Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says Barbados and the rest of the region won’t be able to run away from the marijuana issue forever, but he’s waiting for research that will be carried out by a CARICOM team before making any pronouncements.
Speaking to the media today, Stuart acknowledged that a decision will have to be made.
During the summit, the regional leaders agreed on the establishment of a regional commission on marijuana to conduct
a rigorous enquiry into the social, economic health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use and advise whether the drug should be reclassified and made more accessible.
“It is an issue that the region is looking at very closely. Truth to tell, I don’t know that it is an issue that we’re going to be able to run away from indefinitely,” Stuart said.
“The producer countries are chomping at bit to get this whole issue resolved and get a decision on it so I must caution you against pessimism that you are going to have to wait too long.”
The Barbadian leader pointed out that in certain parts of the United States, marijuana is gaining “increasing respectability”.
“And you know what happens to us here in the Caribbean is this – we are told what is sinful and we believe those who tell us so. But they tell us these things so that it gives them enough time to get not only a comparative advantage but also a competitive advantage and as I understand what I’m hearing from Heads of Government, there seems to be an iron-clad determination that we are not tricked again.”
Stuart said today that he expected by the Heads’ intercessional meeting in the Bahamas next February, leaders “should be a lot further along in dealing with [the issue].”