Outspoken attorney-t-law, Anselm Clouden has again made another pitch for ganja to be legalised in Grenada for medicinal purposes.
Speaking to reporters at his Church Street office, Clouden called on voters in the upcoming general election to cast their ballots for those candidates who give support to medicinal marijuana.
According to Clouden, it is time the island’s cash-strapped government take advantage of the financial returns and economic benefits that medical marijuana can bring to the country.
He said the voters must ask candidates putting up themselves in the election to declare their hands on the controversial issue.
“Ministers must be clear on the political platform whether they would or would not amend the laws if they are elected to permit licensed growers (of marijuana) under strict governmental control.
“I think that the Grenadian Public when they go to these public meetings must ask the representatives what are their positions with respect to medicinal marijuana and then you would gauge whether or not your views are properly represented in parliament.
Clouden went on: “…I think it’s incumbent on those who would express their will by going to the ballot box to ensure that those they elect share their view because if I am sick and I am told that I have fits and by using Cannabis with the Seed D component, it would heal me there is no reason why I shouldn’t be allowed to use it.
“Similarly, if I am on Chemotherapy and it’s creating great nausea, vomiting and discomfort and I am told by using a certain brand of Marijuana it is going to abate those irritants, I see no reason why a government should prohibit me from using.”
The attorney believes that a sensible course needs to be charted and government has a responsibility “to allow sick people who could be cured by consuming medicinal marijuana, depending on their illness and allow them to use it and that’s what I’m asking”.
“…As a sensible nation, as a grateful nation be good to your people. We have sick people here, as you have in the United States, as you have in Canada…these countries are seeing the wisdom in legalising marijuana for medicinal purpose….”, he remarked.
Clouden said that in Canada, Medical Doctors are now allowed to prescribe marijuana for patients depending on the nature and extent of their illness.
He suggested that the emphasis that is being placed on oil and gas by Grenada as a possible major revenue generators should also be directed to Medicinal Marijuana.
“It is incumbent on this government or any future government to take a serious look at the economic benefits that will accrue to Grenada if we become a producing country for export of medicinal marijuana.
“Undoubtedly, it is a fact that the Canadian government has predicted that the first year of legalising the marijuana, not only for (economic) but also for medicinal purposes … the federal tax revenue to be had from the lawful sale of Marijuana would amount to 8 billion dollars.
“It will outstrip whatever benefits we anticipate would accrue to Grenada from Oil and Gas. It is well known that the oil market is depressed. Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producing nation in the Middle East has decided to now move away from oil as the sole revenue generating commodity and diversify their economy.
“The price of oil is depressed. Venezuela is the fourth largest oil producing country and (you see) the economic calamity that has visited that country in recent times. The oil market and the price of oil continues to decrease in the face of alternative sources of energy – wind and solar – people are moving away from oil.
Clouden made an appeal to government to provide license to ganja growers and to ensure strict supervision by the State to ensure that the plant is being grown only for the intended purpose.
He said, “Set aside 100 acres for experimental purposes. We have here St. George’s University (SGU), we have the Produce Laboratory (at Tanteen) and therefore we can undertake our own scientific research as to quality of the product for export in conjunction to those who would import it from Grenada and as was predicted in Canada, as is predicted by the United Nations, the revenue that would (be) generated from the export of Marijuana would rise exponentially – it would far outstrip any revenue we can collect 10 years down the road from Oil or Natural gas.
“…It is incumbent on this country, whatever administration forms the next government to seriously consider the medicinal importance of licensing growers and licensing certain farms for the purpose of exporting of Marijuana to North America but in particular Canada where the laws are so relaxed that there could be no difficulty importing and us exporting to them”, he remarked.
According to Clouden, if ganja growers are licensed they can visit Canada to get acquainted with the proper ways of production of the plant since Niagara College is already offering a one-year programme in Cannibis Production.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has stated publicly that ganja will never be legalised under his watch.