The fledgling United Progressive Party (UPP) is promising that, if it wins the next general election, it will set up a task force to review and reform the governance framework related to marijuana use in Barbados.
However, political leader Lynette Eastmond has made it clear there would be no quick road to decriminalization under a UPP administration.
She told Barbados TODAY the task force would be required to report on the issue within a year.
It would “examine how we may keep marijuana out of the hands of Barbadian youth, and especially minors; ensure that Barbadians are well informed about any risks or benefits involved through sustained education campaigns; reduce the burden on the police and the criminal justice system with small amounts of marijuana possession; provide quality-controlled marijuana for medical purposes, consistent with law and industry standards,” she said.
Eastmond sought to make the UPP’s position clear after the party released a policy paper on marijuana, which was compiled after discussion with various stakeholders.
The document suggests that there is a need for more research as well as national dialogue, before any move can be made to decriminalize or legalize the drug.
Eastmond charged, however, that the marijuana issue was being used as a political football.
“Making it a partisan political issue and trying to railroad one party or the other, this is something that has to be reviewed . . . . Let us try in Barbados to look at issues without being partisan and political,” she said.