Why Decriminalize?

Cannabis Barbados, the Rastafari community, many Barbadians, people regionally and internationally have been closely monitoring the unfolding of the Barbados Medical Cannabis Industry, with great concern.

Caribbean genetics / St. Vincent, Grenada, Tobago, Jamaica - Marijuana Strains and Breeding - International Cannagraphic Magazine Forums
The History of Cannabis Legislation and an Homage to its Pioneers - The Medical Cannabis Community
As such, Cannabis Barbados, a community based collective of cannabis advocates, focuses on influencing more people centered cannabis reform in Barbados, and seeks to shine a light on the Barbados Medical Cannabis Industry, its strengths and weaknesses. To do this Cannabis Barbados informs on the Medicinal Cannabis Industry, regionally and internationally with the assistance of other advocates for a more people centered approach to the world of cannabis reform.
Race, Class, and Cannabis in the Caribbean | NACLA

One such advocate is Mr. Kevin Edmonds a PhD candidate in political science at the University of

Toronto, and a St Lucian national. His research examines the connection between trade liberalization, the decline of the banana trade and the rise of marijuana cultivation/trafficking in the Eastern Caribbean islands of St Lucia and St Vincent.
Caribbean Countries Start Looking at Marijuana Legalization – Repeating Islands
In a policy brief entitled “Cultivating Alternatives: Towards a Regional Cannabis Model”
Mr. Edmonds has stated that;
“The call for decriminalization has to do with the fact that global economic flows and trends have been unkind to the Caribbean.
Given the realities of the Caribbean’s marginalized position within the global economy, a push towards the full legalization of marijuana would leave the Caribbean at the mercy of much larger
producers who enjoy economies of scale such as the United States and potentially Canada. A shift towards decriminalization and the legalization of, in particular, medicinal marijuana would provide the needed breathing space for regional cannabis industries to emerge and seek regional and international sources of investment.
From Cayman to the world, Canada corners global cannabis market - Caribbean Medical Distributors Ltd
Under decriminalization recreational and medicinal consumption becomes regulated/legalized
— however trafficking and cultivation outside of the strict regulations would remain criminal offenses, creating a supply problem. When it comes to reform, the rest of the Caribbean does not have to reinvent the wheel, but it has to take action, as Jamaica and the region’s ganja advocates have already done much of the heavy lifting on the matter. Jamaica has set forth important guidelines concerning limits on amounts of marijuana for personal possession, and these have not triggered significant domestic or international backlash.
The Latin America and Caribbean Cannabis Report Second Edition | Prohibition Partners
Some of the key aspects of Jamaica’s 2015 revision to the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act are as follows:
• Possession of 2 ounces or less of ganja for individuals 18 years and older is no longer a criminal offence for which one can be arrested, charged and imprisoned, but rather a ticketable offence. In addition, each household will be permitted to grow no more than 5 plants for personal consumption
•The possession of ganja for religious purposes by the Rastafari community, medical patients consuming for therapeutic reasons and scientific researchers are exempt from the fines
applicable to the general public.
Jamaica Marijuana Legalization: First Caribbean Country To Decriminalize Weed

While Jamaica will undoubtedly enjoy numerous benefits of being the first mover in the region to adopt significant cannabis reforms, the opportunity to maximize the potential must be attempted by more regional members. Following this, the rest of the Caribbean should take advantage of the opportunity that has emerged with ganja reform as a way to break into niche markets, attract investment in research and development, and strengthen the linkages between the waning agricultural sector and value -added industries.


Cannabis Supply Chain and Production Management Issues (Diagram)

Central to this is the establishment of regulated companies and licensed cooperatives that are legally permitted to grow and study marijuana for medicinal purposes. The size of the legal marijuana market in the United States in 2014 was an estimated at $2.7 billion, and there exists
space for Caribbean producers to compete.
Key Insights from The Global Cannabis Report | Prohibition Partners
The experience of Jamaica recently landing a $100 million deal with the Canada – based Timeless Herbal Care Limited is instructive of the potential market that exists for marijuana – based products.
Timeless Herbal Care Awarded First Medical Cannabis GMP Certification in Jamaica – Ganjactivist.com
By having licensed cooperatives as an important part of the industry, it will allow cultivators with low levels of economic resources, who had previously engaged in previously illicit activities,
to bring their skills and expertise into the formal economy. Cooperatives would also allow the gains from the marijuana sector to be distributed in a more horizontal, democratic manner
(in addition to becoming taxable). The cooperative element would also tie in with the niche marketing idea of exporting an ethically produced medicinal product (to come in the more traditional form or as an oil or edible products), which has the potential to be certified organic, grown on the slopes of volcanic Caribbean mountains.
aBIZinaBOX Cannabis - Dope CPA, Tax, Compliance
If the decriminalization or legalization of ganja takes place without sufficient regional and domestic regulation, the Caribbean may end up losing out on one of its most lucrative, albeit illicit, exports. This lesson has not been lost on the small cultivators either, as the people who are displaced from selling five bags on the block will not find employment after legalization, and without the ability to compete with larger producers, may fall prey to cocaine trafficking, which is
a more lucrative, but also considerably more violently administered alternative than grassroots, community – based ganja cultivation and trade.
Cocaine trafficking reaching record highs, says EU drug agency – EURACTIV.com
Due to the fact that times are quickly changing concerning the legal status of ganja as a prohibited narcotic, the Windward Islands should look to implement the following policy measures to help bring about the decriminalization and regulation of cannabis in a creative manner:
• CARICOM must commit to implementing reforms concerning the decriminalization of ganja as soon as possible. Following the model put forward by Jamaica – standardized limits on personal
possession and cultivation must be implemented in addition to the legalization of ganja for medicinal and spiritual use.
420 Grenada - Posts | Facebook
• A clear framework concerning the production of medicinal marijuana for domestic and international use must be implemented in a democratic partnership with civil society and
farming associations. Foreign investment in these industries must be done in partnership with locals in order to avoid the dominance of foreign capital – placing local workers as little else
but cheap labour.
Invest Caribbean Partners With CanEx Capital Connection To Boost Financing In The Cannabis Sector – My Vue News
• An open, affordable licensing system for domestic producers and production cap will also ensure that wealthier individuals in the Windward Islands do not dominate the new industry at
the expense of those who have traditionally cultivated ganja and bore the accompanying physical hardship and legal risks.
Medical Marijuana in the Caribbean - Relocate Antigua
• The legalization of hemp for industrial purposes must also be put forward. Hemp has proven to be an incredibly versatile and renewable raw material that can be used in everything from
clothing to building supplies.
Malawi Investing in Industrial Hemp Cultivation | Umaizi
• In regards to recreational supply, the Netherlands has been a pioneer in regards to creatively navigating international narcotics laws without penalty. In 1976, the country made a sharp distinction between hard and soft drugs, implementing a policy of de – facto legalization in regards to the recreational use of cannabis.
Amsterdam Coffee Shop Ban Lifted | frankenräver
While remaining a signatory to all major drug control conventions, the country has continually faced pressure from the international community to shut down the ‘coffeeshop’ scene in Amsterdam, where ganja is openly sold and consumed — but the government has relented.
Coffeeshops can have a maximum of 500 grams on site at any given time. Despite the cultivation of ganja being illegal in the Netherlands, these shops have never had the problem of running out. While the power dynamics are undoubtedly different in the Caribbean, one must be hopeful that a similar ‘grey area’ of de facto legalization can work — as there are many spliff bars in St
Vincent which operate in the open without sanction.”
Cannabis Barbados
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Cannabis Barbados and BloTipz invite you to come and share in the lighting of the first Kwanzaa candle which represents unity and is black, at a reggae house lime on the 26th December. Please see flyer for details and call 260-4795 for more information.

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