exclusion from the Medical Cannabis Bill 2019
- The right for all Barbadians to have access to the cannabis plant for personal indigenous purposes
- The continued human rights violations being meted out by the government to the Rastafari community as it pertains to the use of cannabis as a sacrament.
- Cannabis reparations and justice. Community cannabis economic development and empowerment.
- Cannabis economic compensation … repertory justice.
It is also a goal of this activity that a committee to assist with the drafting of a People’s Indigenous Cannabis Community Bill (PICCB) be selected. The PICCB will be presented to the government with the request that a meeting be convened between drafters of this bill and the government to secure a final document that will be presented to parliament on behalf of the people.
Procedures and scope of work to be done in preparation for National Cannabis Rally.
- Create a National Cannabis Civil Society Committee (NCCSC) to organize rally. Invitations will be sent to various organizations inviting them to give input on the structure of the rally. It will guide the process and ensure that the goals of this rally are met.
- Liaison with media houses to cover and promote the rally. The NCCSC will send invitations to media houses to cover the rally. It will also oversee the collection of donations and sponsorships that will be used to facilitate the effective managing and production of this activity.
- Invite artist to perform: The NCCSC will invite persons to provide relevant entertainment at the rally.
- Send letters of invitation to presenters. The NCCSC will make decision on invited presenters and send invitations
- Secure venue for rally. The NCCSC will make application to secure the venue for rally. It will also make application for relevant permits. All supporting structures and equipment will be organized by the NCCSC.
If you think this initiative is a worthwhile one and would like to be involved with its production please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 260 -4795
President/Founder African Heritage Founadtion